Saurabh Mehta

 

Saurabh Mehta

Associate Professor of Global Health, Epidemiology, and Nutrition
314 Savage Hall
 
Phone: (607) 255-2640 Fax: (607) 255-1033
Email: smehta@cornell.edu
View Cornell University Contact Info
 
Biographical Statement:

I am a physician with training in infectious disease, nutrition, and epidemiology. I have been extensively working in the area of infectious diseases, including HIV, tuberculosis, and neglected tropical diseases, in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. This has encompassed both clinical and research activities focused on identifying means for primary prevention, early diagnostic modalities, and modifiable risk factors for reducing the risk of acquisition, transmission, and progression of disease. My research has identified a key role for vitamin D in infectious diseases, including reducing HIV disease progression and risk of HIV-related morbidities for the first time, and suggests vitamin D supplements could represent an inexpensive adjunct to conventional treatment. I have also published the results from the only randomized trial of micronutrient supplements among children between 6 weeks and 5 years of age with tuberculosis in sub-Saharan Africa demonstrating the safety of the supplements along with a significant effect on hemoglobin concentrations. I have also been a co-investigator on a large Gates foundation funded multi-country study for assessing human health status in low-income settings using verbal autopsy and novel diagnostics including proteomics for tuberculosis. 

 
Current Research Activities:

Research Program 

The goal of my research program is to improve population health through identification of modifiable risk factors by means of randomized trials and observational studies; and early detection, diagnosis, and intervention, using technology and surveillance. The main focus area is to study the intersection of nutrition and infectious diseases in resource-limited settings through the following approaches: 

Global Health and Technology

Smartphone-based Novel Diagnostics: I am the co-inventor of the Cornell Nutriphone and the Cornell FeverPhone, a smartphone platform for real-time quantitative determination of biomarkers of nutritional status and infections. We now have a working prototype for measuring vitamin D status from a single drop of blood and have published a paper showing proof of concept. We have also used this technology to detect infections such as Helicobacter pylori and those causing febrile illness. 

Biofortification: I am the principal investigator of two large efficacy trials of biofortified crops-based complementary food among infants in India assessing its effect on immune function, cognitive function, and growth (Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02233764). The first trial focuses on iron- and zinc-biofortified pearl millet, while the second will include multiple biofortified crops such as sweet potato, lentils, pearl millet, and wheat. 

Nutrition, Immune Function, and Infections 

My research has highlighted the potential role of vitamin D as a modifiable risk factor for slowing disease progression and disease severity both in the context of HIV and Tuberculosis. I published the first longitudinal studies demonstrating an association between vitamin D and HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. In recent work, I have also shown how vitamin D status is tied to the risk of relapse in patients with tuberculosis. Building upon this work, I am currently the principal investigator on a trial of vitamin D supplementation in patients with tuberculosis and those with HIV co-infection (Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01992263) and co-PI. In addition, I am also exploring the role of obesity and diabetes in affecting the immune response and interaction with the gut microbiome, given their increasing prevalence in most resource-limited settings. 

 
Education:

M.B.B.S. - All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India - 2003 

M.S. (Epidemiology) - Harvard University, Cambridge MA - 2004 

Sc.D. (Epidemiology and Nutrition) - Harvard University, Cambridge MA - 2009 

 
Courses Taught:

NS 3060 - Nutrition and Global Health 

NS 6580 - Advanced Epidemiology: Theory and Practice 

NS 6310 - Micronutrients - Team taught - Vitamin D Module (with Dr. Patsy Brannon) 

NS 6010 - Special Topics in Nutrition - Writing group for graduate students to work on data analysis and creating publishable manuscripts  

Guest Lectures 

NS 3030 - Nutrition and Vegetarian Diets - 2 75-minute sessions on Introductory Epidemiology 

 
Related Websites:

mehta.human.cornell.edu 

insight.cornell.edu 

 
Administrative Responsibilities:

Member, DNS Curriculum Committee 

Chair, Field of Nutrition Seminar Committee 

Member, Mann Library Working Group 

Member, DNS Admissions Committee  

Member, Globalization-on-Campus Committee, Office of VPIA 

Member, Faculty Search Committee, Faculty search in Optimizing Immune Responses, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University 

Member, Faculty Search Committee, Faculty searches in Global and Public Health Nutrition; and Community Nutrition Interventions, DNS  

 
Selected Publications:

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles  

1. Murphy RA, Yu EA, Ciappio ED, Mehta S, McBurney MI. Suboptimal Plasma Long Chain n-3 Concentrations are Common among Adults in the United States, NHANES 2003-2004. Nutrients. 2015 Dec 9;7(12):10282-9. PMID: 26690213 PMCID: PMC4690086  

 

2. Serina P, Riley I, Stewart A, Flaxman AD, Lozano R, Mooney MD, Luning R, Hernandez B, Black R, Ahuja R, Alam N, Alam SS, Ali SM, Atkinson C, Baqui AH, Chowdhury HR, Dandona L, Dandona R, Dantzer E, Darmstadt GL, Das V, Dhingra U, Dutta A, Fawzi W, Freeman M, Gamage S, Gomez S, Hensman D, James SL, Joshi R, Kalter HD, Kumar A, Kumar V, Lucero M, Mehta S, Neal B, Ohno SL, Phillips D, Pierce K, Prasad R, Praveen D, Premji Z, Ramirez-Villalobos D, Rampatige R, Remolador H, Romero M, Said M, Sanvictores D, Sazawal S, Streatfield PK, Tallo V, Vadhatpour A, Wijesekara N, Murray CJ, Lopez AD. A shortened verbal autopsy instrument for use in routine mortality surveillance systems. BMC Med. 2015 Dec 16;13:302. PMID: 26670275 PMCID: PMC4681088 

 

3. Serina P, Riley I, Stewart A, James SL, Flaxman AD, Lozano R, Hernandez B, Mooney MD, Luning R, Black R, Ahuja R, Alam N, Alam SS, Ali SM, Atkinson C, Baqui AH, Chowdhury HR, Dandona L, Dandona R, Dantzer E, Darmstadt GL, Das V, Dhingra U, Dutta A, Fawzi W, Freeman M, Gomez S, Gouda HN, Joshi R, Kalter HD, Kumar A, Kumar V, Lucero M, Maraga S, Mehta S, Neal B, Ohno SL, Phillips D, Pierce K, Prasad R, Praveen D, Premji Z, Ramirez-Villalobos D, Rarau P, Remolador H, Romero M, Said M, Sanvictores D, Sazawal S, Streatfield PK, Tallo V, Vadhatpour A, Vano M, Murray CJ, Lopez AD.Improving performance of the Tariff Method for assigning causes of death to verbal autopsies. BMC Med. 2015;13(1):291. PMID: 26644140 PMCID: PMC4672473 

 

4. Mehta S, Yu EA, Ahamed SF, Bonam W, Kenneth J. Rifampin resistance and diabetes mellitus in a cross-sectional study of adult patients in rural South India. BMC Inf Dis. 2015;15(1):451. PMID: 26496855 PMCID: PMC4620627 

 

5. Ogolla S, Daud I, Asito A, Sumba O, Ouma C, Vulule J, Middeldorp J, Dent A, Mehta S, Rochford R. Reduced transplacental transfer of Epstein-Barr virus specific maternal antibodies to neonates of mothers with Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection during pregnancy. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2015 Nov;22(11):1197–205. PMID: 26376931 PMCID: PMC4622112 

 

6. McBurney MI, Yu EA, Ciappio ED, Bird JK, Eggersdorfer M, Mehta S. Suboptimal Serum α-tocopherol Concentrations Observed Among Younger Adults and those Depending Exclusively upon Food Sources, NHANES 2003-2006. PLoS One 2015;10:e0135510. PMID: 26287975 PMCID: PMC4546010 

 

7. Finkelstein JL, Mehta S, Udipi SA, Ghugre PS, Luna SV, Wenger MJ, Murray-Kolb LE, Przybyszewski EM, Haas JD.A Randomized Trial of Iron-Biofortified Pearl Millet in School Children in India. J Nutr, 2015. PMID:25948782 Jul;145(7):1576–81.*joint first author 

 

8. Finkelstein JL, Gala P, Rochford R, Glesby MJ, Mehta S. HIV/AIDS and Lipodystrophy: Implications for clinical management in resource-limited settings. J Int AIDS Soc 2015 Jan 15;18(1):19033. PMID: 25598476. 

 

9. Natamba BK, Achan J, Arbach A, Oyok TO, Ghosh S, Mehta S, Stoltzfus RJ, et al. Reliability and validity of the center for epidemiologic studies-depression scale in screening for depression among HIV-infected and -uninfected pregnant women attending antenatal services in northern Uganda: a cross-sectional study. BMC Psychiatry. 2014 Nov 22;14(1):303. PMCID: PMC4260190 

 

10. Erickson D, O’Dell D, Jiang L, Oncescu V, Gumus A, Lee S, Mancuso M, Mehta S. Smartphone technology can be transformative to the deployment of lab-on-chip diagnostics. Lab Chip 2014;14:3159-64. PMCID: PMC4117816  

 

11. Ahmed S, Finkelstein JL, Stewart AM, Kenneth J, Polhemus ME, Endy TP, Cardenas W, Mehta S. Micronutrients and Dengue: A Review of the Current Evidence. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2014;91(5):1049-56. PMCID: PMC4228873 

 

12. Lee S, Oncescu V, Mancuso M, Mehta S, Erickson D. A smartphone platform for the quantification of vitamin D levels. Lab Chip 2014;14:1437-42. PMID: 24569647 

 

13. Murray CJ, Lozano R, Flaxman AD, Serina P, Phillips D, Stewart A, James SL, Vahdatpour A, Atkinson C, Freeman MK, Ohno SL, Black R, Ali SM, Baqui AH, Dandona L, Dantzer E, Darmstadt GL, Das V, Dhingra U, Dutta A, Fawzi W, Gómez S, Hernández B, Joshi R, Kalter HD, Kumar A, Kumar V, Lucero M, Mehta S, Neal B, Praveen D, Premji Z, Ramírez-Villalobos D, Remolador H, Riley I, Romero M, Said M, Sanvictores D, Sazawal S, Tallo V, Lopez AD. Using Verbal Autopsy to Measure Causes of Death: The Comparative Performance of Existing Methods. BMC Med 2014;12:5. PMCID: PMC3891983 

 

14. Mehta S, Mugusi FM, Bosch RJ, Aboud S, Urassa W, Villamor E, Fawzi WW. Vitamin D status and TB treatment outcomes in adult patients in Tanzania. BMJ Open 2013;3:e003703. PMCID: PMC3840339 

 

15. Fataki M, Kisenge RR, Sudfeld CR, Aboud S, Okuma J, Mehta S, Spiegelman D, Fawzi WW. Effect of Zinc Supplementation on Duration of Hospitalization in Tanzanian Children Presenting with Acute Pneumonia. J Trop Pediatr 2014;60:104-11. PMCID: PMC3967446 

 

16. Hawkins C, Christian B, Ye J, Nagu T, Aris E, Chalamilla G, Spiegelman D, Mugusi F, Mehta S, Fawzi W. Prevalence of Hepatitis B co-infection and response to antiretroviral therapy among HIV-infected patients in urban Tanzania. AIDS 2013;27:919-27. PMID: 23196935 

 

17. Finkelstein JL, Manji KP, Duggan C, Hertzmark E, Mehta S, Msamanga GI, Spiegelman D, Fawzi WW. Predictors of incident tuberculosis in HIV-exposed children in Tanzania. East Afr Med J 2012;89:183-192. 

 

18. Finkelstein JL, Mehta S, Duggan CP, Manji KP, Mugusi FM, Aboud S, Spiegelman D, Msamanga GI, Fawzi WW. Maternal Vitamin D Status and Child Morbidity, Anemia, and Growth in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-exposed Children in Tanzania. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2012;31:171-175. PMCID: PMC3813463 

 

19. Shet A, Arumugam K, Rajagopalan N, Dinakar C, Krishnamurthy S, Mehta S, Shet AS. The prevalence and etiology of anemia among HIV-infected children in India. Eur J Pediatr. 2012;171:531-540. PMID: 22009132 

 

20. Finkelstein JL, Mehta S, Aboud S, Duggan CP, Kupka R, Spiegelman D, Msamanga GI, Fawzi WW. Predictors of Anemia and Iron Deficiency in HIV-infected Pregnant Women: A potential role for vitamin D and parasitic infections. Public Health Nutr 2012;15:928-937. PMCID: PMC3366262 

 

21. Mehta S, Mugusi FM, Bosch RJ, Aboud S, Chatterjee A, Finkelstein JL, Fataki M, Kisenge R, Fawzi WW. A Randomized Trial of Multivitamin Supplementation in Children with Tuberculosis in Tanzania. Nutr J 2011;10:120. PMCID: PMC3229564 

 

22. Mehta S, Mugusi FM, Spiegelman D, Villamor E, Finkelstein JL, Hertzmark E, Giovannucci EL, Msamanga GI, Fawzi WW. Vitamin D Status and its Association with Morbidity including Wasting and Opportunistic Illnesses in HIV-infected Women in Tanzania. AIDS Patient Care STDs 2011;25:579-585. PMCID: PMC3183700 

 

23. Murray CJ, Lopez AD, Black R, Ahuja R, Mohd Ali S, Baqui A, Dandona L, Dantzer E, Das V, Dhingra U, Dutta A, Fawzi W, Flaxman AD, Gomez S, Hernandez B, Joshi R, Kalter H, Kumar A, Kumar V, Lozano R, Lucero M, Mehta S, Neal B, Ohno SL, Prasad R, Praveen D, Premji Z, Ramirez-Villalobos D, Remolador H, Riley I, Romero M, Said M, Sanvictores D, Sazawal S, Tallo V. Population Health Metrics Research Consortium Gold Standard Verbal Autopsy Validation Study: Design, Implementation and Development of Analysis Datasets. Popul Health Metr 2011;9:27. PMCID: PMC3160920 

 

24. Liu E, Spiegelman D, Semu H, Hawkins C, Chalamilla G, Aveika A, Nyamsangia S, Mehta S, Mtasiwa D, Fawzi WW. Nutritional Status and Mortality Among HIV-infected Patients Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy in Tanzania. J Infect Dis 2011; 204:282-90. PMID: 21673040 

 

25. Mehta S, Fawzi WW. Editorial Commentary: Micronutrient Supplementation as Adjunct Treatment in HIV-infected Patients. Clin Inf Dis. 2010;50:1661-1663. PMID: 20455704 

 

26. Mehta S, Spiegelman D, Aboud S, Giovannucci EL, Msamanga GI, Hertzmark E, Mugusi FM, Hunter DJ, Fawzi WW. Lipid-soluble vitamins A, D, and E in HIV-infected pregnant women in Tanzania. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010;64:808-17. PMCID: PMC3078753 

 

27. Mehta S, Giovannucci E, Mugusi FM, Spiegelman D, Aboud S, Hertzmark E, Msamanga GI, Hunter D, Fawzi WW. Vitamin D status of HIV-infected women and its association with HIV disease progression, anemia, and mortality. PLoS One 2010;5:e8770. PMCID: PMC2808247 

 

28. Franke MF, Spiegelman D, Ezeamama A, Aboud S, Msamanga GI, Mehta S, Fawzi WW. Malaria Parasitemia and CD4 T-cell count, Viral Load, and Adverse HIV Outcomes among HIV-infected Pregnant Women in Tanzania. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2010;82:556-562. PMCID: PMC2844563 

 

29. Mugusi FM, Mehta S, Villamor EV, Urassa W, Saathoff E, Bosch RJ, Fawzi WW. Factors associated with mortality in HIV-infected and uninfected patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. BMC Public Health 2009;9:409. PMCID: PMC2779816 

 

30. Mehta S, Hunter DJ, Mugusi FM, Spiegelman D, Manji KP, Giovannucci EL, Hertzmark E, Msamanga GI, Fawzi WW. Perinatal Outcomes, Including Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV, and Child Mortality, and Their Association with Maternal Vitamin D Status in Tanzania. J Inf Dis 2009;200:1022-1030. Accompanied by an Editorial Commentary: Spector SA. Vitamin D Earns More Than a Passing Grade. J Inf Dis 2009;200:1015-1017. PMCID: PMC2758703 

 

31. Shet A, Mehta S, Rajagopalan N, Dinakar C, Ramesh E, Samuel NM, Indumathi CK, Fawzi WW, Kurpad AV. Anemia and growth failure among HIV-infected children in India: a retrospective analysis. BMC Pediatr 2009;9:37. PMCID: PMC2702283 

 

32. Mehta S, Manji KP, Young AM, Brown ER, Chasela CC, Taha TE, Read JS, Goldenberg RL, Fawzi, WW. Nutritional indicators of adverse pregnancy outcomes and mother-to-child transmission of HIV among HIV-infected women. Am J Clin Nutr 2008;87:1639-49. PMCID: PMC2474657 

 

33. Wig N, Sakhuja A, Agarwal SK, Khakha DC, Mehta S, Vajpayee M. Multidimensional health status of HIV-infected outpatients at a tertiary care center in north India. Indian J Med Sci 2008;62:87-97. PMID: 18376081 

 

34. Mehta S, Ding EL, Fawzi WW, Giovannucci EL. Influence of Estrogen Therapy on Effects of Calcium and Vitamin D for Colorectal Cancer Prevention. Int J Cancer 2008;122:1690-4. PMID: 18092326 *joint first author 

 

35. Mehta S, Fawzi W. Effects of Vitamins, Including Vitamin A, on HIV/AIDS Patients. Vitam Horm 2007; 75: 355-383. PMID: 17368322 

 

36. Sohal DPS, Garg N, Singh D, Mehta S, Anand K, Kapoor SK. Antibiotic prescription practice at primary and secondary level hospitals of a medical college. Indian Practitioner 2006;59(12):789-94. 


Invited Book 
1. Mehta S, Finkelstein JL, eds. Nutrition and HIV: From Epidemiological Evidence to Public Health. CRC Press. In preparation
 
Book Chapters and Technical Papers 
1. Mehta S, Finkelstein JL, Fawzi WW. Nutritional Interventions in HIV-Infected Breastfeeding Women. Ann Nestlé [Engl] 2007; 65: 39–48. 
 
2. Mehta S, Fawzi WW. Hunger and HIV and Tuberculosis. Technical paper for the World Hunger Series 2007. World Food Programme, Rome, Italy. 
 
3. Mehta S, Finkelstein JL, Fawzi WW. Micronutrient status and pregnancy outcomes in HIV-infected women. Editors: Lammi-Keefe CJ, Couch SC, Philipson, E. Humana Press: Baton Rouge, LA. Handbook of Nutrition and Pregnancy 2008; 23: 355-365. 
 
4. Finkelstein JL, Mugusi FM, Mehta S, Fawzi WW. HIV/AIDS and Nutrition in the HAART Era: Programmatic implications for HIV/AIDS care and treatment in resource-limited settings. Editors: Marlink RG, Teitelman SJ. Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation: Washington, DC. From the Ground Up: Building Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Care in Resource-Limited Settings 2009. 
 
5. Yu EA, Finkelstein JL, Mehta S. HIV and Micronutrients. Editors: Pammi M, Vallejo JG, Abrams SA. Taylor and Francis Books, Inc.: Boca Raton, FL. Nutrition-Infection Interactions and Impacts on Human Health 2014. 
 
Letters to the Editor 
1. Mehta S, Fawzi WW. Letter to the Editor in response to comments on: Mehta S, et al. Perinatal Outcomes, Including Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV, and Child Mortality, and Their Association with Maternal Vitamin D Status in Tanzania. J Inf Dis. 2010;201:1951. 
 
2. Finkelstein JL, Mehta S, Fawzi WW. Letter to the Editor in response to comments on: Finkelstein JL, et al. Predictors of Anemia and Iron Deficiency in HIV-infected Pregnant Women: A potential role for vitamin D and parasitic infections. Public Health Nutr 2012;20:1. [Epub ahead of print]. 

 

 
Selected Keywords:
Global Health, Nutrition, Epidemiology, Maternal and Child Health, Diagnostics, Immunology, Infectious Disease, Nutriphone, FeverPhone, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Dengue, Nutritional Modulation of the Immune Response, Biofortification, South Asia, India, Latin America, Ecuador, Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Micronutrients, Multivitamins, Vitamin D

 
The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.