Juan Pablo Peña-Rosas
Juan Pablo Peña-Rosas
Courtesy Professor
Division of Nutritional Sciences

World Health Organization



 JP currently works as Head, Global Health Initiatives (cross-cutting) team, Office of the Director, Department of Nutrition and Food Safety, Division of Healthier Populations (HEP) and has served senior-level positions at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva since he joined in July 2008. He also worked as an active member of the WHO Guidelines Review Committee in the periods 2009-2011 and 2021-2023. He has been appointed as a member of the WHO Quality Support Panel for norms and standards in 2024. He is a member of Cochrane since 2003, a member of the WHO embracing disability affinity group and a WHO HEP Division representative of the WHO Gender, Equity and Human Rights Network.

He works for the advancement of public health epidemiology focused on policy making to ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all at all ages. 

He has led, co-led and contributed over 70 WHO practice and science-informed global policy with state-of-the-art methodology for guideline development and supports their implementation through people-centered integrated care in primary health care.  He has authored or co-authored over 100 publications in international peer-reviewed journals.

He serves as a member of the WHO Guideline Steering Committee for the WHO guideline for the improvement of functioning domains, activities and social participation of girls and boys (in all their diversity) and adolescents with obesity, using a primary health care approach.

He helped establish the annual WHO/Cochrane/Cornell summer institute for systematic reviews in nutrition for global policy-making in collaboration with leaders in these organizations since 2014 and is a founder member of Cochrane Nutrition. In 2019, he led a multidisciplinary agile team on nutrition in primary health care settings for universal health coverage. In 2021, its collaborative project between Cornell University, Creative Commons, Wikipedia and WHO received an award from the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhamon Ghebreyesus for the Editathon 2021 Health for All” as part of the WHO LEAD Innovation Challenge 2021. He is working with the center for Precision Nutrition for Health in project led by Dr Saurabh Mehta using Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Prior to WHO, JP worked as a Specialist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, USA and was involved in planning, implementing, and reporting of health and nutrition surveillance systems to inform policy.

In the private sector, Juan Pablo worked for Kellogg Company from 1997 to 2002, leading nutrition and food scientific and regulatory affairs at the regional level in the Latin America Headquarters based in Mexico and serving eight country subsidiaries.

JP is a Venezuelan medical epidemiologist, scientist and diplomat who received his Medical Degree from Luis Razetti School of Medicine, Universidad Central de Venezuela and a MSc in Public Health Nutrition from University of Puerto Rico. He holds a PhD in Epidemiology and Human Nutrition from Cornell University, USA. He is married to Heber Gomez Malave (he, him, his), a musician/songwriter (aka “Belle Petite”), medical doctor, sociologist, writer and philanthropist.

Diagnostic test Accuracy of adiposity to define obesity in children and adolescents

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  1. Mehta NH, Huey SL, Kuriyan R, Peña-Rosas JP, Finkelstein JL, Kashyap S, Mehta S. Potential Mechanisms of Precision Nutrition-Based Interventions for Managing Obesity. Adv Nutr. 2024 Mar;15(3):100186. doi: 10.1016/j.advnut.2024.100186. Epub 2024 Feb 3. PMID: 38316343; PMCID: PMC10914563.
  2. Cormick G, Moraa H, Zahroh RI, Allotey J, Rocha T, Peña-Rosas JP, Qureshi ZP, Hofmeyr GJ, Mistry H, Smits L, Vogel JP, Palacios A, Gwako GN, Abalos E, Larbi KK, Carroli G, Riley R, Snell KI, Thorson A, Young T, Betran AP, Thangaratinam S, Bohren MA. Factors affecting the implementation of calcium supplementation strategies during pregnancy to prevent pre-eclampsia: a mixed-methods systematic review. BMJ Open. 2023 Dec 22;13(12):e070677. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-070677. PMID: 38135336; PMCID: PMC10749021.
  3. Garcia-Casal  MN, Pasricha  S-R, Martinez  RX, Lopez-Perez  L, Peña-Rosas  JP1. Serum or plasma ferritin concentration as an index of iron deficiency and overload. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2021, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD011817. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011817.pub2
  4. Centeno-Tablante E, Medina-Rivera M, Finkelstein JL, Herman HS; Rayco-Solon P, Garcia-Casal MN, et al. Update on the transmission of Zika virus through breast milk and breastfeeding: a systematic review of the evidence. Viruses 202113, 123. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010123
  5. Medina-Rivera M, Centeno-Tablante E, Finkelstein JL, Rayco-Solon P, Peña-Rosas JP, Maria N. Garcia-Casal MN, et al. Presence of Ebola virus in breast milk and risk of mother-to-child transmission: synthesis of evidence. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci 2020. doi.org/10.1111/nyas.14519
  6. Centeno-Tablante E, Medina-Rivera M, Finkelstein JL, Rayco-Solon P, Garcia-Casal MN, Rogers LM, et al. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through breast milk and breastfeeding: a living systematic review. 2020. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. doi:10.1111/nyas.14477
  7. Field  MS, Mithra  P, Estevez  D, Peña-Rosas  JP1. Wheat flour fortification with iron for reducing anaemia and improving iron status in populations. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2020, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD011302. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011302.pub2.
  8. Palacios  C, Trak-Fellermeier  MA, Martinez  RX, Lopez-Perez  L, Lips  P, Salisi  JA, John  JC, Peña-Rosas  JP. Regimens of vitamin D supplementation for women during pregnancy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 10. Art. No.: CD013446. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD013446.
  9. Palacios  C, Kostiuk  LK, Peña-Rosas  JP. Vitamin D supplementation for women during pregnancy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD008873. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008873.pub4.
  10. Hombali  AS, Solon  JA, Venkatesh  BT, Nair  NS, Peña-Rosas  JP1. Fortification of staple foods with vitamin A for vitamin A deficiency. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD010068. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010068.pub2.
  11. Peña-Rosas  JP1, Mithra  P, Unnikrishnan  B, Kumar  N, De-Regil  LM, Nair  NS, Garcia-Casal  MN, Solon JA. Fortification of rice with vitamins and minerals for addressing micronutrient malnutrition. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 10. Art. No.: CD009902. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009902.pub2.

1997, PhD, Epidemiology and Human Nutrition, Division of Nutritional Sciences - College of Agriculture and Life Sciences CALS

1993, Master of Sciences, Public Health and Nutrition, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico

1991, Medical Surgeon (MD), Medicine, School of Medicine Luis Razzetti, Universidad Central de Venezuela

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