Doctoral students conduct their thesis research under the direction of researchers drawn from throughout Columbia University Irving Medical Center who represent disciplines such as pediatrics, microbiology, cellular and molecular biology, toxicology, surgery, epidemiology, and others, as they relate to nutrition. The extensive research and training collaborations among these groups offer outstanding opportunities for cooperative and interdisciplinary training of the next generation of nutrition researchers.


IHN Research Clusters

Bone Metabolism

The process in which tissue is continuously renewed to maintain the biochemical and biomechanical integrity to support bone function, health, mass, and strength.

  • Faculty: Karsenty, Kousteni


Basic science and clinical approaches to cancer focus on the molecular and cellular events that lead to and promote its development. Research focuses on applying that knowledge to the design of cancer therapies and prevention strategies that reduce its incidence and progression and improve the quality of the lives of those affected by cancer.

  • Faculty: Baer, Blaner, Cheng, Mendelsohn, Reilly, Schwabe, Schvartzman, Tsang, Wang

Diabetes, Obesity, and Body Composition

Researchers are exploring the biological, environmental, and social factors behind diabetes, metabolic disorders, and obesity.

  • Faculty: Accilli, Chung, Ferrante, Gallagher, Egli, Haeusler, Leibel, Pajvani, Shapiro, Sykes, Wardlaw, Zeltser

Immunology and Microbiome

Emphasis is on the research and study of human microbiome, infectious microbes, and the response of hosts to such pathogens to understand the molecular basis of infectious disease.

  • Faculty: Han, Ivanov, Sykes, Tall

Lipids, Lipoproteins, and Cardiovascular Disease

Special emphasis is on diet-gene interactions, risk prediction biomarkers, and therapeutic markers to treat and understand cardiovascular diseases.

  • Faculty: Bauer, Blaner, Bradshaw, Chang, D'Armiento, Ginsberg, Haeusler, Stockwell, Tabas, Tall

Micronutrients & Development

Research is looking at how specific nutrients, diets, and hormones impact the body and cognitive brain function.

  • Faculty: Blaner, Barasch, Cardoso, Christiano, Gamble,  Mendelsohn, Penn, Tsang, Zeltser, Zuker

Mitochondrial Metabolism

Research takes a multifaceted approach to cell metabolic products, proteins, and processes and their positive and negative impact in diseases and overall human health.

  • Faculty: Diano, Owusu-Ansah, Pon, Tabas


Research interests include the neural systems that detect and process homeostatic, gut-derived, sensory and emotional influences on feeding behavior during development and in adulthood

  • Faculty: Bradshaw, Diano, Doege, Salzman, Zeltser, Zuker

Precision Medicine

The study of and clinical approach to genes, environment, and lifestyle of individual patients allows our doctors and researchers to devise targeted treatments and preventative measures to fight diseases. Columbia University brings together a unique pipeline of fundamental and applied science, translational medicine, and clinical practice.

  • Faculty: Christiano, Chung, Ginsberg, Reilly, Tabas

Stem Cell Biology

Research interests include understanding the unique metabolic and cell division properties of embryonic and adult stem cells, including iPS.

  • Faculty: Accili, Doege, Egli, Ginsberg, Leibel, Tsang