Part of the Department of Nutrition Science

The Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition (BMN) Program is designed to train nutrition scientists whose interests are in the fundamental understanding of biochemical, physiological and molecular processes in nutrition. BMN faculty members are selected based on their dedication to teaching, research, and mentoring. The interactive relationship with other programs within the school, as well as with the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, the School of Medicine, the Frances Stern Nutrition Center, the Tufts Medical Center, the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, and Tufts University Graduate Program in Arts and Sciences provides a rich environment for collaborative and cross-discipline instruction. Students completing the BMN program will graduate with the necessary analytical, technical, and communication skills required for research and teaching positions in academia, industry, and government.

Why Study Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition?

Nutrition is a natural science that has a fundamental biological basis. Understanding nutrition-related biochemical and cellular processes and pathways will have far reaching implications for human nutrition. To study such processes and pathways requires a critical knowledge of biochemistry and physiology combined with a fundamental background in basic sciences.

Download The Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition (BMN) Program Brochure

What You Will Learn

The curriculum combines rigorous academic coursework in nutrition, biochemistry, physiology, statistics and molecular biology, with practical training in specific areas of interest. Students thereby acquire in-depth knowledge as well as an understanding of how to design, conduct, and report peer-reviewed research. Students take academic courses at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. However, students have the opportunity to take courses in the School of Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences of Tufts University and at other schools within the Boston area via consortium arrangements.


The Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition Program leads to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, as well as a combined degree with MPH. The curriculum includes nine core courses in the areas of nutrition, graduate biochemistry including a molecular component, human physiology, biostatistics, and epidemiology. There are also mandatory laboratory rotations. In addition, each student is required to select an area of specialization in consultation with the adviser. The exact number of required courses will depend upon the student's prior academic preparation. Students with adequate preparation and/or demonstrated proficiency in an area(s) of required study may substitute electives in biochemistry, genetics, cellular physiology, immunology, neuroscience, or developmental biology.

Master of Science

The curriculum includes core courses in nutrition, biostatistics, and biochemistry. Each student completes a specialization (three to five courses). A minimum of sixteen credits is required for the M.S. degree. Unless otherwise noted, each course is equivalent to one credit. The exact number of required courses will depend upon the students prior academic preparation.

Doctor of Philosophy

Students enrolled in the doctoral program must have completed courses equivalent to the Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition master's degree based or previous graduate level coursework taken either at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy or elsewhere. Students entering at the Ph.D. level must complete or be exempted from all required courses of the M.S. curriculum. Students in the doctoral program must first pass a written and oral qualifying examination, and then complete and formally defend a doctoral dissertation based on original research.

Combined Degree Program: Master of Science/Master of Public Health

Students enrolled in the combined degree program complete all the requirements for both degrees, but by counting selected courses toward both programs, they reduce the total time required for completion. Students must be admitted independently to each program. Our combined degree program allows formal recognition of students emphasizing these additional areas of study, greater depth of professional preparation, and opportunities to make connections with students and faculty in other related programs.

  • A combined degree program in association with Tufts University School of Medicine, leads to the Master of Science and the Master of Public Health (MPH).

Candidates accepted for study arechosen for their outstanding performance in undergraduate study in nutrition, biology, physiology, biochemistry, and related fields. A fundamental interest in research is required.


Undergraduate level courses in general nutrition, general biology, general chemistry (with lab), organic chemistry and biochemistry.

Please be advised that students taking General Nutrition courses to fulfill program prerequisites must have those courses approved by the Friedman School in advance.


Nutrition Science and Policy Core Course

The nutrition core provides students with an understanding of basic nutrition and nutrition science policy. Courses in these areas reflect the broad science and policy mission of the school. Each course is one credit unless noted otherwise. Students with prior coursework or knowledge may be able to exempt a specific course.


  • Graduate Biochemistry - 2 credits (CRSK 0223-BC)
  • Human Physiology (NUTR 208)
  • Nutritional Biochemistry and Physiology  - 3 credits (NUTR 370 and NUTR 371)


  • Principles of Epidemiology  (NUTR 204)
  • Statistical Methods for Nutrition Research I (NUTR 209)
  • Statistical Methods for Nutrition Research II (NUTR 309)
  • Introduction to Modern Biology Techniques  (NUTR 225)
  • Practicum in Bioresearch Techniques  (NUTR 236)
  • Directed Study (NUTR 297)


  • Fundamentals of Public Policy  (NUTR 203)

In addition to these courses, a standardized training in the ethical treatment of human subjects is a requirement for graduation.

Specialization Courses

Specialization areas are unique concentrations chosen by the student and adviser based on a knowledge base or set of skills desired. These courses are selected from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, the School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. Examples of areas of specialization include: cellular and molecular biology, epidemiology, policy, immunology, and physiology.


Courses are chosen as electives in an area of specialization. Students are encouraged to do Directed Studies, which are independent studies under the supervision of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy faculty members. Directed studies are in the form of lab training, data analysis and interpretation, and literature reviews, among others.

Program Director

Friedman Faculty - Lamon-Fava
Program Director,
Associate Professor
Name Title General Research
Ausman, Lynne Professor

Effect of dietary fat, cholesterol, and fiber on coronary artery disease and colon cancer; nutritional primatology;...

Blumberg, Jeffrey Professor

Determining the role of dietary antioxidants in the promotion of health and prevention of chronic disease,...

Booth, Sarah Professor

Vitamin K food composition, dietary assessment, nutritional assessment, and bioavailability

Chen, Oliver Assistant Professor

Antioxidant actions and bioavailability of dietary flavonoids

Choi, Sang-Woon Adjunct Assistant Professor

Mechanisms underlying the modulation of carcinogenesis by one-carbon metabolism, aging, and epigenetics

Crivello, Natalia Assistant Professor

Aging, nutrition, oxidative stress, brain signaling

Dallal, Gerard Professor Emeritus

Application of statistical methodology to laboratory experiments and population-based studies of human nutrition,...

Das, Sai Krupa Assistant Professor

Energy regulation in humans; obesity; energy expenditure; body weight regulation; caloric restriction.

Fielding, Roger Professor

Impact of exercise and physical activity on successful human aging; skeletal muscle alterations with advancing age...

Greenberg, Andrew Associate Professor

Obesity, regulation of adipocyte metabolism, insulin resistance.

Jacques, Paul Professor

The role of diet on metabolic markers of diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk, with an emphasis on whole grains...

Johnson, Elizabeth Associate Professor

Carotenoids, eye health, cognition, skin health

Kehayias, Joseph Associate Professor

Body composition and radioisotope kinetics

Leavis, Paul Associate Professor

Protein-protein interactions in thin filament regulation of skeletal and cardiac muscle contraction

Lichtenstein, Alice Stanley N. Gershoff Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy

General research focus is on assessing the interplay between diet and heart disease risk factors.

Mason, Joel Professor

Folate and carcinogenesis, intestinal metabolism of B vitamin, folate

Meydani, Mohsen Professor

Role of dietary antioxidants, bioflavonoids, lipids, and oxidative stress on molecular mechanisms associated with...

Meydani, Simin Nikbin Professor

Nutrient- and age-induced changes in immune response and their underlying mechanisms and clinical implications. The...

Obin, Martin Associate Professor

Adipose tissue biology; mechanisms and role of inflammation in metabolic complications of obesity.

Ordovas, Jose Professor

Molecular biology, nutrition and genetics; lipoproteins and cardiovascular disease risk

Roberts, Susan Professor

Dietary determinants of body fatness, energy efficiency, expenditure, and intake; stable isotope kinetic techniques...

Rosenberg, Irwin
Jean Mayer Professor of Nutrition
University Professor

Folate nutriture; relationship between homocysteine, B vitamin nutriture, and vascular disease.

Russell, Robert Professor Emeritus

Retinoids, carotenoids, aging, gastrointestinal absorptive function

Sacheck, Jennifer Associate Professor

Physical fitness, physical activity and health outcomes. Exercise and energy balance. Sports nutrition; Exercise and...

Sceppa, Carmen Castaneda Adjunct Associate Professor

Role of protein intake and physical activity in the maintenance of muscle mass and function in the elderly; etiology...

Selhub, Jacob Professor

Relationship between B vitamin nutriture, homocysteine, and vascular disease.

Taylor, Allen Professor

Relationship between oxidative stress, protein quality control, nutrient intake, and risk for cataract and age-...

Wang, Xiang-Dong Professor

Retinoids; carotenoids; signal transduction, alcohol and cigarette smoking, and cancer prevention.

Wood, Richard Adjunct Associate Professor

Gene-diet interactions, micronutrient bioavailability

Wu, Dayong Associate Professor

Dietary lipids and antioxidant nutrients in immune and inflammatory responses; nutritional regulation of eicosanoid...


Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition (BMN) graduates emerge with a set of basic science, nutrition, investigative, analytical, and quantitative skills that will enable them to play leading roles in academics, government agencies or private industry. Here are a few examples of careers chosen by recent graduates of BMN (M.S. and Ph.D.):

  • Postdoctoral Fellow in academia or private industry
  • Faculty position in academia
  • Scientist for a biotechnology, food, or pharmaceutical company
  • Advisory position in government
  • Data analyst for population based studies

Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts

Scientists at the HNRCA examine how nutrition impacts healthy aging and the role nutrition plays in preventing diseases of the aging. The HNRCA, which is an independent research facility  located two blocks away from the Friedman school on the Tufts Boston campus, was established in 1977 as a unique partnership between the USDA and the University.  Many of the scientists at the HNRCA’s 20 research labs are also Friedman School faculty.  Friedman students have unique opportunities to conduct research  under the supervision of HNRCA scientists who have international stature in their respective areas of research expertise.

Web site:

The Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences

The Sackler School was established in cooperation with the faculties of the Tufts University Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to further broaden the universitys commitment to multidisciplinary health science investigation. A special goal of the school is to provide a graduate education program in the biomedical sciences for future leaders in research and teaching, stressing interdisciplinary approaches that will integrate basic and clinical sciences.

Web site:

Tufts Medical Center

Nutrition resources at the Tufts Medical Center include both adult and pediatric clinical programs for hospitalized and ambulatory patients, as well as the Frances Stern Nutrition Center. Tufts Medical Center is the major clinical unit affiliated with the Tufts University School of Medicine. Tufts Medical Center has established a national and international reputation for research, teaching, patient care, and graduate and postgraduate education.

Web site:

The Frances Stern Nutrition Center

This is a subunit in the Division of Endocrinology of the Department of Medicine at Tufts Medical Center. The center is responsible for ambulatorynutrition services at Tufts Medical Center, a satellite nutrition education and resource center at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and several research grants and contracts involving clinical nutrition or nutrition education and information.

Web site: