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Nutrition Science Department

Discover Your Passion

Our exciting programs offer more than just the basics – we train highly competent registered dieticians and leaders in nutrition research that will change the diet and nutrition landscape. Let us show you how.

Nutrition Sciences Department

The Department of Nutrition Sciences at Drexel University is paving the way for future researchers and registered dietitians. Our Bachelor of Science, master's and PhD programs prepare students to work in a variety of careers that span the gamut from community work and clinical practice to cutting edge research.

This is a particularly exciting time for nutritionists since so many individuals are taking responsibility for maintaining and enhancing their health. We are committed to the discovery of new information about the relationships between diet, physical activity, health and disease and the application of such knowledge to individuals, communities and entire populations.


The following programs are offered through the Department of Nutrition Sciences. Please contact us or plan to visit us if we can provide further information about opportunities in this important discipline that bridges the basic and applied sciences.





Nutrition Sciences Faculty

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Nutrition sciences and nursing students in Greece at a long dining table over looking the ocean.A group of undergraduate and graduate students traveled to Greece recently for the annual immersive experience program. Run by the Department of Nutrition Sciences at Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, Nyree Dardarian, EdD, an assistant clinical professor and director of the Center for Nutrition & Performance, and Andrea Irvine at the Center for Nutrition & Performance students to Ikaria. They had a packed schedule to learn more about one of the world’s five Blue Zones. There were presentations and lively discussions about the role food has in their society, and health and wellness. The group also had opportunities to visit mineral springs, beehives and learn about herbs while hiking up a mountain.

Here are some of the things students said about their trip.

Nutrition sciences and nursing students gathered after a seminar in Greece.The innovative global immersion program focuses on longevity and wellness through diet and cultural practices of the local people living in this Blue Zone.

Highlights of the trip for me included a welcome dinner featuring traditional meat-less dishes, a cooking class with a local Blue Zone expert, visiting beehives and honey distributor, the instructional seminars with Dr. Peggy Pelosi and Annie Constantinides (Athens Community School), and the visit to hot mineral springs.

Ani Dardarian, BS, Nursing (June 2025)

We traveled to the island’s most popular spa town called Therma. There, we visited one of the mineral springs with the highest concentration of a mineral called radon. This mineral is known for its many benefits for the body including, but not limited to, muscle relaxation and stress reduction. We also met fellow Americans who were regulars to the springs. One woman even told us that she suffers from osteoporosis and believes that the springs helped significantly improve her mobility. Overall, the mineral springs in Ikaria are definitely a sight to see and have the potential to become the island’s top tourist attraction.

Amber Conner, BS, Nutrition and Foods (June 2023)

Students wearing beekeeping protective gear getting ready to look at beehives in Greece.Beehives are one of the main lifelines of the Ikarian culture and longevity. We embarked on an adventure to discover how honey plays a part on the island by visiting the beehives and processing facility. Commercial agriculture does not exist on the island resulting in bees feeding on the natural herbs and wildflowers native to the land. In the untouched mountains, bees go to work to make the antioxidant-rich honey that supports the lifestyle of the Ikarian people.

Shay Fisher, BS, Nutrition and Foods (June 2023)

Due to their tremendous health benefits, Ikarians regularly include fresh and dried herbs in the cuisines they prepare. To learn more about the intimate relationship between food sourcing and longevity, we went on a steep hike up a mountain while learning about natural herbs that grow on the Island. Our guide explained to us that this trail stretches over 40 miles from the east to west side of the Island. Luckily for us, we only traveled about a mile. In this short stretch, we were able to see several fresh herbs including sage, thyme and rosemary. The guide also explained the importance of these herbs as they were regularly the only source of food for the Island’s inhabitants. It was crucial that they learned what vegetation was available for food and how to prepare it in a healthy and safe way.

Nutrition sciences and nursing students standing on a mountainside after a hike.Ikaria now passes many laws and regulations to preserve the natural state of the plant-life. For example, farmers must keep their goats and other grazing animals off the trail to ensure that they do not graze on precious herbs. It is also necessary that individuals obtain a certification that allows them to pick natural herbs to insure that people do not destroy the wildlife. Above all, this excursion taught us that eating seasonal foods, living off the land and having a close relationship with food is key to the longevity of the Ikarian people.

Jason Brodo, MS Nutrition and Dietetics (June 2023)

During one of our seminars, we were able to discuss the benefits of an active lifestyle with Annie Constantinides, the director of Athletics at ACS Athens. Constantinides emphasized the importance of making activity part of your regular routine to allow for sharper focus, reduced stress and improved sleeping habits. During the second part of the session, Dr. Peggy Pelonis, who is the president at ACS Athens and previously worked as a licensed psychiatrist, discussed the importance of holistic wellbeing and building psychological muscle to help cope with failure and stressors that may contribute to mental health issues. Pelonis emphasized these ideas throughout various activities focusing on defining our own life story and the change process.

Casie M. Hartman, MS Nutrition and Dietetics (December 2023)


A large metal dumpster hold a mound of wasted food like baked items, vegetables and fruit.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that nearly 40 percent of all food in the United States is wasted every year — that’s 80 billion pounds. It would be like every person in America tossing more than 650 average-sized apples right into a landfill. So, the EPA, as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, made funding available for innovative solutions to reduce household food waste, specifically through prevention, and College of Nursing and Health Professions' Jonathan Deutsch, PhD, professor in Food and Hospitality Management and director of Drexel’s Food Lab, is receiving some of those funds. He has been awarded $739K with Co-I Brandy-Joe Milliron, PhD, associate professor in Nutrition Sciences, for a research project entitled Culinary Home Empowerment for Food Waste Prevention and Minimization (CHEF-WPM).

A home chef using a fork to place vegetables into a glass jar for preserving. There are other jars of various sizes and contents on the counter as well.This is exactly in Deutsch’s wheelhouse. He has been engaged in food waste prevention and minimization work in a variety of ways for a while. He and the folks at the Food Lab provide technical assistance to restaurants, hotels and retailers to help them reduce their waste. They are working with entrepreneurs to develop upcycled food products from ingredients that would otherwise be wasted such as brewery and distillery spent grain, okara from soy milk production and avocado pits. And they have undertaken consumer education campaigns with retailers including Shoprite and the South Philly Food Co-op. “This research project is a logical extension of our work,” Deutsch commented. “We have already been doing a great deal with food business, from manufacturers to restaurants, to operate more efficiently.”

Deutsch’s CHEF-WPM has three objectives. The first is to develop and evaluate a series of culinary education videos for home cooks, adapted from professional culinary training. The second is to assess a series of informal and formal online interventions to determine the efficacy of each component of CHEF-WPM across a diverse range of U.S. consumers. And the final is to recommend effective ways to nationally scale effective elements of CHEF-WPM. “Our intended research is important because it investigates a highly scalable solution to strengthen consumers’ motivation, opportunity and ability to reduce food waste at home,” shared Deutsch.

Drexel Food Lab student holding a beaker filled with an amber liquid as she works on a beverage made from avocado seeds.CHEF-WPM is partnering with ’s leading chefs and food waste educators, to work with culinary educators and students in the Drexel Food Lab — their primary goal is translating research-based practices into easily accessible learning modules focused on strengthening consumers’ positive behaviors. “These modules,” Deutsch explained, “will consist of a series of three to five videos, some edited as short reels, and downloadable recipes and worksheets.” Students will produce these informal educational videos and collect and analyze data to determine which approaches and messaging are most effective. “Because our students come from all over the world, we hope to produce content in multiple languages so that we can have maximum impact,” he noted.

Since the EPA is looking for transdisciplinary approaches, Milliron, along with colleague Roni Neff, PhD, an associate professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, will be leading the scientific assessment of the program. The evaluation of CHEF-WPM is unique because it is designed to assess the effects of the intervention both when the program is accessed voluntarily in a population-based setting and through more intensive delivery in a community setting. “Findings from the two evaluation studies will be triangulated to help us understand larger conclusions about the intervention’s feasibility, acceptability and impact on motivation, opportunity and ability to reduce household food waste,” shared Milliron.

A person scraping food from a plate into a trash can with other food scraps.This intended research supports the Agency’s research priorities in providing consumers with what they need to decrease waste at home. “Our hope is to empower home consumers to prevent and minimize food waste by applying professional culinary techniques to the home kitchen. By assessing the influence of our materials, we hope to publish guidance on evidence-based best practices for more elaborate and effective interventions to follow,” concluded Deutsch.

Written by Roberta S. Perry


Alexis Moise stands outside, under a tree, smiling at camera“I am interested in how we can use foods to heal, not just the body but the mind and spirit too,” shares Alexis Moïse, current student in the Nutrition and Foods (BS)/Nutrition and Dietetics (MS) Bridge Program.

Moïse is passionate about healing. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Moïse says that the shift in daily life led her to reflect more deeply on her identity and experiences.

“During the pandemic, I really came back to myself,” Moïse shares. “My sister Milan got me into gardening and I worked to actively connect with myself. These interventions led to a realization that I wanted to shift my major at Drexel from chemical engineering to nutrition.”

Why Nutrition?

For Moïse, it’s all about connection. Whether she is studying for nutrition courses, writing original music or dreaming of her future life coaching services, Moïse is committed to teaching others how to strengthen the connections within themselves.

“Everything I do in nutrition, I approach with a holistic mindset. Mind, body and spirit are all connected. I am interested in healing work. Everything we eat affects our bodies in a myriad of ways, and I am exploring those connections through my Nutrition program at Drexel."

As a student in the Nutrition and Foods (BS)/Nutrition and Dietetics (MS) Bridge Program, Moïse will complete an undergraduate and graduate education in five years. This program prepares students to become a Registered Dietitian/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD/RDN). The major covers all aspects of normal and therapeutic nutrition for individuals and groups. This major also encompasses nutrition science, the application of the principles of biochemistry, physiology, and biology to human nutritional needs.

In addition, this degree program provides students with the opportunity to gain professional experience via a dietetic internship at the Center for Nutrition and Performance at Drexel University.

Alexis Moise poses seriously, staring ahead, holding a black guitar in her right hand Community-Led Future

“In my future career, I am interested in earning my life coach certification and opening a private practice nutrition counseling service that encompasses wellness services and life coaching,” shares Moïse.

Moïse is excited to learn more about natural medicine and incorporate this knowledge into future nutrition counseling. “I see myself working with people and helping them to align to the type of person that they want to be and achieve their goals.” While Moïse’s dreams for the future are big, she is also committed to being inclusive of local communities in her work.

“Not everyone can afford nutrition counseling,” Moïse asserts, “So I want the work that I do to be accessible to my community. As a Black person, I know that we face a higher risk of disease, such as diabetes or cardiovascular issues. By becoming a registered nutritionist, I am thinking about how I can use these skills to give back.”

Ultimately, Moïse shares that her nutrition sciences studies have led her to ardent belief in the power of treating the whole person.

“In my career, I want to focus on how to nurture the body, mind and spirit. For me, it’s not enough to treat someone’s symptoms. We must get to the root of the issue and focus on healing the whole person.”

Written by Izzy López

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