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Nutrition & Integrative Physiology


Our scientists use a variety of research techniques and model systems to understand now nutrient metabolism influences health and disease, bridging virtually all of the sciences which study human biology (e.g. anatomy, biochemistry, epidemiology, genetics, etc.).

Our program resides within University of Utah Health which maintains outstanding core facilities and a robust Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Moreover, our faculty operate a Metabolic Research Kitchen that enables researchers to conduct interventional diet studies on diverse disease outcomes. 

Many of our faculty members maintain joint or adjunct appointments with the:

Human Genetics Building U of U Campus


    1. The first and most essential step in obtaining entry into the NUIP doctoral or master's program is identifying a faculty mentor. Students must ask prospective mentors for a letter of support that expresses a willingness to support the candidate’s research and stipend.
    2. Completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nutrition, physiology, or a related field in the health sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, etc.) and a strong interest in research, teaching, and service in the discipline.
    3. Completed all the required prerequisites.
    4. Submit a complete application via the FutureU portal by the December 1st deadline.
    5. Finally, candidates must be admitted by the Graduate School and the Department of Nutrition & Integrative Physiology.

    The prerequisite course numbers provided are from the University of Utah. Equivalent courses from accredited institutions are accepted. To confirm course equivalency, contact our Director of Graduate Studies, Thunder Jalili, for a transcript review.

    REQUIRED University of Utah Course Topic Credits
    Biology BIOL 1610 Principles of Biology 4
    BIOL 2420 Human Physiology 4
    Chemistry CHEM 1210+1215 General Chemistry I + Lab 4 + 1
    CHEM 1220 General Chemistry II + Lab 4 + 1
    CHEM 2310+2315 Organic Chemistry I + Lab  4 + 1
    CHEM 3510 Biological Chemistry I 3
    Math MATH 1050 College Algebra 4
    REQUIRED for Nutrition Emphasis
      NUIP 1020 or NUIP 4440 Introductory or Advanced Nutrition 3 or 4
    STRONGLY Recommended for all Programs
      BIOL 2020 Principles of Cell Biology 3
      CHEM 2320+2325 Organic Chemistry II + Lab 4 + 1
      CHEM 3515 Biological Chemistry Laboratory 3
      CHEM 3520 Biological Chemistry II 3
      WRTG 2010 Intermediate Writing: Research and Inquiry 4
    1. A minimum of 1 credit of chemistry lab is required.
    2. CHEM 3510 and NUIP 4440 MUST have been completed within the last five (5) years.

    Students admitted lacking one or more prerequisites must complete them before matriculation. Please note that undergraduate courses do not count toward graduate credit hour requirements.

    NUIP PhD program has a rolling admission process and will accept applications at any time for either Fall or Spring semester entry. To be guaranteed admission for the Fall semester, however, prospective students should submit a complete application prior to December 1st. Note, the application requires the inclusion of a letter from a prospective research mentor willing to supervise and support the student’s thesis research.

    Applications are submitted using the Graduate School FutureU portal:

    The Department of Nutrition & Integrative Physiology may provide a code to waive the application fee for applicants who provide us with a letter of support from an identified mentor explicitly expressing a willingness to support your research and stipend. Upload the letter to the "Additional Materials" section in the FutureU portal and email to receive the waiver code.

    Faculty Mentors




    Boudina, Sihem, PhD Obesity, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Insulin Resistance, Mitochondria BOUDINA LAB
    Chaix, Amandine, PhD Circadian Rhythms, Circadian Clock, Dietary Interventions, Time-Restricted Feeding, Metabolism, Cardiometabolic Disease, Nutrient Sensing CHAIX LAB
    Funai, Katsu, PhD Metabolism, Obesity, Diabetes, Mitochondria, Energy Efficiency, Membrane Phospholipids, Exercise, Insulin Sensitivity, Thermogenesis, Fatty-Liver Disease, Muscle, Kidney Diseases, Redox Biology, Lipid Peroxidation FUNAI LAB
    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 HOLLAND LAB
    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  
    Martin, Jim, PhD Neuromuscular function, Biomechanics, Muscular power, Fatigue, Modeling  
    Playdon, Mary, PhD, MPH Diet, Nutrition, Metabolism, Metabolomics, Metabolic Disease, Nutrition and Cancer Epidemiology, Dietary Intervention Trials for Cancer Prevention and Control  
    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 UVRL
    Summers, Scott, PhD Diabetes, Dyslipidemia, Metabolic Disease, Sphingolipids, Ceramide, Insulin Resistance, Beta Cell Failure SUMMERS LAB
    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  
    Adams, Ted, PhD Metabolic Disease, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Obesity, Bariatric Surgery, Genetics of Obesity  
    Beddhu, Srinivasan, PhD   BEDDHU LAB
    Bernstein, Paul, MD, PhD Ocular Nutrition, Carotenoids, Lipids, Noninvasive Nutritional Assessment, Global Health BERNSTEIN LAB
    Broxterman, Ryan, PhD Integrative Physiology, Breast Cancer, Aging, Vascular Function, Oxidative Stress, Exercise, Oxygen Transport and Utilization, Blood Flow, Muscle Bioenergetics, Neuromuscular Function UVRL
    Chan, Owen, PhD   CHAN LAB
    Coletta, Adriana, PhD, MS, RD Exercise and Nutrition Interventions for Cancer Prevention and Control (e.g., after a cancer diagnosis but before treatment, during cancer treatment, after cancer treatment)  
    Donato, Anthony, PhD Aging, Arteries, Microcirculation, Atherosclerosis, Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, Genomic Instability, Novel Therapeutics TVP LAB
    Drakos, Stravros, PhD   DRAKOS LAB
    Drummond, Micah, PhD Aging, Muscle, Rehab, Protein, Inactivity, Exercise, Metabolism, Insulin Resistance, Atrophy, Hypertrophy, Cell Singaling, Clinical DRUMMOND LAB
    Lai, Kent, PhD Inborn Errors of Metabolism (IEM), Therapeutic Development, Rare Diseases, Animal Models, Galactosemia, Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation (CDG), Infertility/Subfertility, Cerebellar Ataxia PEDIATRICS LAI LAB
    Lesniewski, Lisa, PhD Aging, Obesity, Arteries, Atherosclerosis, Insulin Resistance, Inflammation TVPLAB
    Palatinus, Joseph, PhD Gap Junction Trafficking, Connexin Biology, Sudden Cardiac Death, Mechanisms of Arrhythmias, Ischemia Reperfusion Injury, Cardiac Inflammation and Myocarditis PALATINUS LAB
    Rutter, Jared, PhD Metabolic Control, Eukaryotic Mitochondrial, Cellular Behaviors, Metabolic Pathways RUTTER LAB
    Schlegel, Amnon, MD, PhD Alpha Cell, Diabetes, Dyslipidemia, Energy Metabolism, Glucagon, Glucose, Metabolism, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, Nutrition, Nutrition, Metabolism, Translational Research, Transcriptional Regulation SCHLEGEL LAB
    Shiu, Yan-Ting, PhD Cardiovascular Disease, Vascular Dysfunctions in Patients with Diabetes and Metabolic Disorder, Hemodialysis Vascular Access, Exercise & Aging, Hypertension, Blood Flow SHIU LAB
    Trinity, Joel PhD Exercise, Vascular Function, Inactivity, Hypertension, Aging, Mitochondria, Oxidative Stress, Blood Flow, Nitric Oxide, Muscle, Rehabilitation, Redox Balance, Long-term Complications of COVID UVRL
    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 UVRL
    Yang, Tianxin PhD   YANG LAB

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