PhD in Nutrition & Integrative Physiology

The PhD program in Nutrition and Integrative Physiology trains students interested in conducting translational research on the metabolic basis of disease.

Our unique program, generally completed in four to five years, focuses on the primary literature and teaches students the latest technologies needed to be elite scientists and research scholars.

Students generally align their courses along one of the following tracks:

  • Nutrition
  • Integrative Physiology

Students have the option to refine coursework requirements in consult with their thesis mentor and advisory committee.

The bulk of the time in this program revolves around the doctoral dissertation, generally culminating in the publication of two to four papers describing original research findings in the medical literature.

Costs & Funding

Most students in the program receive research stipends from the faculty mentor and a concomitant waiver of tuition.

How to Apply 

Research Mentors

Before applying to the program, applicants should identify prospective mentors willing to provide guidance and financial support for the student’s research activities.

Possible mentors in the program include the following:



Adams,  Ted PhD Metabolic Disease, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Obesity, Bariatric Surgery, Genetics of Obesity
Aitaoto, Nia PhD Diabetes Management and Education, Pre-diabetes Lifestyle Change, Health Communication, Health Literacy, Obesity, Exercise, Sedentary Behavior, Community Engagement, Pacific Islander Health
Amann,  Markus PhD Autonomic Control, Neuroscience, Fatigue, Cardiovascular Physiology
Boudina,  Sihem PhD Obesity, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Insulin Resistance, Mitochondria
Donato,  Anthony PhD Aging, Arteries, Microcirculation, Atherosclerosis, Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, Genomic Instability, Novel Therapeutics
Drummond, Micah PhD Aging, Muscle, Rehab, Protein, Inactivity, Exercise, Metabolism, Insulin Resistance, Atrophy, Hypertrophy, Cell Singaling, Clinical
Funai, Katsu PhD Metabolism, Obesity, Diabetes, Mitochondria, Energy efficiency, Membrane Phospholipids, Exercise, Insulin sensitivity, Thermogenesis, Fatty-liver disease, Muscle
Holland,  William PhD Diabetes, Adiponectin, Metabolic disease, Sphingolipids, Ceramide, Insulin Resistance, Beta Cell Failure, Metabolism, Type 2 Diabetes, Mellitus, Adipose, Adipokines, Glucose, Inflammation, Nutrition, Metabolism, Translational Research, Glucagon, Appetite, Satiety, Obesity
Jalili, Thunder PhD Heart, Nutrition, Flavonoids, Metabolism, Type 2 Diabetes, Vascular, Insulin Resistance
Jordan, Kristine PhD, RD Clinical Nutrition, Dietary Assessment, Nutrition Informatics, Obesity Prevention, Pediatric Nutrition
Joss-Moore,  Lisa PhD Fetal lung development, Lipid driven signaling pathways, Epigenetics, Placenta, Fetal growth
Kishore, BK MD, PhD, MBA
Lai, Kent PhD Inborn Errors of Metabolism (IEM), Therapeutic Development, Rare Diseases, Animal Models, Galactosemia, Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation (CDG), Infertility/Subfertility, Cerebellar Ataxia
Lesniewski, Lisa PhD Aging, Obesity, Arteries, Atherosclerosis, Insulin Resistance, Inflammation
Martin,  Jim PhD Neuromuscular function, Biomechanics, Muscular power, Fatigue, Modeling
Metos,  Julie PhD, RD Community Engagement, Obesity Prevention, Diabetes Prevention, Adolescent Health, Public Health Nutrition
Playdon,  Mary PhD Diet, nutrition, cancer, metabolism, metabolomics, biomarkers
Pon Velayutham, Anandh PhD Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Atherosclerosis, Vascular Disease, Dietary Flavonoids, Nutrition, Inflammation, Berry Anthocyanins, Gut Microbiome, Diet Derived Metabolites
Richardson, Russ PhD Vascular biology, muscle metabolism, aging, age-related disease, and mobility
Schlegel, Amnon MD, PhD Alpha Cell, Diabetes, Dyslipidemia, Energy Metabolism, Glucagon, Glucose, Metabolism, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, Nutrition, Nutrition, Metabolism, Translational Research, Transcriptional Regulation
Summers, Scott PhD Diabetes, Dyslipidemia, Metabolic Disease, Sphingolipids, Ceramide, Insulin Resistance, Beta Cell Failure
Symons, J. David PhD Diabetes, Metabolic Disease, Atherosclerosis, Vascular Function, Blood Pressure, Endothelial Cell Metabolism, Autophagy, Aging, Sphingolipid Metabolism, Cell Biology, Signal Transduction, Exercise, Nutrition, Metabolism, Translational Research
Trinity,  Joel PhD Exercise, Vascular Function, Inactivity, Hypertension, Aging, Mitochondria, Oxidative Stress, Blood Flow, Nitric Oxide
Villanueva, Claudio PhD Diabetes, Nutrient Sensing, Lipid Metabolism, Fatty Acids, Brown Adipocytes, Hepatic Lipid Metabolism, Adipogenesis
Wray, D. Walter PhD Vascular Function, Heart Failure, Hypertension, Exercise Physiology, Autonomic Physiology, Sympathetic Nervous System, Oxidative Stress, Nitric Oxide, Blood Flow Regulation, Rehabilitative Medicine
Yang,  Tianxin PhD

 Note: The above faculty members may also serve as members of PhD committees

Contact Us

PhD Program in Nutrition & Integrative Physiology

Thunder Jalili
Director of Graduate Studies

Carisse Winegar 
Administrative Assistant-Academic Affairs 
Phone: 801-581-6730