Texas Tech University

Student Testimonial: Research Opportunities for Nutritional Sciences Students

Hannah Fields

September 4, 2020

Harsh Shah

Harsh Shah's interest in the nutritional sciences field led him to the Nutritional Sciences program in the College of Human Sciences at Texas Tech

Before joining the Texas Tech Nutritional Sciences department as a graduate student in 2018, Harsh Shah obtained a B.S. and M.S. in Biochemistry and worked as an instructor at the University of Baroda, India.

What drew Harsh to the Nutritional Sciences program in the College of Human Sciences at Texas Tech was his interest in working in the nutritional sciences field, with a focus on understanding pathogens and exploring preventative strategies and treatments for diet-related metabolic disorders.

However, because his background was in non-nutritional sciences, Harsh wanted to enroll in a Nutritional Sciences Ph.D. program that allowed for an interdisciplinary research approach while providing collaborative opportunities with financial support.

"The Texas Tech Nutritional Sciences graduate program offers a multidisciplinary research setting, top-notch infrastructure with state-of-the-art research equipment, exceptionally collaborative opportunities with renowned scholars from a wide range of specialties, and multiple merit-based scholarships to students. I find this Ph.D. program highly beneficial for my career," Harsh explained.

Harsh's graduate research project is focused on understanding how the human brain senses nutrient-related signals, integrates the information, and, in turn, regulates body weight and nutrient metabolism in the context of metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes.

By focusing on potential underlying causes of diseases such as obesity and diabetes, Harsh says his research can pinpoint new approaches to treating them.

"Impaired communication between the brain and peripheral metabolic organs is a significant driver in the development of diabetes and obesity progression," Harsh said. "Better understanding of neural mechanisms involved in energy homeostasis and nutrient partitioning will provide us promising opportunities to devise new therapeutic approaches to combat these diseases."

Harsh, who is expected to graduate with a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences in the Spring of 2022, says he'd like to follow a career in academia where he can pursue his research interests and become a significant contributor to exchanging his skills and knowledge in the field of Nutritional Sciences.