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Harvard Training Program In Nutrition And Metabolism

The Harvard Training Program in Nutrition and Metabolism offers NIH-funded training slots for MDs or PhDs interested in nutrition-related research.


Training is a major focus of the Program in Nutritional Metabolism. Dr. Grinspoon, Program Director, has been successful in training research fellows in nutrition-related clinical research for over 15 years and received a K-24 mentoring award from the NIH in this regard. Cross-training resulting from the rich network of collaborating programs at Harvard is a strength of the Program, which facilitates interdisciplinary training in sophisticated clinical and translational nutrition research techniques through a select group of well-established Program Faculty in related fields of nutrition and metabolism research.

The Program in Nutritional Metabolism serves as the coordinating site and Dr. Grinspoon is the Principal Investigator of the Harvard Training Program In Nutrition and Metabolism, an NIH-funded T32 Program. The Training Program offers NIH-funded training slots for qualified MD and/or PhD's interested in nutrition-related research fields.

Executive Steering Committee

  • Steven Grinspoon, MD, Chair, Mass General
  • Joseph Avruch, MD, PhD, Mass General
  • Alan Walker, MD, Mass General
  • Joseph Majzoub, MD, Children's Hospital
  • Madhu Misra, MD, Mass General
  • Jose Florez, MD, PhD, Mass General
  • Walter Willett, PhD, Harvard School of Public Health

Recent Alumni of the Training Program

Year CompletedAlumni/aeResearch INTERESTCurrent Position and/or Institution
2006 Ondulla Foye-Jackson The Effects of Prebiotics and Probiotics on Gut Associated Immunity and Hot Protection to Entheric Pathogens U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrtition OARSA, DVA, Immunology (Food Allergy)
2008 Janet Lo, MD Subclinical atherosclerosis in HIV Assistant Professor of Medicine, MGH, HMS
2008 Nicholas Stylopoulos Effects of if Rouxen Y Gastric Bypass on Energy Expenditure in an Animal Model Instructor in Pediatrics, Boston, Children's Hospital, HMS
2008 Takara Stanley, MD Effects of GH and GHRH on endogenous GH pulsatility Instructor in Pediatrics, MGH, HMS
2009 Melissa Russell Effects of Anorexia Nervosa on Peak Bone Mass in Adolescent Girls and The Physiology and Role of Appetite-Regulating and Stress Hormones in the Etiology of Anorexia Nervosa Research Fellow in Pediatrics, MGH
2010 Weishu Zhu Effects of Colostrum on Gut Maturation and Host Defense Research Fellow in Pediatrics, HMS, MGH
2010 Catherina Armstrong Dyslipidemia and Metabolic Adbnormalities in ARV naïve population in Tanzania Researcher, Harvard School of Public Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
2010 Loredana Farilla Intensive Exercise to Improve Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Pediatric Obesity Prior Research Fellow in Medicine, HMS and MGH


Candidates for the postdoctoral training program must hold a MD, PhD, and/or DSc degree in a relevant biomedical field and demonstrate a commitment to a career in biomedical research. A lack of a substantial prior research experience is considered a major weakness in a candidate’s application. Candidates must be willing to make a two year committment. Recognizing the importance of nutrition research in pediatrics, applicants with pediatric training and or pediatric projects are particularly encouraged.


This program will fund 2 training slots per year as described below. The core component of this program is dedicated to trainees with MD and/or PhD or DSc degrees and is formulated essentially independent of clinical training opportunities. MD candidates for training in clinical research will enter the training program after completing residency and one year of clinical fellowship training (in a Nutrition or related field, e.g. Endocrinology, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, or Oncology). PhDs or DScs may apply after successful completion of their thesis. Predoctoral applicants will not be accepted into the program.  The training period is 2 years; a 3rd year may be available for MD candidates.

All trainees will be committed to spend a minimum of 75% of their time in direct laboratory research. In addition, on average, trainees will spend 10-15% of their time in formal courses and didactic sessions. For those trainees in whom some continuity in clinical activity is appropriate, 10% of effort will be directed to clinical work; generally this is limited to a single three hour outpatient clinic/week and attendance at grand rounds and related important clinical conferences.  Exceptions may be made for 20% clinical effort in special circumstances in which clinical work is directly applicable to the research training.  Trainees who have >20% clinical duties will not be allowed into the program. At the end of the training period it is anticipated that the trainees will be qualified to obtain transitional support, i.e., K23 Award. Current trainees have been successful in this regard.


Laboratory research training will be enhanced by the active participation of trainees in a rich program of required didactic courses, seminars and journal clubs as well as a wealth of optional seminar and training experiences available at Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University and MIT.

The overall training plan and required coursework are outlined in the table below.  All trainees will take a required course during the first summer.  Trainees in basic/translational and genetics research tracks will take a comprehensive summer course sponsored by the Center for Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, covering basic concepts of molecular and cellular biology, bioinformatics, and basic laboratory approaches. Trainees in clinical research and epidemiology research tracks will take Introduction to Clinical Investigation, a week-long intensive curriculum covering fundamentals of study design, quantitative methods and human research.  During each year of the training period, Trainees will take 5 credits of coursework at Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School, or Harvard University.  During the first year, Trainees will also attend a series of  core lectures by Faculty covering key topics in nutrition, with an emphasis on pediatric nutrition. Research in Progress Seminars will take place annually at which all trainees present their work.

Training Plan



Year 1

Year 2

Year 3 (optional, MD only)

Preceptor-guided research time (75% for MD, 85% PhD)


Required Coursework (10%)

See Table of Required Courses

(optional additional coursework-
see Appendix 4)

Program Didactics (5%)

Program Lectures (6-10 per year)


Research Journal Club (with lab/research group and/or optional attendance at PiNM journal club)

Formal mentoring and evaluation

Mentor feedback session quarterly

Mentoring Supervisory Group meeting two times per year

Research in Progress Seminar annually

Professional development

Clinical Research Program Courses and Career Development Workshops through HMS

Attendance and Presentations at Scientific Meetings


Application for transitional funding

 M.D. Trainees pursuing clinical research training will have the option to apply for one of 2 highly successful Masters Programs available to Trainees at Harvard and MIT, for entry during their 2nd year of Program training. Candidates participating in one of these programs will be exempt from the elective course requirement of year 2.  The two additional programs are The HMS Scholars in Clinical Science (SCSP) Program, a K-30 funded 2 year post-graduate training program, and the Harvard Medical School-MIT Health Science and Technology Clinical Investigator Training (CITP) program, both of which offer formal didactic training and a Masters Degree in clinical science. 


How to Apply

Please Contact:

Steven Grinspoon, MD Director, MGH Program in Nutritional Metabolism
55 Fruit Street
5 LON 207
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-724-9109
Fax: 617-724-8998


  • Completed application
  • Curriculum vitae and/or NIH Biosketch
  • Two recommendation letters 
  • Statement of research interest

Qualified applicants will be invited to visit the Program in Nutritional Metabolism to interview with appropriate investigators.


Contact Us

Program in Nutritional Metabolism

LON 20755 Fruit Street Boston, MA 02114
  • Near Public Transit
  • Handicapped Accessible
  • Phone: 617-724-9109
  • Fax: 617-724-8998
  • Email Us

Dr. Steven Grinspoon
Director, MGH Program in Nutritional Metabolism

Ewelinka Grzejka, BS
Office Manager

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