Research Opportunities

Faculty and thesis mentors include over 100 members from 25 departments and schools within Columbia University and other institutions, as well as other academic and professional settings. Our students can select a research setting and project in basic science, clinical, or public health nutrition.

Select Research Projects

Basic Science

Role of Dopamine Receptor D2 in Modulating Glucose Stimulated Insulin Secretion
Student: Zachary Farino, MS ('14)
Mentor: Zachary Freyberg, MD, PhD

The Influence of Bile Acid and Gut Microbiota In Diabetes Remission after Gastric Bypass Surgery
Student: Justin Yu, MS ('14)
Mentor: Blandine Laferrere, MD

Development of an HPLC Assay to Measure Antibiotic Clearance in Patients on CRRT
Student: Spenser Souza, MS ('15)
Mentor: Michael T. Yin, MD

Markers of Celiac Disease and Immune Reactivity to Gluten in Response to the Use of Proton Pump Inhibitors
Student: Sophie Jang, MS ('16)
Mentor: Armin Alaedini, PhD

fMRI processing of Visual and Auditory Food Stimuli pre and post Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB) and Sleeve Gastrectomy (SG)
Student: Shiva Kothari, MS ('17)
Mentor: Allan Geliebter, MD



On Language Development in Preterm Infants and the Influence of the NICU Auditory Environment on Vital Signs
Student: Shaheen Malick, MS ('16)
Mentor: Martha Welch, MD

The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Exercise and Peanut Consumption
Student: Sarah Al-Sudairy, MS ('17)
Mentor: Richard Sloan, PhD

A Biofeedback Intervention to treat Pediatric Migraine and Improve Quality of Life
Student: Nicole Asante, MS ('17)
Mentor: Karen McKearney, NP

The Effects of Shift Work on Food Intake Regulation
Student: Nicole Carpio, MS ('17)
Mentor: Ari Shechter, PhD

The Effect of Maternal Antibiotic Treatment on Infant Brain Development
Student: Deepika Chandra, MS ('17)
Mentor: Esi Lamouse-Smith, MD

The Effect of Continuous Positive Pressure on Body Composition and Ambulatory Measures of Physical Activity in Overweight and Obese Persons with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Student: Nicholas Dugas, MS ('17)
Mentor: Ari Shechter, PhD


Public Health

Dietary Patterns of school-aged children in Johannesburg, South Africa
Student: Samantha Kozakowski, MS ('14)
Mentor: Stephen M. Arpadi, MD

The Potential of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in Mitigating Non-Communicable Diseases in the Nepalese Urban Population
Student: Mahima Dhume, MS ('15)
Mentor: Jessica Fanzo, PhD

The First Bite Challenge – Can Social Media Make Healthful, Unfamiliar Foods More Palatable to More Adolescents?
Student: Ailin Liu, MS ('15)
Mentor: Lynn Fredericks

The Influence of Interactive Educational Materials on Reducing Childhood Obesity and Promoting Healthy Lifestyle Habits Among a Population
Student: Taylor Konstan, MS ('17)
Mentor: Emma Hulse, MS, RD

Designing for Wellbeing: Development of a Tool to Enhance Human Health Through the Workplace Built Environment
Student: Kate Workman, MS ('17)
Mentor: Deborah Ndao, MPH

Select Travel Awards

Every year we award a small number of student travel grants to support attendance to national and international conferences, professional meetings, or symposia. Our students present their thesis research findings or attend as part of their ongoing research. Typically, students present at regional or national conferences and publishing their research work is a successful corollary. 

2014-2017 Travel Awards

Katherine Chen, MS ('14)
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology 2014 Annual Meeting; Orlando, FL
Long-term Follow up and Role of Staphyloma Radius of Curvature in Cases of Spontaneous Improvement of Myopic Foveoschisis.

Tziporah Gold, MS ('14)
International Association for Dental Research (IADR) General Session; Boston, MA
Impact of Porphyromonas Gingivalis on Bone Remodeling Through Osteoclast Differentiation.

San Myung Han, MS ('14)
American Heart Association 2014 Scientific Sessions; Chicago, IL
Staphylococcus Aureus Infective Endocarditis is Associated with Worsened Clinical Characteristics than Non-Staphylococcus Aureus Organisms.

Dena Hayes, MS ('14)
EPI/Lifestyle 2015 Scientific Sessions; Baltimore, MD
Cardiometabolic Risk is Related to Body Size Misperception and Knowledge of Cardiovascular Disease in Young Hispanic Women.

Nandini Sharma, MS ('14)
2015 American Student Dental Association Annual Session; Boston, MA
Periodontal Status and Tooth Loss Associated with Diabetes and Obesity: Analysis of Data from the Marshfield Clinic.

Rosalind Tang, MS ('14)
2014 Workshop on Estrogen Exposure & Metabolism; Bethesda, MD
Comparison of an RIA and an LCMS/ MS Method for Estradiol in Human Serum.

Lindsay Vickroy, MS ('14)
2014 Art and Science of Health Promotion Conference; Colorado Springs, CO
Evaluation of a Worksite Wellness Healthy Lifestyle Challenge Program Among University Employees.

Wuhan Xue, MS ('14)
2014 Pediatric Academic Societies and Asian Society for Pediatric Research (PAS/ASPR) Joint Meeting; Vancouver, BC
Family Nurture Intervention in the NICU Moderates Effects of Maternal Anxiety on Infant and Maternal Physiology at 4 months.

Sneha Aidasani, MS ('15)
Future of Food and Nutrition Conference, Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, Tufts University; Medford, MA
The Relationship Between Visceral Adipose Tissue and Cortical Bone Area in Children and Adolescents.

Devon Roeshot, MS ('15)
The Future of Food and Nutrition Annual Multidisciplinary Graduate Research Conference; Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Medford, MA
A Comparison of the Effects of Bone Marrow Adipose Tissue on Cortical Bone Area in Children and Adults.

Jeselin Andono, MS ('16)
American Diabetes Association; New Orleans, LA
Food Order Has a Significant Impact on Postprandial Glucose and Insulin Excursions.

Samir Touhamy, MS ('16)
American Diabetes Association; New Orleans, LA
Food Order Has a Significant Impact on Postprandial Glucose and Insulin Excursions.

Jood Ani, MS ('17)
2017 Obesity Week; Washington DC
The Relationship between Age of Onset of Obesity, Pre-Operative Weight Loss and Post-Operative Weight Outcomes in Adolescents Who Received Bariatric Surgery.

Maani Kamal, MS ('17)
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology; Baltimore, MD
Dice Coefficient Demonstrates Gaze-Induced Eye Shape Changes in Emmetropic Eyes.


Select Publications

Manuscripts are published regularly in peer reviewed academic journals across the medical and scientific fields. Besides demonstrating their abilities in writing, research methodology, and data collection and analysis, publications are a highly-desired output of competitive students and professionals.

2008 - 2017 Student Publications


Cassandra Johnson, MS ('08)
Differential Maternal Feeding Practices, Eating Self-Regulation, and Adiposity in Young Twins. Pediatrics

Ellisa Finkler, MS ('10)
Rate of Weight Loss Can Be Predicted by Patient Characteristics and Intervention Strategies. J Acad Nutr Diet

Gilbert Velasquez, MS ('11)
A Single MRI Slice Does Not Accurately Predict Visceral and Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Changes During Weight Loss. Obesity

Jessica Weiss, MS ('12)
Comparison Among T1-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Modified Dixon Method, and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in Measuring Bone Marrow Fat. J Obes.

Sophia Chiu, MS ('13)
CHZ868, a Type II JAK2 Inhibitor, Reverses Type I JAK Inhibitor Persistence and Demonstrates Efficacy in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms. Cancer Cell

Kerry Cao, MS ('14)
Cosmetic Preservatives as Therapeutic Corneal and Scleral Tissue Cross-Linking Agents. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci

Christopher Douglas, MS ('14)
Food Portion Size Area Mediates Energy Effects on Expected Anxiety in Anorexia Nervosa. Appetite

Narek Israelyan, MS ('14)
KLF-5 Extends Its Fingers to Desmosomes: The Next Frontier for Enteric Epithelial Research?
Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol

Yvette Sosa, MS ('14)
Taste Responsiveness to Sweeteners is Resistant to Elevations in Plasma Leptin. Chem Senses

Rosalind Tang, MS ('14)
Estimating Systemic Exposure to Ethinyl Estradiol from an Oral Contraceptive. Am J Obstet Gynecol

Janna LaBarrie, MS ('15)
A Coconut Oil-Rich Meal Does Not Enhance Thermogenesis Compared to Corn Oil in a Randomized Trial in Obese Adolescents. Insights Nutr Metab

Anja Mikic, MS, ('15)
Effects of Dietary Patterns and Foods on Sleep Quality. Adv. Nutr

Elizabeth Ricks, MS ('15)
The Utility of Weight Loss Medications After Bariatric Surgery for Weight Regain or Inadequate Weight Loss: A Multi-Center Study.
Surg Obes Relat Dis

Alex Vu, MS ('15)
Gaze-Induced Axial Length Changes in Emmetropic Eyes as Gauged by Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci

Acadia Webber, MS ('15)
Dietary Inadequacies in HIV-infected and Uninfected School-aged Children in Johannesburg, South Africa. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr

Jeselin Andono, MS ('16) & Samir Touhamy, MS ('16)
Carbohydrate-last Meal Pattern Lowers Postprandial Glucose and Insulin Excursions in Type 2 Diabetes.
BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care

Kyle Kovtun, MS ('16)
Effects of Continuous Positive Airway pressure on Energy Intake in Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Pilot Sham-Controlled Study. Physiol Behav

Galaxy Cho, MS ('17)
CRISPR in the REtina: Evaluation of Future Potential. Adv Exp Med Biol