Headshot of Marcia Nahikian-Nelms wearing a red sweaterOverview

Professor, Clinical
Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs - School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Director, Education - Center for Faculty Advancement, Mentoring and Engagement
Senior Faculty Affiliate - Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning

206A Atwell Hall
453 W. 10th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210

Phone: 614-292-4758
Fax:  614-292-0210
Email:  marcia.nahikian-nelms@osumc.edu

Primary Professional Areas of Interest

  • Dietetic Education
  • Interprofessional Training
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy in Gastroenterology
  • Diabetes, Critical Care

Research Focus

Dr. Marcia Nahikian-Nelms’ research is driven from both her responsibilities in curricular teaching, education and administrative responsibilities for curricular oversight and faculty teaching development. Her research goals are as follows:
  1. To provide synthesis and development of evidence based medical nutrition therapy to support clinical practice
  2. To assess the effectiveness of alternative teaching environments for use in health sciences education
  3. To provide clinical nutrition expertise for ongoing research projects within the OSU College of Medicine, the Wexner Medical Center, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, community partners and our graduate program.
Her current research focuses on developing pedagogy for clinical education with a primary objective to develop experiential education that will bridge classroom to practice. Dr. Nahikian-Nelms’ case study textbook (Medical Nutrition Therapy: A Case Study Approach) is now in its sixth edition.

These cases develop a realistic medical record that allows the student to gain initial experience with clinical reasoning and application of their nutrition knowledge. Most recently her work has moved toward the use of simulation and interprofessional collaboration with other health science professions.

Dr. Nahikian-Nelms’ additional focus area is to provide synthesis and application of evidence based research for use within nutrition therapy practice. This work is demonstrated with the publication of her textbook – Nutrition Therapy and Pathophysiology and through her contributions to the Nutrition Care Manual published by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

She works to provide both clinical and educational expertise to development of Interprofessional education, simulation, and curricular projects throughout the College of Medicine.

Recent Research

Nelms, M. Roberts K. Medical Nutrition Therapy: A Case Study Approach. 6e. Stanford: Cengage Learning, 2022.

Nelms, M; Sucher, K. Nutrition Therapy and Pathophysiology. 4e. Boston MA Cengage Learning, 2019. 

Heitman K, Nahikian-Nelms M, Roberts K. Assessment of calcium and vitamin D intake in an outpatient gastroenterology and hepatology clinic. Top Clin Nutr. 2020; 35: 200-209. 

Jensen A, Stigall N, Evans KD, Lopez G, Nahikian-Nelms M. Using sonography to objectively gauge muscle wasting: a multiple case report. J Diag Sono. 2020; 36: 46-40. 2. 

Comee L, Taylor CA, Nahikian-Nelms M, Gandesan LP, Krok-Schoen JL. Dietary patterns and nutrient intake of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis in the US. Nutrition.2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2019.06.014

Nogay N, Nahikian-Nelms M. Can We Reduce Autism-Related Gastrointestinal and Behavior Problems by Gut Microbiota Based Dietary Modulation? A Review. Nutritional Neuroscience. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1080/1028415X.2019.1630894

Roberts KM, Nahikian-Nelms M, Ukleja A, Lara LF. Nutritional aspects of acute pancreatitis. Gastroenterology Clinics North America.2017; 47: 77-94.
Sergakis G, Clutter J, Holthaus V, Nahikian-Nelms M, et al. The Impact of Interprofessional Clinical Simulation on Attitudes, Confidence and Professional Identity: The Added Value of Integrating Respiratory Therapy. Respiratory Care Education Annual. Vol. 25, 11-16. 2016.

Holthaus V, Rohrig L, Justice S, Kirkpatrick B, McClerking C, Thomas E, Legg J, Sergakis G, Nahikian- Nelms ML. The Impact of Interprofessional Simulation on Dietetic Student Perception of Communication, Decision-Making, Roles, and Self-Efficacy. Topics in Clinical Nutrition. 2015; 30: 127-142.

Pei Xm, Roberts M, Nahikian-Nelms M. Examination of dietary patterns in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2020; 120: A23. 

Slucter C, Thorpe M, Nahikian-Nelms M, Roberts K. Preliminary report of a randomized clinical control trial FODMAPS the culprit? J Acad Nutrition and Dietetics. 2020; 120: 9:A29. 
Huffman H, Nahikian-Nelms M, Roberts K, Shailkhkhalil. The relationship between body composition and clinical outcomes in pediatric cystic fibrosis. J Acad Nutrition and Dietetics. 2020; 120: 9:A32. 

P. Verma, K. Roberts, M. Nahikian-Nelms, H. Estes Doetsch, P. Hart Challenges of monitoring essential fatty acid deficiency. J Acad Nutrition and Dietetics 2019; 119: 9, A11
Kennedy A, Kleinman J, Afzali A, Grainger E, Nahikian-Nelms M, Roberts K, Methodology to interface the phenol- explorer database with food frequency questionnaires for estimating dietary polyphenol exposure in patients with ulcerative coltis. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2019; 119: A37. 

Courses Taught

  • HTHRHSC 7250 Teaching and Curriculum in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
  • HTHRHSC 5000 Interdisciplinary Case Management
  • MD 4910, MD 4923: Nutrition Care Process – Medical Nutrition Therapy and Pathophysiology
  • MD 5189, 5289, 5389: Dietetic Professional Practice I,II,III
  • MD 5800: Advanced Nutrition Therapy in Complex Disease States
  • MD 6200: Diabetes Management
  • MD 6389: Critical Care Nutrition


  • 1978: B.S., Public Health Nutrition, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill
  • 1982: M.Ed., Foods and Nutrition, University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • 1995: PhD, Health Education, Southern Illinois University 
  • 2014: Fellow, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

My Research Links

Google Scholar

Research Gate