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The Oklahoma State University Human Performance and Nutrition Research Institute will be headquartered on Hall of Fame Avenue adjacent to the Sherman E. Smith Training Center.

OSU Human Performance and Nutrition Research Institute unveils plans for new facility on Stillwater campus

Friday, February 24, 2023

Media Contact: Jane Braden | Gooden Group | 405-818-1905 |

Oklahoma State University announced plans Friday to build a state-of-the-art facility to serve as the headquarters of the new Human Performance and Nutrition Research Institute (HPNRI). 

Lance Walker
Lance Walker, Rick and Gail Muncrief Executive Director of the Human Performance and Nutrition Research Institute.

In December, renowned industry expert Lance Walker was named the center’s inaugural Rick and Gail Muncrief Executive Director. In a presentation to the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents this week, Walker outlined the mission and vision of the institute, which will advance OSU’s land-grant mission by uniting the academic expertise of our human performance and nutrition experts with data-informed strategies and resources from the university’s athletic partners. 

“Every day, we are building and expanding the scope of the Human Performance and Nutrition Research Institute with the ultimate goal of providing practical, evidence-informed solutions to improve lives," Walker said. "We will leverage our academic and athletic partnerships for the benefit of OSU's elite college athletes, students and ultimately, for the well-being of all Oklahomans."

HPNRI is an academic institute that will develop preventative therapeutic strategies to combat obesity and chronic disease as well as provide practical, research-based solutions with the goal of improving health outcomes across Oklahoma. The institute will be headquartered on Hall of Fame Avenue adjacent to the Sherman E. Smith Training Center. Building specifications are currently in the conceptual design phase, and will be finalized following the selection of an architectural firm this spring. Final building specifications will be subject to Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents approval.

“Seeing the concept of the new facility and the ambitious scope of Lance's vision for this institute brings us a step closer to reality," OSU President Kayse Shrum said. "This first-of-a-kind institute is sparking collaboration between our academic, medical, veterinary and sports research experts to elevate the very definition of a land-grant university system. Our goal is to generate a greater understanding of human performance, and then take that knowledge to positively change health outcomes for all Oklahomans.” 

"The brand new Human Performance and Nutrition Research Institute at OSU is already garnering attention in Stillwater, at the state Capitol and even globally. Lance Walker has an international reputation working with such organizations as the NFL, NCAA and Nike," Regent Chair Jarold Callahan said. “His contagious energy and unsurpassed passion in this field, and the number of world-class researchers from different departments working together to spark new ideas, will quickly catapult this institute to national prominence." 

Because its mission and vision involve the study of optimizing human performance through physical and nutritional advances at every level and in all 77 Oklahoma counties, the institute was able to secure an initial $50 million funding package from the State of Oklahoma through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Provisions of that act are aimed at using this funding in the treatment of diseases and disabilities related to changeable behaviors. 

The institute will operate under the mantra “Driven by science. Powered by humans.” Its mission is to discover, develop and deliver scientific knowledge to empower people of all abilities to realize their optimal performance. 

There are three strategic pillars to guide the institute's work: 

  • Investigate and innovate human optimization
  • Teach and inspire the next generation of students, service providers and solutions
  • Extend and amplify outreach that empowers individuals' performance and health

HPNRI will form a scientific advisory council later this spring composed of esteemed leaders in the human performance and nutrition industries to join OSU experts in bringing new thought and discovery to this sector. An inaugural summit is also being planned this year to highlight and raise awareness for the goals and vision of the institute as a springboard for the institute's work.

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