Doctor of Philosophy
The goals of the Human Nutrition program are to
- develop new, practical approaches for the assessment of nutritional status
- improve understanding of the biochemical and metabolic processes associated with nutritional diseases
- propose effective strategies for the prevention of those diseases
As part of the Department of International Health, the program focuses on nutritional issues of developing countries, although it also works on domestic issues in coordination with the Center for Human Nutrition. The multidisciplinary nature of nutrition is reflected in the program's faculty, which includes pediatricians, biochemists, epidemiologists, physiologists, anthropologists, and biostatisticians. Beyond their primary specialty, all program faculty have expertise in public health nutrition and in field work in developing countries.
Through required and elective course work, doctoral students are able to concentrate in the areas of international nutrition, nutritional biochemistry, nutritional epidemiology, nutritional anthropology, or clinical nutrition. Opportunities for thesis research include the study of maternal and child nutrition, obesity, relationships between diet and chronic diseases, micronutrient deficiencies (with emphasis on vitamin A, iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, and iodine) and nutrition interventions in developing countries, protein-energy metabolism in health and disease, and use of stable isotopes for metabolic research.
I am creating my own emphasis of nutritional immunology using my knowledge from my MHS in MMI. Further opportunities for this exist in the Global Disease Epidemiology and Control (GDEC) Division of the Department of International Health. GDEC is represented by faculty members actively involved in the pursuit of improved techniques for prevention of morbidity and mortality caused by diseases affecting disadvantaged populations. Research activities include phases I, II, and III clinical trials, community trials, epidemiological studies, and disease surveillance activities, supported by laboratory studies as appropriate. Most faculty members have field experience in developing countries, contribute to the development of policy regarding control of important diseases, and have worked in collaboration with international agencies and developing-country institutions and scientists.