Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi,New Delhi India
Emory University, Atlanta, US
Centre for Chronic Disease Control, New Delhi, India
Public Health Foundation of India, New Delhi, India
With an earnest desire to favourably influence India’s gloomy nutrition story, I aspire to develop and demonstrate leadership in appreciating and conducting high quality nutrition research. My friends called me a “degree freak” when I collected bachelors, masters and a PhD (in nutrition) consecutively along with a second post-graduation (in public health) between 1999 and 2010. This was followed by successful completion of a 2 year post-doctoral NIH funded D43 fellowship awarded to enhance my understanding of nutrition epidemiology under the guidance of Emory University faculty. I must acknowledge that my long standing mentors Profs Srinath Reddy and D Prabhakaran have played a huge role in shaping my interest and aptitude in the area of public health nutrition. Because of them I got opportunities to see the inside world of “research”, understand many aspects related to its functioning and operationalizing it as well as collaborate widely with several other legends in nutrition research globally. I however have always been dismayed by the lack of capacity in our own country when we look for leadership and role models in the field of nutrition (those who have been academically trained in this amazing subject). Thus capacity building (of course my own first) in PHN has always been close to my heart. We have been designing and conducting annual short courses in various aspects of nutrition research and policy from 2006 onwards and I hope to continue this in my recently acquired (since 2010) capacity of a course director. I have been fortunate to have received several academic excellence awards and prestigious research scholarships (from India Alliance, Wellcome Trust, NIH and Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India). I also serve on several nutrition related expert panels (Healthy diets, HFSS foods, oils and fats, NCDs etc) constituted by the FSSAI and MoHFW, GoI. In addition to about 50 peer reviewed journal articles, I have contributed several op-eds and other pieces in national and international media platforms on PHN.
My research interest areas include assessing the impact of single nutrients especially omega 3 fatty acids on chronic diseases and related risk factors. With my proposed ECF project, I hope to implement a double blinded randomised clinical trial on 1000 pregnant mothers and learn what happens to the health and neurodevelopment of their babies when the mothers are supplemented with a long chain omega 3 fatty acid called Docosahexenoic acid (DHA) from mid pregnancy till 6 months of lactation.