Case for Support


Phoenix Medical Students Cook Healthy Meals to Pass Knowledge On to Future Patients
There Needs to be Food and Lifestyle Changes Added to Obesity Meds


Culinary Medicine was founded by Farshad (Dr. Shad) Fani Marvasti, MD, MPH — director of the Public Health, Prevention and Health Promotion Theme at the college — in response to student interest and the need for redesigning medical education to include innovative approaches to nutrition education and food systems.

It aspires to use food as medicine — blending the art of cooking with the science of medicine to enhance nutrition in medical education — and to educate through service learning with an understanding of food systems and food policies as social determinants of health.

Culinary Medicine is a founding partner of the statewide UArizona Culinary Medicine Initiative. This Initiative includes partnerships with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, School of Nutritional Sciences and Wellness, and the UArizona Libraries.


Our vision is to create an educational redesign of the medical school curriculum, community service projects and research endeavors to enhance nutrition knowledge and empower local neighborhoods and patients with education and resources that improve their ability to access healthy food, enhancing their personal health.


  • Through innovative, service-learning opportunities, teach medical students and health professional students how to use nutrition and food as medicine to promote health and to prevent, treat and, at times, reverse the diseases of our time.
  • Educate medical students, health professional students and the general public on the role of food policy in determining health outcomes.
  • Advocate for changes that will fix our broken food system as a means of combatting the diseases of our time.
  • Engage the community through service and public discourse on the role of food as a social determinant of individual health and as an accelerant of climate change.
  • Establish partnerships and develop collaborative initiatives with local chefs, farmers, schools, non-profit service organizations, progressive businesses and other likeminded groups to further the above goals.

Community Engagement

Farshad Fani Marvasti, MD, MPH
Director, Culinary Medicine

Farshad Fani Marvasti, MD

Allie Knox
Academic Coordinator, Culinary Medicine