The UAB Department of Nutrition Sciences has long been viewed as a leader in wellness discovery and innovation. Our research centers are multidisciplinary operations with faculty researchers from UAB's schools of Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Comprehensive Diabetes Center and Comprehensive Cancer Center among other units.

Impacting Lives

The Diabetes Research Center (DRC) focuses on developing new methods to treat, prevent, and ultimately cure diabetes and its complications. This center brings under its umbrella over 190 investigators and clinicians across the UAB campus, including Nutrition Sciences, in a robust scientific community, which impacts diabetes on a national scale. It operates in collaboration with the UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center to promote excellence in diabetes research and patient care. It is one of only sixteen NIH-sponsored diabetes research centers in the U.S.

The Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) is an NIH-funded, university-wide research center that focuses on understanding the metabolic factors, environmental influences, and associated genetic traits underlying nutrition and obesity-related health problems. It comprises 143 investigators from 30 academic units.

UAB Weight Loss Medicine serves as a comprehensive resource for those who want to lose weight, maintain weight loss, or prevent excessive weight gain during high-risk medical conditions such as post-injury rehabilitation and breast cancer treatment. It is the only program in the Southeast to offer a multi-disciplinary, medical approach to weight management.

But for us to continue to be ground breaking leaders in wellness we need your support. It is crucial that we have state-of-the-art facilities and the latest technological tools to make that next great discovery.

Renowned Faculty

Our faculty members are known worldwide for their discoveries that have advanced nutrition medicine. There are more than 50 faculty members, Ph.D. students and post-doctoral students dedicated to solving the dire problems that plague the health of this nation. We have some of the brightest minds in this industry including:

W. Timothy Garvey, M.D.: Butterworth Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Nutrition Sciences, Director of the NIH-funded UAB Diabetes Research Center, has achieved international recognition for his research in the metabolic, molecular, and genetic pathogenesis of insulin resistance, Type 2 Diabetes, and obesity. As a strong advocate of patients with the disease of obesity, he has influence national practices and policies related to obesity medicine.

Barbara A. Gower, Ph.D.: Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Nutrition Sciences. Ongoing research is directed toward, 1) understanding the physiologic basis for the greater prevalence of type 2 diabetes among African Americans by examining the determinants of insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function; and 2) determining the role of qualitative aspects of diet, such as macronutrient composition, in prevention and treatment of obesity and obesity-related diseases.

Tim R. Nagy, Ph.D.: Professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, his research is focused on the relationship between body composition and obesity-related diseases as well as the advancement of methods and instrumentation for the measurement of body composition.

José Fernández, Ph.D.: Professor and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, main interest is the identification of genetic and environmental contributors to health disparities in obesity, diabetes and related comorbidities. He is also interested in the development and applications of statistical methods to gene discovery, the identification and implementation of opportunities for integrating research and education, and the development of educational opportunities and programs to improve clinical and research training.

Taraneh Soleymani, M.D.: Assistant Professor in the Departments of Nutrition Sciences and Medicine, Co-Director of UAB Weight Loss Medicine, a comprehensive and innovative center that is setting standards of excellence in the care of patients with obesity and obesity-related complications. Her clinical expertise includes patient tailored comprehensive medical management of obesity and inpatient nutrition management in the critically ill.

Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D.: Professor and Webb Endowed Chair of Nutrition Sciences and the associate director for cancer prevention and control at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, research focused on determining mechanisms of action of food-related components on neoplastic progression, clinical research that involves nutrition-related concerns of cancer patients, and effective lifestyle interventions that improve the overall health of cancer survivors and their families.

David B. Allison, Ph.D.: Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean for Science in the School of Public Health, Director of the NIH-funded Nutrition Obesity Research Center, research interests include obesity, quantitative genetics, clinical trials, and statistical and research methodology.

For the full list of our educators please visit our department's faculty and staff webpage.