I encourage students interested in both chemistry and healthy food to consider nutritional sciences as a career.
Meet Our Network
Meet Our Network
Cecilia S. Acuin, PhD '13: Chief, Nutrition Assessment and Monitoring Division, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science & Technology, Philippines
Advisors: Dr. Gretel Pelto, Dr. Jean-Pierre Habicht
Current Focus: I am responsible for the conduct of the Philippine National Nutrition Surveys, and oversee nutrition research projects of three Sections: the Nutritional Assessment Section, the Nutritional Statistics and Informatics Section, and the Nutritional Interventions, Evaluation and Policy Section. My research interests are in the areas of maternal and child health and nutrition, health and nutrition systems and operations research, and risk factors of non-communicable diseases. My advocacies include equity in health and nutrition, and the cause of persons with disabilities, particularly those with autism and other developmental disorders.
Cornell PIN experiences: The diversity of people and experiences I was exposed to made me appreciate the many different ways that nutritional sciences may be used. While we (researchers) would like to see evidence as the basis for decisions, the reality is that resources and contexts dictate how such evidence is ultimately applied.
Suggestions for current graduate students: Take advantage of every opportunity to meet new people and explore new environments. Talk to the faculty, even those outside PIN and outside DNS, and learn not just from their lectures but, more importantly, also from their experiences.
Hector Balcazar, MS '82, PhD '87; Dean, College of Science and Health, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Advisor: Jere Haas
Current focus: Hector Balcazar, MS, PhD, became Dean of the College of Science and Health at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science on April 4, 2016. Prior to that position, Dr. Balcazar served for 12 years as the Regional Dean of Public Health at the University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, El Paso Regional Campus.
Dr. Balcazar has extensive experience as a leader in public health education, research, service and community outreach working with community health workers. Dr. Balcazar specializes in the study of public health problems of Latinos/Mexican Americans. He is a bilingual, bicultural family and public health scientist who has conducted numerous studies of acculturation and health related behaviors, cardiovascular disease prevention programs in Latinos, and border health issues. Dr. Balcazar has over 180 publications including 100 peer-reviewed journal articles.
Cornell PIN experience: I received two degrees at Cornell and a beautiful wife along the way and three young men (sons) in my journey of life.
Rukundo K. Benedict, MSPH, PhD '16; Nutrition Technical Specialist, ICF, The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program
Advisor: Rebecca Stoltzfus
Current Focus: Strengthening nutrition data quality and collection in population based surveys.
Susan E. Burger, PhD '93, Private Practice International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Advisor(s): Jean-Pierre Habicht, Malden Nesheim, Jennifer Greene
Current Focus: Interested in the impact of sleep training on the growth of 3-6 month old infants and how the current array of growth chart apps are misinterpreted by parents and health care practitioners.
Cornell PIN Experience: Overall, I really enjoyed the camaraderie amongst the graduate students.
More Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Cohen, PhD '99, MPH; Research and Evaluation Portfolio Manager, Veterans Health Administration, National Center for Ethics in Health Care
Advisor: Jere Haas
Current focus: Research and evaluation of VA's Life-Sustaining Treatment Decision Initiative https://www.ethics.va.gov/LST.asp
More information: Jennifer.email@example.com
Joanne Csete, PhD '88, MPH; Health and Human Rights Expert
Advisor: Lani Stephenson
Current focus: Teach health and human rights and manage the human rights certificate program for MPH students. Consultant to human rights initiative of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.
More information: joannecsete.com
Christina Nyhus Dhillon, PhD '09; Senior Technical Specialist, GAIN
Advisor: Per Pinstrup-Andersen
Current focus: Christina works within the Knowledge Leadership team within GAIN, leading efforts in the Workforce Nutrition program, and supporting the SUN Business Network in measuring their progress and impact. More information on both programs can be found at www.gainhealth.org
Lidan Du, PhD '05, Research Advisor, Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) Project, JSI, Washington D.C., USA
Advisors: Dr. David Pelletier, Dr. Gretel Pelto, Dr. Jean-Pierre Habicht
Current Focus: Strengthening the linkages between agriculture and nutrition under Feed the Future, the U.S. government global hunger and food security initiative, through developing guidance, indicators and evidence based on applied research in countries. My most recent field research has been in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Malawi, and Zambia, developing guidance for a new nutrition-sensitive agriculture indicator. I also work in Nepal and Uganda, two SUN countries, on a case study of the roll-out of national multi-sectoral nutrition plans.
Cornell PIN experiences: Graduate study in PIN taught me critical thinking to conceptualize and implement research, and analytical skills to present and critique research findings. PIN was one of few programs that trained students to develop a policy perspective to keep our specific work relevant in the larger context.
Suggestions for current graduate students: Explore and take opportunities that bring new experiences and exposure to new challenges. Be hands-on and organized.
Lotta Ekstrom, PhD '95, Professor of Global Nutrition, and International, Maternal, and Child Health, Dept. Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Advisors: Jean-Pierre Habicht, Shelley Feldman, Hussni Mohammed, Kathy Rasmussen, Per Pinstrup-Andersen
My focus is on maternal and child nutrition, urban food security, women’s empowerment, in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Nicaragua.
Jessica Escobar Alegría, MSc '00, PhD; Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation Advisor; Alive & Thrive Initiative
Advisor: Michael Latham
Current focus: Jessica obtained a PhD in Public Health from the University of South Carolina (2016), MSc in International Nutrition and Epidemiology from Cornell University (2004), and BS in Nutrition and Dietetics from the Universidad Evangélica de El Salvador (1998). Currently, she covers the South Asia and Southeast Asia portfolios for Alive & Thrive at FHI360 (A&T), as well as spearhead A&T's work with its Stakeholder and Technical Advisory Group. Before joining A&T, she supported a variety of global health initiatives at the University of South Carolina, contributed to awarded grants for research and evaluation in public nutrition and health, and collaborated with Feeding America, Alive & Thrive India, and IFPRI India and Guatemala. Jessica worked in El Salvador for the United Nations World Food Programme and the Ministry of Health. Additional experiences with roles on monitoring and evaluation include serving as a technical officer at the Pan American Health Organization, and as a collaborator for the Micronutrient Initiative, the World Health Organization, and the United States Agency for International Development.
Ted Greiner, MS '77, PhD '83, retired
Advisor(s): Michael Latham
Current Focus: Editor-in-chief of the journal of the World Public Health Nutrition Association (wphna.org) called World Nutrition, which would be delighted to receive manuscripts from Cornell students and alumni. The journal is funded through membership fees and is free to both readers and authors.
Cornell PIN Experience: When I first set foot on the Cornell campus, I literally danced under the trees. I knew I had finally found my calling in nutrition. When I first started (January 1974), I made appointments with 18 nutrition professors around campus to learn what they were doing and if the would be interested in a new grad student working with them. I had been a teaching or research assistant multiple times by the time I left (July 1983). The first was working on a literature review for Professor Jere Rivers on the impact of hard vs. soft water on heart disease. I got hooked on international nutrition in Professor Michael Latham's class because of his in-depth knowledge of what it's like in the field and his love of Africa and its people. He remained a mentor and friend until his passing in 2011. I worked closely with him on three Cornell International Nutrition Monographs and several papers, the last in 2010, The Great Vitamin A Fiasco.
More Information: LinkedIn_Greiner
Rebecca Heidkamp, PhD '11, Assistant Scientist, Institute for International Programs & Center for Human Nutrition, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD,USA
Advisors: Rebecca Stoltzfus, Jean-Pierre Habicht, Kathleen Rasmussen
Current focus: I lead a multi-country project in Africa focused on developing technical methods and building government capacity for high-level evaluation of maternal newborn child health and nutrition policies and programs. I’m also involved in several smaller projects related to measuring and modeling nutrition programs at scale.
Cornell PIN experiences: I still credit NS7030 for the communications and critical thinking skills that underlie much of my current work. The strong relationships I developed with my DNS mentors and peers continue to this day. I’m currently on a WHO committee that involves three fellow DNS alumni and am working on a small grant with another DNS peer who works at a different institution. Not to mention the wonderful global reunions I’ve had – by chance or design – with DNS friends and faculty in Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Quebec, Switzerland, India and beyond!
More information: visit Dr. Heidkamp's Johns Hopkins profile
Anna Herforth, PhD '10, Independent Consultant and Researcher, New Haven, CT, USA
Advisor: Per Pinstrup Andersen
Current focus: My work focuses on linkages between agriculture, food security, and nutrition around the world.
Cornell PIN experiences: Launching the Food Agriculture and Nutrition Group (FANG) during graduate school was practice in connecting people across disciplines professionally. The FANG model was scaled up in partnership with Emily Levitt Ruppert, who founded the Ag2Nut Community of Practice. Emily and I saw this group from our first meetings of five people around a conference table in DC to now, a vibrant online community of over 2000 people in over 90 countries (and counting). This group created a unified statement of Key Recommendations for Improving Nutrition through Agriculture and Food Systems which has been adopted by the UN FAO, USAID, and used by many other organizations.
Suggestions for current graduate students: Satisfying work is only partly about the subject matter, and mostly about how you spend your time every day. Notice how you feel when you are doing what you do. Turn toward experiences and collaborations that bring you energy and peace. These essential skills of noticing and responding are self-taught; graduate school is a great time to practice them.
Agriculture and Food Security Center - Anna Herforth
Andrew Jones, PhD '11, Assistant Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Advisor: Per Pinstrup-Andersen
Current focus: My research program is focused on understanding the influence of agriculture and food systems on the diets and nutritional status of women and children in low- and middle-income countries. Specifically, I examine: 1) biophysical, sociocultural and microbial mechanisms via which smallholder agricultural production systems influence maternal and child nutrition; and 2) the role of food systems changes associated with the “nutrition transition” in potentiating risk of concurrent undernutrition and obesity at community-, household- and individual-scales.
Cornell PIN experiences: The faculty members in PIN and throughout DNS are not only world-class researchers, but also dedicate enormous energies to supporting students. The education I received at Cornell provided me the foundational skills and knowledge to launch and lead an independent research program in international nutrition. But perhaps more importantly, I continually draw from the example set by PIN and DNS faculty in ensuring that my priorities are centered on student mentorship, and shared learning through collaboration.
More information: University of Michigan - Andrew Jones
Jacqueline Kung'u, PhD '08; Regional Adviser Research and Evaluation (Africa Region), Nutrition International
Advisor: Rebecca Stoltzfus
Current focus: Nutrition International’s work focuses on strengthening health systems in Africa through evidence–based programming. My role involves: contributing to the technical quality of the MI’s programs and research in Africa; guiding the utilization of evidence as a basis for NI’s programs, and participating in the generation and dissemination of new evidence related to diverse health and nutrition programs among country level stakeholders, presentations in national, regional and global meetings and publications in scientific peer reviewed journals.
Cornell PIN experience: At Cornell I learned that my opinion counts and I should never be afraid to share it. There were various opportunities for reflective and independent thinking throughout the program and I actually remember thinking how much others valued my opinions. I also remember that I had a wonderful mentorship relationship with my advisor and that despite being a very accomplished researcher, she still valued my input in research.
Suggestions for current graduate students: Have clear career goals that you are committed to but be flexible enough to see opportunities around you. Always invest in others by mentoring and empowering upcoming researchers. It's time consuming but very rewarding!
Jef Leroy, PhD '05; Senior Research Fellow, Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division,International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, D.C., USA
Advisor: Jean-Pierre Habicht
Current focus: Jef Leroy, a Belgian citizen, is a Senior Research Fellow in IFPRI’s Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division. He studies the impact of two large-scale integrated food and nutrition programs in Burundi and Guatemala on maternal and child nutrition and health. He is also involved in research on the impact of aflatoxin on child linear growth in Kenya and Mexico and studies the measurement of linear growth retardation. Before joining IFPRI in July 2009, he was a research associate at the Center for Evaluation Research and Surveys at Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health in Mexico. In Mexico, he worked on the impact evaluation of large scale programs, including the impact of Mexico’s urban and rural Oportunidades programs on child nutrition and health, and the impact of the Programa de Apoyo Alimentario (a cash and in-kind transfer program) on household food consumption and women's weight. He has also conducted research on child mortality.
Cornell PIN experience: The “vitamin A course” was remarkable. The course started with molecular structure of β-carotene and retinol, and ended with vitamin A-related programs and policies. The insights from this course are extremely relevant for impact evaluation: it serves as a reminder not only to remember the underlying biology of the problems we are trying to address, but also reminds us to focus on understanding the (behavioral) pathways of impact.
More info: IFPRI profile_Leroy
James Levinson, PhD '71; Lecturer, Online M.P.H. in Nutrition; Adjunct Faculty, Tufts University, Boston University, and the School for International Training Graduate Institute
Advisors: David Call, Michael Latham
Geoff Marks, PhD '89; Associate Dean for the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and academic staff member in the School of Public Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Advisors: Jere Haas, Jean-Pierre Habicht
Current focus: My role as Dean involves strategic oversight of teaching and learning development and academic administration in the faculty.
My teaching and research is in the field of public health nutrition, with a core interest in using research to strengthen nutrition policy & programming – particularly in relation to food and nutrition security, food systems, micronutrient malnutrition, and non-communicable disease prevention. My work has involved projects throughout the Asia-Pacific region, with the principal areas being Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
Cornell PIN experiences: For me, the two major features of the International Nutrition program at Cornell were:
- exposure to a range of great teachers and researchers in international nutrition as a cross-disciplinary field, that provided a perspective and way of approaching nutrition issues that has continued to be valuable over time; and
- most significantly, an international cohort of colleagues also studying for the PhD that provided an incredibly supportive environment, set a challenging standard for learning and research, and an enriching network of colleagues since graduation.
Stephanie Martin, PhD '16; Assistant Professor at UNC Gillings School of Public Health
Advisors: Rebecca Stoltzfus and Kate Dickin
Current Focus: I am a global health and nutrition researcher and practitioner with more than 15 years of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating behavioral interventions. I conduct implementation research to improve the quality and impact of maternal and child nutrition programs in low-resource settings, with a focus on infant and young child feeding.
More Information: LinkedIn_S.Martin
Homero Martinez, PhD '91; Senior Technical Advisor, Folate Task Team, Nutrition International in Ottawa, ON, Canada
Advisor(s): Jeanne-Pierre Habicht
Current Focus: The Micronutrient Forum has a global outreach, seeking to be a convener for dialogue among different actors coming from any discipline, interested in the topic of micronutrient deficiencies. The bi-annual Global Conference brings together hundreds of researchers, policy-makers, students, advocates, from NGO’s, public and private organizations, to engage in cutting-edge topics.
Comments on PIN: I don’t think I could have had a better introduction to international nutrition than the experience of having both teachers and students who came from a varied background of experiences and were all passionate about making a change in the world. The joy of meeting classmates, colleagues, teachers, and the large community of friends working on international nutrition in venues all over the world is always a way of keeping such a legacy alive.
More Information: ResearchGate: Homero Martinez; LinkedIn_Homero Martinez
Mduduzi Mbuya, PhD '07; Senior Technical Specialist (Monitoring, Learning and Research) with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
Advisor: Jean-Pierre Habicht
Current focus: Mduduzi provides support to GAIN's research, evaluation and learning efforts with particular emphasis on large scale food fortification. He has 20 years of experience working across a breadth of health and nutrition areas, working with multidisciplinary teams, and across the continuum from research to policy He has led and supported the design, implementation and analysis of large scale programs and program evaluations in Zimbabwe, Haiti, Bangladesh and India.
Cornell PIN experience: My Cornell PIN experience improved not only my critical thinking but my overall approach to nutrition practice. In particular, the focus on conceptual frameworks as a way to understand causation and causal inference transformed the way I approach all aspects of nutrition programming and research.
More information: LinkedIn_M.Mbuya
Nkosinathi Vusizihlobo Mbuya, PhD '16; Senior Nutritionist, World Bank
Advisor(s): Kathleen Rasmussen
Current Focus & Background: Nkosinathi is a Senior Nutrition Specialist and has been the nutrition focal person for the East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank and also provides nutrition leadership role in the Bank’s engagement in Lao PDR, the Philippines and Vietnam. Prior to joining the East Asia Region, Nkosi was the HQ-based nutrition focal person for the South Asia Region (specifically working on Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). For the Africa Region, he has supported the Madagascar, Burundi and Sierra Leone Health teams in their nutrition engagement. Nkosi led the preparation of the East Asia and Pacific Region Multisectoral Strategy and Action Plan to Reduce the Double Burden of Malnutrition (2015-2020) and also the South Asia Regional Assistance Strategy for Nutrition (2011-2016) as well as a wide range of analytical work in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Before joining the World Bank, he was the Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor for Save the Children UK’s Hunger Reduction Team based in London. He has also worked for the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in Zimbabwe as a Provincial Nutritionist and as a Nutrition Lecturer at the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Family Sciences at the University of Zimbabwe. Nkosi graduated with a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University – majoring in International Nutrition and with minors in Epidemiology and Applied Economics, an MSc in Nutrition from the University of Southampton (UK) and a BSc Honors in Biochemistry from the University of Zimbabwe.
Purnima Menon, PhD '02; Senior Research Fellow in IFPRI’s Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division, Asia office in New Delhi, India
Advisor(s): Jean-Pierre Habicht
Current Focus: Currently, Dr. Menon leads a team that is conducting impact and process evaluations of Alive and Thrive, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported initiative to improve infant and young child feeding and child nutrition in Bangladesh, Vietnam and Ethiopia. The Alive & Thrive evaluation portfolio includes a set of rigorous impact and process evaluations and cost studies of Alive and Thrive’s interventions to scale-up and improve community- and health system-based behavior change communications interventions to improve nutrition as well as policy process research methods to measure and document the influence of media, advocacy and policy support, on shaping nutrition policy landscapes. Dr. Menon also co-directs POSHAN (Partnerships and Opportunities to Strengthen and Harmonize Actions for Nutrition in India), a new 4-year initiative to build evidence, partnerships and communications to improve nutrition policy and program actions for nutrition in India and to document the impact of this initiative.
Cornell PIN experiences: I could not have asked for better training for what I do in my career now – a mix of serious research and serious engagement with governments, donors and other key players in nutrition in this region! My PhD training at PIN, and the good fortune of some postdoctoral years at Cornell, were just fantastic grounding in learning about biology, behavior, implementation science and the politics of nutrition, and how they all come together. I can safely say that I use a little something of what I learnt at Cornell almost every day.
Peter Minchella, PhD '15; Data Advisor, Epidemiology and Strategic Information Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Zambia
Advisor: Joann McDermid
Current focus: Epidemiologist in the CDC's Division of Global HIV and Tuberculosis based in Lusaka, Zambia
Simeon Nanama, PhD '04; Chief Nutrition at UNICEF, Nigeria
Advisor(s): Edward A. Frongillo
Current Focus: Technical assistance to the Malagasy government for the development evidence-based nutrition policies strategies and plan; Provide technical support and strategic orientation for multi-sectorial coordination of interventions and advocacy; Ensure nutrition is adequately reflected in UNICEF plan; Plan, implement, monitoring & evaluate of nutrition specific interventions focusing on the reduction of chronic malnutrition
Cornell PIN experiences: The time spent in DNS will probably remain the most important in my life in terms of intellectual stimulation.
More Information: LinkedIn_Nanama
Godwin Ndossi, PhD '92; Associate Professor of Nutrition at Hubert Kairuki Memorial University in Tanzania.
Advisor(s): Michael Latham
Isabel Ortega, PhD '97; Professor, Public Nutrition and health Department, Nutrition Division, Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A.C.
Advisor: Diva Sanjur
Current focus: Public Nutrition from a holistic view; the socio-cultural, economic and demographic variables associated with dietary risk factors and nutrition security in migrant populations; the food environment and nutritional security of urban and rural populations; the development of models of nutrition intervention oriented to obesity prevention in preschool and school age children.
More information: Ortega
Sarah Pedersen, PhD '15; Global Health and Nutrition Consultant
Advisors: Joann McDermid, Sera Young, Alice Pell, Daryl VanNydam
Current Focus: My current focus is the cost-effectiveness of nutrition focused policies to improve maternal and child health in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Cornell PIN experience: My fieldwork in Tanzania and project management skills from my dissertation research were invaluable experiences that prepared me to work independently, especially in resource-poor settings.
More information: LinkedIn_Pedersen
Juan Pablo Peña-Rosas, PhD '97; Coordinator, Evidence an Programme Guidance (EPG)
Current Focus: Dr. JP Peña-Rosas coordinates the Evidence and Programme Guidance, Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. He joined WHO in 2008 and oversees the development of WHO evidence-informed guidelines for interventions addressing the double burden of malnutrition for neonates, infants, children and women in stable and emergency settings. He is an Assistant Professor (Adjunct) at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta, United States since 2011 and Professor (Adjunct) at Cornell University since 2017.
Barry Popkin, PhD '74; W.R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor, Dept. of Nutrition at UNC
Advisor(s): David Call & Michael Latham
Current Focus: My focus has shifted to food policy related to mainly global obesity but increasingly also under-nutrition, with my research program (Global Food Research Program at UNC) expanding significantly. We have active large subcontracts now with 9 countries and are solely focused on policy research in the US. On the global side, we both provide research support for advocacy in our partner countries and do joint evaluations and also design for governments of large-scale regulatory, fiscal and other policies that we have found work. This includes long-term collaboration with one alumni Juan Rivera at the Mexican National Institute of Public Health and other institutions in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. In addition, I am advising and working with a number of other countries. I recently coauthored a book with another Cornell alumna, Meera Shekar of the World Bank.
Geoffrey Prewitt, MPS '97; Deputy Special Representative to the Administrator for the UNDP/Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People
Advisor(s): Michael Latham and Norman Uphoff
Current Focus: Anchored in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and committed to the principles of universality, equality and leaving no one behind, the UNDP vision for the Strategic Plan, 2018-2021 is to support countries by eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, accelerating structural transformations for sustainable development and building resilience to crises and shocks. Since its establishment, UNDP/PAPP has delivered over USD 1.7 billion in development assistance to the Palestinian People, generated over 4 million workdays, and provided vital social services in the areas of health, education, sanitation, rule of law and access to justice, climate change mitigation, and reduction of poverty. In my current role, I have the pleasure of leading the programmatic aspects of our work with a focus on socio-economic resilience for the Palestinian people.
Cornell PIN experiences: I had the privilege of working with the late Michael Latham. He brought a sense of humanity, empathy, and technical brilliance – always grounded in his selfless dedication to countries around the world with public health deficits – to advance the interests of his students to serve the international community. I am an outcome of Cornell’s commitment and have now worked with the United Nations for nearly 20 years throughout the Arab States region, Eastern and Central Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
More Information: LinkedIn_Prewitt or Twitter, @gprewitt1
Victoria Quinn, MS '82; Helen Keller International’s Senior Vice President for Programs, Washington DC
Advisor(s): Jere Haas
Background: After getting my Masters in 1982, I moved to Africa for 16 years (Kenya, Malawi and Ghana). During this time I worked close to 9 years as the Regional Program Coordinator of the Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy Program and was seconded to UNICEF’s regional office for eastern and southern Africa in Nairobi.
I later received my PhD from Wageningen University in the Netherlands in 1994. My thesis was titled “Nutrition and National Development: An Evaluation of Nutrition Planning in Malawi from 1936 to 1990” (published by Wageningen Agriculture University Press, The Hague, The Netherlands). In 1998 I returned to the United States and settled with my husband and son in Washington DC where I served for over 8 years as the Senior Technical Manager overseeing the flagship programs for the USAID-funded LINKAGES Infant Feeding project.
Current Focus: Since 2006 I’ve been serving as Helen Keller International’s Senior Vice President for Programs based in their Washington DC office. In this capacity I oversee HKI’s programs in nutrition, eye health and neglected tropical diseases across the regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia Pacific. My specific areas of expertise include food security and nutrition policy and surveillance, infant and young child feeding (including aspects of food marketing), micronutrients, women’s nutrition as well as nutrition sensitive programming especially within the agricultural sector. Most recently I co-edited and authored the 3rd edition of the Oxford University Press textbook “Nutrition for Developing Countries” with Savage-King, Burgess and Osei which was published in late 2015 and later awarded the distinction of “Highly Commended” in the Public Health category under the 2016 British Medical Association Book Awards: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/nutrition-for-developing-countries-9780199685226?cc=sn&lang=en&)
Uriyoán Colón Ramos, MPA '00, ScD; Associate Professor of Global Health at George Washington University
Advisor(s): David Pelletier
Current Focus: Dr. Uriyoán Colón-Ramos is a public health nutrition investigator with expertise working in Latin America and the Caribbean, and with minority populations in the United States. She is trilingual (Spanish, French and English) and has worked extensively in the field of nutrition in global health through collaborations with the Instituto Costarricense de Investigación y Enseñanza en Nutrición y Salud, the PanAmerican Health Organization, the University of Puerto Rico, the University of Costa Rica, the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública de Mexico, and the World Food Programme, among others. Her work has contributed to the knowledge of existing dietary disparities among Hispanic subgroups by country of origin, the process of translation of science into nutrition policy in Latin America, and the social and environmental determinants of dietary behaviors among vulnerable populations in the US, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Cornell PIN experience: The work and advice of PIN faculty were critical to my interest in public health nutrition. A few key courses as an undergraduate in the School of Arts and Sciences were ‘Nutrition Problems in Developing Nations’ (taught by Jere Haas, JP Habicht and Michael Latham at the time) and ‘Public Health Nutrition’ (taught by David Pelletier & Gretel Pelto). I still have the course packets and refer to them from time to time – thorough readings on the pathophysiology and etiology of common nutritional problems, rounded up with understanding of program tactics for broad-based comprehensive programs/policies.
More Information: GWU Public Health - Ramos
Sabrina Rasheed, PhD '07; Associate Scientist, Health Systems and Population Studies Division (HSPSD) at ICDDR, Bangladesh
Advisor: Kathleen Rasmussen
Current focus: My research focuses on maternal and child nutrition, health systems strengthening, ICT for health, equity, and policy analysis. I am a member of South Asian Infant feeding Research Network (SAIFRN) and Nutrition lead of INDEPTH network.
Cornell PIN experiences: A prominent memory is about rehearsing for NS7030. Dr. Habicht was assessing my performance. He said that every time I was looking towards him he could hear me but when I turned, he could not. He offered to teach me to throw my voice. I was impressed by his attention to detail.
Rahul Rawat, PhD '07
Advisor(s): Rebecca Stoltzfus
Current Focus: I am focused on grant making to improve data systems and global monitoring in nutrition.
Juan Ángel Rivera Dommarco, PhD '88, Director General, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP)
Advisor: J.P. Habicht
Current focus: My research work is focused in the epidemiology of malnutrition in all its forms (undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and obesity), the study of risk factors for malnutrition with emphasis on infant feeding practices and dietary intake, and the generation of evidence to guide the design and evaluation of policies and programs for the prevention of malnutrition and NCCDs.
Kuntal Kumar Saha, PhD '07; Technical Officer in the Growth Assessment and Surveillance Unit (GRS) of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development (NHD) with World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.
Advisor: Kathleen Rasmussen
Roseanne Schuster, PhD '16; Director of Monitoring, Evaluation, & Learning (MEL) Practice and Innovation, Global Impact Collaboratory; Assistant Research Scientist, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University
Advisor: Sera Young
Current focus: I use community-based, participatory, and implementation science approaches in interventions and evaluations to ensure programs are ultimately responsive to target populations and adaptive to the complex systems in which they operate. My research focuses on how to improve delivery of critical health services in low-resource settings, uptake of health care among vulnerable populations including refugees in the U.S., characterizing social support among refugee communities, and understanding of how food and water insecurity shape infant and young child feeding and growth.
Cornell PIN Experience: The PIN Seminar offered exposure to range of topics within international nutrition and challenged faculty and students to engage in approaches outside their specific area. I appreciated the thoughtful conversations that started in PIN seminars and carried over into hallway conversations, lab meetings, and ultimately projects and papers.
Lisa Studdert, PhD '00; acting Deputy Secretary with the Department of Health, Australia
Advisor: Jean-Pierre Habicht
Current focus: Lisa Studdert is the Acting Deputy Secretary for Aged Care, Sport and Population Health, which incorporates the areas of residential and flexible aged care, in-home aged care, and population health including drugs and alcohol policy and the Office for Sport. Lisa joined the Department of Health in June 2013 as a First Assistant Secretary in Therapeutic Goods Administration. Dr Studdert has previously worked in the office of Minister Greg Hunt, and before that, as Chief of Staff to former Health Minister, Sussan Ley.
Cornell PIN Experience: Am always happy to hear from PIN alumni or, prospective students and should any be passing through Canberra, Australia – please make contact. Lisastuddert@gmail.com
Douglas L. Taren, MS, PhD '86; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor, Health Promotion Sciences Dept., Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona
Advisor: Malden Neisham
Current Focus: Doug Taren focuses primarily on maternal and child nutrition with a special emphasis on decreasing health disparities within low income populations and countries. His studies and teaching experiences in maternal and child health have been conducted in several Latin American, Asian and African countries with funding from numerous organizations including USAID, FAO, NIH, CDC, and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. These projects have focused on food security programs with organizations such as Save the Children, Counterparts International, TANGO International and the World Food Program. He has worked on improving programs that prevent and treat vitamin A deficiency in Nepali pregnant women and young children, and effectiveness studies on decreasing mother-to-child HIV transmission in Kenya. He also worked on improving dietary assessment methods and community-based programs to decrease childhood obesity. He has served as a resource person to the World Health Organization Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group Monitoring and Evaluation Subgroup on Guidelines for the Assessment of Vitamin A, and Iron Status in Populations. He is currently the director of the Western Region Public Health Training Center (WRPHTC) for HRSA Region 9 (Arizona, Nevada, California, Hawaii and the US Affiliated Pacific Islands including Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau. The WRPHTC works to strengthen the public health workforce based on Council on Linkages Core Public Health Competencies and also focuses on training the public health workforce on issues related to nutrition, physical activity and obesity.
A project includes the Evaluation of the Solar Market Garden Program in Benin
Recent Publication: Nutrition and Health in a Developing World, 3rd Edition. Eds. de Pee, Taren and Bloem, Humana Press, New York, 2017.
Djeinam Toure, PhD '16; Technical Specialist, Knowledge Leadership at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).
Advisor: David Pelletier
Current Focus: Investigating informal market food environments in low and middle income countries and their relationship to diet.
More Information: LinkedIn_Toure
Katherine Tucker, PhD '86, Professor, Department of Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Advances in Nutrition, an International Reviews Journal
American Society of Nutrition
Advisors: Diva Sanjur, Jere Haas, Michael Latham, Jean-Pierre Habicht
Current focus: My current work focuses on Nutritional Epidemiology, specifically diet and health in diverse populations, particularly among Puerto Ricans and African Americans.
Cornell PIN experiences:
Cornell PIN gave me solid training in biostatistics and research methodology.
More information: UMass Lowell - Tucker
Anna Winkvist, PhD '92; Professor, University of Gothenburg, The Sahlgrenska Academy, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Advisors: Kathleen Rasmussen, Jean-Pierre Habicht, Jere Haas, Milton Barnett and Kathryn March
Current focus: My research includes nutritional epidemiology, where I have the major responsibility for the Northern Sweden Diet Database which is the largest population-based database in one country in Europe with data on food intake. I also run RCT with diet in relation to different outcomes, for example I have been running both efficacy and effectiveness trials on weight loss among overweight and obese women postpartum, a trial with anti-inflammatory diet among patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and of FODMAP diet among patients with IBS. I also am in charge of methodological studies using metabolomics to characterize individual dietary intake. I am teaching at the program for dieticians at University of Gothenburg, mostly Masters-level courses in statistics and epidemiology and in nutrition & reproduction.
Olivia Yambi, PhD '88; Co-Chair, International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems
Advisor: Michael Latham
Current focus: I currently Co-Chair the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (www.ipes-food.org). So focus on nutrition and food systems. I retired from UNICEF in 2012 and my last duty station was Kenya where I was UNICEF Country Representative.