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Julia

Finkelstein

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition | The Follett Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow
Division of Nutritional Sciences
Office

218 Savage Hall

Biography

Dr. Julia Finkelstein is the Follett Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow and Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University. Dr. Finkelstein is Deputy Director of the affiliate Cochrane Centre for Nutrition and co-leads the PAHO/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Nutrition at Cornell University. She is also joint Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Development, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University,and adjunct Associate Professor at St. John's Research Institute, St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences in Bangalore, India. She received her Bachelor of Science from McGill University, Master of Public Health degree from Brown University, and Master and Doctor of Science degrees in Epidemiology and Nutrition from Harvard University.

 

Dr. Finkelstein is an epidemiologist with expertise in the design and conduct of randomized clinical trials, cohort studies, and surveillance programs in resource-limited settings. The goal of the Finkelstein Laboratory is to elucidate the role of iron, vitamin B12, and folate in the etiology of anemia and adverse pregnancy outcomes, and inform the development of interventions to improve the health of mothers and young children.

 

Dr. Finkelstein was awarded the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) North America Future Leader Award in 2017. She has served as an external expert for the World Health Organization Nutrition Guidelines Group, Chair of the B-vitamins and One-Carbon Metabolism symposium at the Experimental Biology conference, expert consultant for the World Health Organization, and NIH reviewer for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

The goal of my research program is to elucidate the role of iron, vitamin B12, and folate in the etiology of anemia and adverse pregnancy outcomes, and inform the development of interventions to improve the health of mothers and young children.

Current major research projects include randomized trials, cohort studies, and surveillance programs in Southern India:

  1. A Randomized Trial of Quadruple Fortified Salt for Anemia and Birth Defects Prevention in Southern India (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  2. Vitamin B12, and Perinatal Health: Elucidating Mechanisms and Biomarkers for Prevention of Birth Defects (ILSI Future Leader Award Grant)
  3. Differential Diagnosis of Anemia and Micronutrient Deficiencies (National Institutes of Health)
  4. Periconceptional Surveillance for Prevention of Anemia and Birth Defects in India (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  5. Biomarkers of Iron Status in Women of Reproductive Age for Prevention of Anemia and Birth Defects in India (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  6. Elucidating the Role of One-Carbon Metabolism Biomarkers for Birth Defects Prevention (CHE NIH Grant Development Program)

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. Finkelstein JL, Colt S, Layden AJ*, Krisher JT, Stewart-Ibarra AM, Polhemus M, Beltrán-Ayala E, Tedesco JM*, Cárdenas WB, Endy T, Mehta S. Micronutrients, immunological parameters, and dengue virus infection in coastal Ecuador: A nested case-control study in an infectious disease surveillance program. Journal of Infectious Diseases.2020 Jan 1. 221(1): 91-101. PMID: 31428794.
  2. Finkelstein JL, Kurpad AV, Bose B, Thomas T, Srinivasan K, Duggan C. Anaemia and Iron Deficiency in Pregnancy and Adverse Perinatal Outcomes in Southern India. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2019 Jul 11.74(1): 112-125. PMID: 31296936.
  3. Finkelstein JL, Fothergill A*, Qi YP, Crider KS. Vitamin B12supplementation during pregnancy for maternal and child health outcomes. Protocol. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.In press.
  4. Finkelstein JL, Fothergill A*, Hackl LS, Haas JD, and Mehta S. Iron biofortification interventions to improve iron status and functional outcomes. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society.2019 Jan 30:1-11. PMID: 30698117.  
  5. Finkelstein JL, Guillet R, Pressman EK, Fothergill A*, Kent TR, Guetterman HM*, O'Brien KO. Vitamin B12 Status in Pregnant Adolescents and their Infants. Nutrients.2019 Feb 13;11(2). PMID: 30781902.
  6. Finkelstein JL, Mehta S, Luna SV, Rahn M, Villapando V, Mundo V, Shamah-Levy T, Beebe SE, Haas JD. A Randomized Trial of Iron-Biofortified Beans in School Children in Mexico. Nutrients. 2019 Feb 12;11(2). PMID: 30759887.
  7. Centeno Tablante E*, Pachón H, Guetterman HM*, Finkelstein JL. Fortification of wheat and maize flour with folic acid for population health outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.2019 Jul 1; Issue 7: CD012150. PMID: 31257574.
  8. Huey SL, Finkelstein JL, Venkatramanan S, Udipi SA, Ghugre P, Thakker V, Thorat A, Potdar RD, Chopra HV, Kurpad AV, Haas JD, Mehta S. Prevalence and Correlates of Undernutrition in Young Children Living in Urban Slums of Mumbai, India: A Cross Sectional Study. Frontiers in Public Health. 2019 Jul 12;7:191. PMID: 31355176.
  9. Rey E, Finkelstein JL, Erickson D. Point-Of-Care Assessment of Folate Status Using a Fluorescence Lateral Flow Assay. PLoS One.2019 Jun 5;14(6):e0217403. PMID: 31166978.
  10. Gannon BM, Thakker V, Bonam V, Haas JD, Bonam W, Finkelstein JL, Udipi SA, and Mehta S. A Randomized Crossover Study to Evaluate Recipe Acceptability in Breastfeeding Mothers and Young Children in India Targeted for a Multiple Biofortified Food Crop Intervention. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2019 Jul 30:379572119855588. PMID: 31359782.
  11. Srinivasan B, Finkelstein JL, O'Dell D, Erickson D, Mehta S. Rapid diagnostics for point-of-care quantification of soluble transferrin receptor. EBioMedicine. 2019 Mar 15. PMID: 30885726.
  12. Finkelstein JL, Herman HS*, Guetterman H*, Peña-Rosas JP, and Mehta S. Daily iron supplementation for prevention or treatment of iron deficiency anaemia in infants, children and adolescents. Protocol. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2018, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD013227.   
  13. Layden AJ*, Täse K*, and Finkelstein JL. Neglected tropical diseases and vitamin B12: A review of the current evidence. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.2018 Aug 28. PMID: 30165408. 
  14. Finkelstein JL, Haas JD, Mehta S. Iron-biofortified staple food crops for improving iron status: A review of the current evidence. Current Opinion in Biotechnology2017, 44: 138 –145. PMID: 28131049. 
  15. Finkelstein JL, Kurpad AV, Thomas T, Srinivasan K, Duggan C. Vitamin B12 Status in Pregnant Women and their Infants in South India. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2017 Apr 12. PMID: 28402324.   
  16. Venkatramanan S*, Armata IE*, Strupp BJ, Finkelstein JL. Vitamin B-12 and Cognition in Children. Advances in Nutrition. 2016; 7:1–10. PMID: 27633104.  
  17. Layden AJ*, O’Brien KO, Pressman EK, Cooper EM, Kent TR, Finkelstein JL. Vitamin B12 and Placental Transcobalamin Expression in Pregnant Adolescents. Placenta.2016; 45:1 –7. PMID: 27577703.  
  18. De-Regil LM, Finkelstein JL, Saeterdal I, Gaitán D, Peña-Rosas JP. Fortification of wheat and maize flour with folic acid for population health outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.2016, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD012150.  
  19. Herman HS*, Mehta S, Cárdenas WB, Stewart-Ibarra AM, Finkelstein JL. Micronutrients and Leptospirosis: A Review of the Current Evidence. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2016; 10(7). PMID: 27387046.  
  20. Finkelstein JL, Layden AJ*, Stover PJ. Vitamin B-12 and Perinatal Health. Advances in Nutrition. 2015; 6:1 –12.  
  21. 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. Journal of Nutrition. 2015 Jul; 145(7): 1576 –81.  
  22. Finkelstein JL, Gala P*, Rochford R, Glesby MJ, Mehta S. HIV/AIDS and Lipodystrophy: Implications for clinical management in resource-limited settings. Journal of the International AIDS Society. 2015, 18:19033.  
  23. Martiniova L, Field MS, Finkelstein JL, Perry CA, Stover PJ. Maternal dietary uridine causes, and deoxyuridine prevents, neural tube closure defects in a mouse model of folate-responsive neural tube defects. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015 Apr; 101(4): 860–9.  
  24. Finkelstein JL, Pressman EK, Cooper EM, Kent TR, Bar HY, O’Brien KO. Vitamin D Status Impacts Serum Metabolomic Profiles in Pregnant Adolescents. Reproductive Sciences. 2014 Nov 2. 
  25. De Moura FF, Palmer AC, Finkelstein JL, Haas JD, Murray-Kolb LE, Wenger MJ, Birol E, Boy E, Peña-Rosas JP. Are Biofortified Staple Food Crops Improving Vitamin A and Iron Status in Women and Children? New Evidence from Efficacy Trials. Advances in Nutrition. Sep 2014 5 568 –570.  
  26. Duggan C, Srinivasan K, Thomas T, Samuel T, Rajendran R, Muthayya S, Finkelstein JL, Lukose A, Fawzi W, Allen LH, Bosch RJ, Kurpad AV. Vitamin B-12 Supplementation during Pregnancy and Early Lactation Increases Maternal, Breast Milk, and Infant Measures of Vitamin B-12 Status. Journal of Nutrition. 2014 Mar 5.  
  27. Finkelstein JL, O’Brien KO, Abrams SA, Zavaleta N. Infant Iron Status Impacts Iron Absorption in Peruvian Breast-fed Infants at Two and Five Months of Age. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2013 Dec; 98(6):1475–84.  
  28. Finkelstein JL, Mehta S, Fawzi WW. HIV and iron-deficiency anaemia. Public Health Nutrition. 2012 Mar 20:1.  
  29. Finkelstein JL, Mehta S, Duggan CP, Spiegelman D, Aboud S, Kupka R, Msamanga GI, Fawzi WW. Predictors of anaemia and iron deficiency in HIV-infected pregnant women in Tanzania: a potential role for vitamin D and parasitic infections. Public Health Nutrition. 2012 May; 15(5):928 –37.  
  30. Finkelstein JL, Mehta S, Duggan C, 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. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 2012 Feb; 31(2):171 –175.  
  31. 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 African Medical Journal. 2012 Jun; 89(6): 183 –192.
  32. Kupka R, Mugusi F, Aboud S, Msamanga GI, Finkelstein JL, Spiegelman D, Fawzi WW. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of selenium supplements among HIV-infected pregnant women in Tanzania: Effects on maternal and child outcomes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008 Jun; 87(6): 1802 –8.  
  33. Finkelstein JL, Schleinitz MD, Carabin H, McGarvey ST. Decision-model estimation of the age-specific disability weight for schistosomiasis japonica. PloS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2008 Mar 5; 2(3): e158. Accompanied by an Editorial Commentary: King CH. Schistosomiasis Japonica: The DALYs Recaptured. PloS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2008 Mar 5; 2(3): e203.  

*Mentees in my research laboratory

Research Manuscripts Under Review

  1. Finkelstein JL, Fothergill A*, Johnson CB, Guetterman HM*, Bose B, Ruth C, Jabbar S, Zhang M, Pfeiffer CM, Qi YP, Rose CE, Williams JL, Bonam W, Crider KS. Periconceptional Surveillance for Anemia and Birth Defects Prevention in Southern India: Protocol Design and Methods. In review.
  2. Finkelstein JL, Herman HS*, Mehta S, Plenty A, Natureeba P, Clark T, Kamya M, Charlebois E, Cohan D, Havlir D, Young SL. Anemia and micronutrient status during pregnancy, and their associations with obstetric and infant outcomes among HIV-infected Ugandan women receiving antiretroviral therapy. In review.

*Mentees in my research laboratory

 

Chapters, Technical Papers, and Proceedings

  1. Finkelstein JL and Mehta S. Micronutrients in HIV-infected Pregnant Women and their Children. In Nutrition and HIVEpidemiological Evidence to Public Health Practice, edited by Mehta S and Finkelstein JL, 207 –242. Boca Raton: CRC Press, May 2018.
  2. Layden AJ* and Finkelstein JL. B-vitamins and HIV/AIDS. In Nutrition and HIV: Epidemiological Evidence to Public Health Practice, edited by Mehta S and Finkelstein JL. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, May 2018.
  3. Khondakar NR and Finkelstein JL. Iron and HIV/AIDS. In Nutrition and HIV: Epidemiological Evidence to Public Health Practice, edited by Mehta S and Finkelstein JL. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, May 2018.
  4. Finkelstein JL, Aribindi H*, Herman HS*, and Mehta S. Micronutrients and HIV in Pediatric Populations. In Nutrition and HIV: Epidemiological Evidence to Public Health Practice, edited by Mehta S and Finkelstein JL, 275 –305. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, May 2018.
  5. 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. In From the Ground Up: Building Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Care Programs in Resource-Limited Settings, edited by Marlink RG, Teitelman SJ. Washington, DC: Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, 2009.

*Mentees in my research laboratory

 

Invited Book

Nutrition and HIV: Epidemiological Evidence to Public Health Practice. Mehta S, Finkelstein JL, Eds. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, May 2018.

Scientific Advisory Boards, Panels, and Consensus Committees

External Expert, World Health Organization Nutrition Guideline Group Meeting

Advisory Board Member, WorldMapSteering Committee, Harvard University

Reviewer, American Society of Nutrition, Global Nutrition Council Abstracts

Expert Consultant, World Health Organization

Granting Agencies Reviewer

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH–NIDDK)

Professional Development

Global Ambassador, Cornell University, 2019–2021

Cornell Conflict Resolution for Faculty, 2019

Teaching Scholar Certificate, Cornell Center for Teaching Excellence, 2018

Teaching with Technology Certificate, Cornell Center for Teaching Excellence, 2018

Professional Society Memberships

American Society of Nutrition

Canadian Nutrition Society

International Epidemiological Association

Infectious Diseases Society of America

HIV Medicine Association

Global Health Council

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

American Public Health Association

Conferences Organized

Co-Chair: Women in Global Health Research Initiative, Cornell Weill Medical College, 2019–

Chair, Cornell Geospatial Forum

Adjunct Faculty Appointments

Assistant Professor (Joint), Department of Global Development, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University

Associate Professor (Adjunct), St. John’s Research Institute, St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore, India

Graduate Field Appointments, Cornell University

Nutritional Sciences                                                                                                   

Epidemiology

Comparative Biomedical Sciences: Immunology and Infectious Disease 

Biomedical and Biological Sciences: Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Population

Medicine and Epidemiology, Immunology and Infectious Disease, and Translational Medicine

Latin American Studies

Global Development

National Institutes of Health Training Grant Memberships, Cornell University

NICHD Maternal-Infant Nutrition Training Grant

NIDDK Nutrition Training Grant

NIH Comparative Medicine Training Program

Program Center and Institute Affiliations

Deputy Director, Affiliate Cochrane Centre for Nutrition

Co-Lead, PAHO/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Nutrition  

Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, South Asia Program, Latin America Studies Program, Institute for African Development

Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future

Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research

Institute for Nutrition, Global Health, and Technology

Cornell Dairy Center for Excellence

Cornell Population Center

Center for Infection and Pathobiology

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. —Plutarch

 

Teaching is most effective when I am able to make a personal connection with students and bring my experiences from the field into the classroom. My training in nutrition, epidemiology, and public health has shaped my perspectives in teaching and mentoring. As an epidemiologist, scientist, and public health researcher, I envision my role is to mentor and inspire the next generation of leaders in the field of international nutrition and maternal and child health: to inspire students to find a nutritional problem that fascinates them, to challenge them to think critically about its burden and etiology, to evaluate scientific evidence, and to apply knowledge and skills to develop solutions to improve human health.

 

I enjoy teaching nutrition, epidemiology, and research methods to undergraduate and graduate students, and health care professionals in domestic and international settings. In my teaching approach, I emphasize establishing a strong foundation in biological sciences and quantitative methods, and the development of critical thinking and analytic skills. I use case studies and problem-based learning to evaluate and translate evidence to public health practice. I encourage individual leadership and collaborative work in multidisciplinary teams, in the application of research methods to improve public health.

 

In the Division of Nutritional Sciences, I teach NS3600 Epidemiology, the foundational methods course in our Global and Public Health Sciencesundergraduate major, and the B-Vitaminssection of NS6310 Micronutrients: Function, Homeostasis and Assessment, which focuses on key nutrients in one-carbon metabolism, vitamin B12, folate, and choline. I also serve as an instructor in our annual World Health Organization/Cochrane/Cornell Summer Institute for Systematic Reviews in Nutrition for Global Policy Making, and guest lecturer in courses in nutrition, epidemiology, and maternal and child health. I serve as faculty advisor for students in the graduate fields of nutrition and epidemiology at Cornell, advise undergraduate students in Global and Public Health Sciencesand Human Biology Health and Society, and mentor undergraduate, masters, doctoral, and postdoctoral scholars as part of my maternal and child nutrition research program.

Courses Currently Taught

NS3600 Epidemiology

NS6310 Micronutrients: Function, Homeostasis and Assessment: B-Vitamins section

 

Mentored Research

NS4010 Empirical Research

NS6010 Special Topics for Graduate Students

 

Guest Lectures

IARD4020 Agriculture in Developing Nations: Maternal and Child Nutrition in India

NS6140 Topics in Maternal and Child Nutrition: HIV/AIDS: A Global Challenge to Maternal and Child Health, Controversies in Infant Feeding

NS3980 Research in Human Nutrition and Health: Nutrition, Epidemiology, and Perinatal Health

NS3060 Nutrition and Global Health: Maternal and Child Health, Epidemiology, and International Nutrition

NS1200 Nutrition and Health – Issues, Outlooks, and Opportunities: International and Public Health Nutrition

BIOG1200 Biology Scholars Program Freshman Seminar: Maternal and Child Nutrition

 

Additional Teaching

World Health Organization/Cochrane/Cornell Summer Institute for Systematic Reviews in Nutrition for Global Policy Making

Doctor of Science, Harvard University, 2011

Master of Science, Harvard University, 2010

Master of Public Health, Brown University, 2005

Bachelor of Science, McGill University, 2002

Deputy Director, Affiliate Cochrane Centre for Nutrition

Core Faculty, PAHO/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Nutrition

Global Ambassador, Cornell University

Co-Chair, Women in Global Health Research Initiative, Cornell Weill Medical College

Nominations and Elections Committee, Faculty Senate

Senator, Faculty Senate, Division of Nutritional Sciences Representative

Rhodes and Marshall Scholarship Endorsement Committee

Luce Scholars Program Endorsement Committee

Chair, Cornell Geospatial Forum

Human Ecology Representative, Mann Library Committee 

Search Committee, Cluster Hire in Nutrition and Health Inequalities

Admissions Committee, International Nutrition

Co-Chair, Field of Nutrition Seminar Committee

Search Committee, Assistant Professor in Public Health and Community Nutrition 

Division of Nutritional Sciences Faculty Associate, Center for Teaching Excellence

 

 

 

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