Sahar Ajabshir, Ph.D., M.Sc.

Assistant Professor

Cellular Biology & Pharmacology

Office: GL495 D

Phone: 305-348-6022


Sahar Ajabshir, Ph.D., M.Sc., has distinguished herself through her dedication to research, leadership, and teaching. She has focused her research on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases within different communities. Ajabshir serves as the principal investigator of several funded research projects. Her work has is often cited by other researchers. Ajabshir has taken multiple executive roles at national and university-wide levels such as the Chair-Elect of the American Society for Nutrition`s Vitamins & Minerals Research Interest Section, Executive Board Member of the Medical Nutrition Council`s Governing Committee, and member of FIU 2025 and 2020 strategic planning committees. 


Ph.D., Dietetics and Nutrition, Florida International University  
M.Sc., Dietetics and Nutrition, Florida International University 
B.Sc., Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Azad University, Iran 


  • Levina Philips Leadership Award 
  • Clara Augustine Public Health Award 
  • Path Science Prize for Outstanding Paper 
  • Faculty Award for Advance Florida Network Women in STEM Scholars 

Areas of interest/specialization 

Medical Education, Nutrition, and Physiology.

Research areas/interest  

  • Nutrition, Obesity 
  • Diabetes, CVD  
  • Vitamins & Minerals 

Selected publications

  1. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Observational Studies. Hadis Mozaffari, Sahar Ajabshir, Shahab Alizadeh. Clinical Nutrition, 2019,
  2. The effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on blood lipids in minorities with type 2 diabetes. Joel Exebio, Sahar Ajabshir, Adriana Campa, Tan Li, Gustavo Zarini, Fatma Huffman. International Journal of Diabetes and Clinical Research, 2018; 5:093. DOI: 10.23937/2377-3634/1410093. 
  3. Validation of a Sun Exposure Questionnaire Among Subjects with Type 2 Diabetes Residing in South Florida. Joel C. Exebio, Gustavo G. Zarini, Sahar Ajabshir, Janet Antwi, Fatma G. Huffman. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 2016; 18(1): 228-33. 
  4. Lifestyle Behaviors and Self-Rated Health: The Living for Health Program. Gustavo G. Zarini, Joan A. Vaccaro, Maria A. Canossa Terris, Joel C. Exebio, Laura Tokayer, Janet Antwi, Sahar Ajabshir, Amanpreet Cheema, and Fatma G. Huffman. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2014; 315042. DOI: 10.1155/2014/315042. 
  5. Skin Color and Self-reported Sun Exposure Scores are Associated with Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations in a Multi-ethnic Population Living in South Florida. Sahar Ajabshir, Joel Exebio, Gustavo Zarini, Ali Nayer, Michael McLean, Lemia Shaban, Fatma Huffman. British Journal of Medicine and Medica Research. 2014; (34): 5312-5323. 

View more publications on the NCBI website or on the Google Scholar website

Active grants 

Project: Utilization of telemedicine during COVID-19 global pandemic to address health disparities among vulnerable communities living in south Florida 
Sponsor: Center for Research on US Latino HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse (CRUSADA) Supplemental Pilot Studies Program 
Total Funding: $50,000 
Role: Principal Investigator 

Project: Development of a tele-nutrition program for minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged patients with obesity and cardiometabolic diseases associated with severe COVID-19 symptoms and lower vaccine effectiveness. 
Sponsor: Research Center in Minority Institution (FIU-RCMI) Community Research Enhancement Grant Program 
Total Funding: $10,000 
Role: Principal Investigator 

Project: Conduct a needs assessment for inclusion of nutrition education services at the UHI Community Care Clinic 
Role: Principal Investigator 
Sponsor: Florida International University Research Center in Minority Institution (FIU-RCMI) Community Research Enhancement Grant Program 
Total Funding: $5,000 
Role: Principal Investigator