Research is a fundamental component of all IHN educational programs. The Institute’s location in the Columbia University Medical Center gives students access to a rich and varied array of research opportunities. Research is conducted in the basic science and clinical departments of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, as well as in a number of specialized centers of particular interest to students of nutrition. The Medical Center is also the home of the Mailman School of Public Health , and the Schools of Dentistry and Nursing . All provide opportunities for IHN students to participate in research.
Doctoral students conduct their thesis research under the direction of members of the Nutritional and Metabolic Biology Program; these researchers are drawn from throughout the Medical Center and represent disciplines such as pediatrics, microbiology, cellular and molecular biology, toxicology, surgery, epidemiology, and others, as they relate to nutrition. Other doctoral training programs at the Medical Center include those in Pathology and Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Bioinformatics, Genetics and Development, Microbiology and Immunology, Neurobiology, Pharmacology, and Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, as well as programs associated with interdisciplinary doctoral program subcommittees in Biostatistics, in Cellular, Molecular and Biophysical Studies, and in Public Health. 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 students in the master's program work on research projects for most of the year, submitting a Masters Thesis manuscript as part of the requirements for the MS degree. MS students work with researchers from all parts of the Medical Center, contributing to research in basic laboratory science, public health, and clinical nutrition projects. Students who wish to pursue research or volunteer activities in community settings also have numerous opportunities to work in communities near the Medical Center.