PhD Programs in Nutrition and Systems Biology & Bioinformatics

Image of three lab professionals in white lab coats and green latex gloves, the first holding up a test tube and looking at it, the second looking down at something outside the frame in front of her, the third holding a clipboard looking over the shoulder of the second and writing on the clipboard.  they are in a lab environment with bright widows to the left and 3 medium sized pieces of equipment, one a microscope, with white shelves and miscellaneous items on the right.


The Department of Nutrition offers doctoral degrees in our two main areas of research: Nutrition (NTRN) and Systems Biology and Bioinformatics (SYBB). All of our PhD training opportunities are part of the CWRU School of Medicine umbrella PhD programs, namely the Biomedical Scientist Training Program (BSTP) and the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). Applications and admission into both of our PhD programs are processed and evaluated through these channels.  For additional questions regarding either of our programs, contact Dr. David Lodowski ( For more information:

Biomedical Sciences Training Program (BSTP)

Priority will be given to applications received by December 1. We will continue to review applications received after the priority deadline, but not beyond the final application deadline of January 15). The School of Graduate Studies processes the application and your application will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee as soon as it is complete. Note, a non-refundable application fee of $50 is required.

Please note that our program has limited financial resources for supporting students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

In order to earn a PhD in Nutrition or SYBB, a student must complete rotations in at least three laboratories followed by selection of a research advisor, completion of Core and Elective coursework, including responsible conduct of research, as described in the plan of study. Each graduate program follows the overall regulations established and described in CWRU Graduate Studies and documented to the Regents of the State of Ohio. Completion of the PhD degree will require 36 hours of coursework (24 hours of which are graded) and 18 hours of NTRN or SYBB 701 Dissertation PhD.

In addition, each student must successfully complete a qualifying examination for advancement to candidacy in the form of a short grant proposal and an oral defense. During the dissertation period, students are expected to meet twice a year with their thesis committee, present seminars in the department, and fulfill journal publication requirements. Throughout the doctoral training, students are expected to be enthusiastic participants in seminars, journal clubs, and research meetings in the lab and program.

Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)

Students in the MSTP are required to complete the standard requirements for the PhD degree, in addition to the curricular requirements for the MD degree. Upon completion of their PhD work, the students will return to medical school curriculum to complete their MD.  More information on this program can be found on the MSTP website.