Professor Liza Makowski and MPH student Taylor Christensen discuss pipette technique in one of our nutrition laboratories
Message from the Chair
"The UNC nutrition department is a global leader in moving from discovery to delivery across our divisions: Biochemistry, Epidemiology and Intervention and Policy." Read more.
Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, PhD
Professor and Chair

The Department of Nutrition is currently recognized as a global leader in research and training, and is unique in that it is the only one in the U.S. that is situated in both a school of public health and a school of medicine.

We have created an innovative program that capitalizes on both these schools’ historical approaches to health, and thus our department has an unusual breadth of scientific and policy approaches, literally spanning from cell to society, moving from discovery to delivery. The work of department faculty and students is carried out throughout North Carolina and spans the globe to communities and populations in China, India, Malawi, Spain and The Philippines, to name a few. Our research strengths in North Carolina and across the globe include:

  • Obesity and related conditions including diabetes, heart disease and some cancers;
  • Role of nutrition and physical activity in preventing and treating disease in diverse populations;
  • Population trends in diet;
  • Influence of nutrients on the immune response to infectious disease, including gene-nutrient interactions and the development of cancer;
  • Relationships between obesity, environment, infection and diabetes; and
  • Role of agriculture and food systems in increasing food access, improving dietary intake and promoting economic development.

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Student Spotlight

Jennifer Poti

Nutrition doctoral candidate Jennifer Poti was recognized with a 2014 Impact Award for her research which looks comprehensively at factors contributing to poor dietary quality and obesity among children. Her study used data collected from 1977 to 2006, determining that increase in total calorie intake among US children was driven by consistency of eating away from the home–establishing fast food as largest contributor for all age groups.  Read more about Jennifer’s research with UNCFRP here! And attend her Dissertation Defense on Thursday, October 16th at 2 PM in 2301 McGavran-Greenberg Hall.


The Doctoral Retreat will take place on Friday, Aug. 29 from 5–7:30 p.m. at The Top of The Hill’s Great Room.

The Nutrition Department Seminar Series fall schedule has been released. All seminars will be held in 2301 McGavran-Greenberg Hall. Friday, September 12, 2–3 p.m. Friday, October 3, 2–3 p.m. Friday, November 14, 2–3 p.m. Friday, December 12, All are encouraged to attend MPH Presentations

Affiliated Research Resources

Department Calendar

Our social media does not reflect the opinions or official positions of The Gillings School of Global Public Health or The University of North Carolina. It is intended as merely a thought-provoking, educationally-based forum for The Department of Nutrition, our students and friends.