Rebecca Stoltzfus
Rebecca Stoltzfus
Professor Emeritus
Division of Nutritional Sciences


Rebecca Stoltzfus holds a Human nutrition from Cornell University (1992) and a B.A. in Chemistry from Goshen College (1984). From 1992-2002, she was assistant and then associate professor in the Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She joined the Division of Nutritional Sciences in 2002 as an associate professor and was promoted to professor in 2005. For the 2008-09 academic year, she was a visiting professor in the Department of Community Health, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center, Moshi Tanzania.

Her research focuses on the causes and consequences of malnutrition in women and children in developing countries. Current major projects include the SHINE (Sanitation, Hygiene, and Infant Nutrition Efficacy) Trial in Zimbabwe, Mycotoxins and Infant Growth (Zimbabwe and Tanzania), Implementation Science for Scaling up Nutrition (Tanzania), and a project in Kenya and Ethiopia to translate the new global recommendation for calcium supplementation in pregnancy into policies and programs in Kenya and Ethiopia.   


The goal of my research program is to improve the health and well being of women and children in low-income communities by improving their nutritional status. Current major research projects include:

  • Sanitation, hygiene and infant nutrition efficacy (SHINE) Trial:  effect on tropical enteropathy, anemia and growth in young children in rural Zimbabwe.  A cluster-randomized factorial trial.  (in collaboration with ZVITAMBO Project, Harare Zimbabwe, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health).
  • Maternal capacities for child care:  development of an interdisciplinary framework (in collaboration with ZVITAMBO Project, Harare Zimbabwe, and Alive & Thrive Project, Bangladesh)
  • Establishing the link between mycotoxin exposure, gut function and stunting in Zimbabwean infants (in collaboration with ZVITAMBO Project, Harare Zimbabwe)
  • Implementation Science for Scaline Up Nutrition (Tanzania)

In my teaching, I utilize active learning strategies that foster independent thinking and enable students to integrate concepts from the classroom, their life experiences.  In the global health program, we also support experiential learning, in which students can learn through doing.  The impact of experiential learning is enhanced by critical reflection, and therefore I embed reflection in all of my courses.  As an advisor of graduate students, I support independent thinking and collaboration through an active multidisciplinary research group.

Omotayo MO, Dickin KL, O’Brien KO, Neufeld LM, De-Regil LM, Stoltzfus RJ.  Calcium supplementation to prevent preeclampsia:  translating guidelines into practice in low-income countries.  Adv in Nutr 2016 7:275-8. doi: 10.3945/an.115.010736.

Martin S, Omotayo MO, Chapleau GM, Stoltzfus RJ, Koricha ZB, Pelto GH, Ortolano SE, Dickin KL. Adherence partners are an acceptable behavior change strategy to support calcium and iron-folic acid supplementation among pregnant women in Ethiopia and Kenya.  Maternal Child Nutr 2016 Aug 9. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12331. [Epub ahead of print]

Kambarami RA, Mbuya MNN, Pelletier DL, Fundira D, Tavengwa N, Stoltzfus RJ. Factors associated with village health worker performance differ by task in a multi-tasked setting in rural Zimbabwe.  Global Health Sci & Practice 2016;4:238-250.

The Sanitation Hygiene Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) Trial Team.  The Sanitation Hygiene Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) Trial:  Rationale, Design, and Methods. Clin Infect Dis 2015 61: S685-S702

Mbuya MNN, Tavengwa NV, Stoltzfus RJ, Curtis V, Pelto GH, Robert Ntozini, Kambarami RA, Fundira D, Malaba TR, Maunze D, Morgan P, Mangwadu G, Humphrey JH, for the Sanitation Hygiene Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) Trial Team. Design of an Intervention to Minimize Ingestion of Fecal Microbes by Young Children in Rural Zimbabwe. Clin Infect Dis 2015 61: S703-S709

Mbuya MNN, Jones AD, Ntozini R, Humphrey JH,Moulton LH, Stoltzfus RJ, Maluccio JA, for the Sanitation Hygiene Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) Trial Team. Theory-Driven Process Evaluation of the SHINE Trial Using a Program Impact Pathway Approach. Clin Infect Dis 2015 61: S752-S758

Mupfudze T, Stoltzfus RJ, Tukobo S, Moulton WL, Humphrey JH, Prendergast AJ.  Plasma concentration of hepcidin in anemic Zimbabwean infants.  PLoS One. 2015;10:e0135227. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135227

Desai A, Mbuya MNN, Chigumira A, Chasekwa B, Humphrey JH, Moulton LH, Pelto G, Gerema G, Stoltzfus RJ, SHINE Study Team.  Traditional oral remedies and perceived breastmilk insufficiency are major barriers to exclusive breastfeeding in Zimbabwe.  J Nutr 2014; 144:1113-9. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.188714

Prendergast AJ, Rukobo S, Chasekwa B, Mutasa K, Ntozini R, Mbuya MNN, Jones A, Stoltzfus RJ, Humphrey JH. Stunting is characterized by small intestinal damage and chronic inflammation in infancy.  PLoS One. 2014 Feb 18;9(2):e86928. doi: 10.1371

Ngure FM, Reid BM, Humphrey JH, Mbuya MNN, Pelto G, Stoltzfus RJ.  Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), environmental enteropathy, nutrition, and early child development: making the links.  Ann N Y Acad Sci 2014 13018:118-28.

Alexander P, Bero, L, Montori V, Brito JP, Stoltzfus R, Djulbegovic B, Neumann I, Rave S, Guyatt G. World Health Organization recommendations are often strong based on low confidence in effect estimates.  J Clin Epi 2014; 67:629-34.  DOI:

Mupfudze T, Stoltzfus RJ, Rukubo S, Moulton L, Humphrey JH, Prendergast AJ, SHINE Project Team.  Hepcidin decreases over the first year of life in healthy African infants.  Br J Haematol. 2014 Jan;164(1):150-3. doi: 10.1111/bjh.12567

Olney DK, Kariger PK, Stoltzfus RJ, Khalfan SS, Ali NS, Tielsch JM, Sazawal S, Black R, Allen LH, Pollitt E.  Developmental effects of micronutrient supplementation and malaria in Zanzaibari children.  Early Human Development.  2013; 89:667-74

Heidkamp RA, Ayoya MA, Teta IN, Stoltzfus RJ, Marhone JP.  Complementary feeding practices and child growth outcomes in Haiti:  an analysis of data from the Demographic and Health Surveys.  Maternal Child Nutr 2013 Oct 7. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12090. [Epub ahead of print]

Ag Ayoya M, Heidkamp RA, Teta I, Marhone J, Stoltzfus RJ.  Progress in child nutrition in Haiti: Progress despite disasters. Global Health Science and Practice 2013; 1:389-96.

Heidkamp RA, Stoltzfus RJ, Fitzgerald DW, Pape JW. Growth in late infancy among HIV-exposed children in urban Haiti is associated with participation in a clinic-based infant feeding support intervention.  J Nutr. 2012; 142:774-80.

Paul KH, Muti M, Madzima R, Humphrey JH, Stoltzfus RJ.  Complementary feeding messages that target cultural barriers enhance the use of lipid-based nutrient supplements to improve infant diets in rural Zimbabwe.  Matern Child Nutr. 2012; 8:225-38.

Kim SS, Habicht JP, Menon P, Stoltzfus RJ.  How Do Programs Work to Improve Child Nutrition? Program Impact Pathways of Three Nongovernmental Organization Intervention Projects in the Peruvian Highlands.  IFPRI Discussion Paper, July 2011.

Stoltzfus RJ.  Iron interventions for women and children in low-income countries.  J Nutr 2011 Apr;141:756S-62S.

Pelletier DL, Frongillo EA, Gervais SG, Hoey L, Menon P, Ngo T, Stoltzfus RJ, Ahmed AMS, Ahmed T.  Nutrition agenda setting, policy formulation and implementation:  lessons from the mainstreaming nutrition initiative.  Health Policy Planning 2011 Feb 3. [Epub ahead of print]

Paul KH, Muti M, Khalfan SS, Humphrey JH, Caffarella R, Stoltzfus RJ.  Beyond food insecurity:  how context can help improve complementary feeding interventions.  Food Nutr Bull 2011; 32:244-53.

Rawat R, Humphrey JH, Mutasa K, Stoltzfus RJ.  Predicting adverse HIV related outcomes in a resource limited setting:  use of the inflammation marker alpha-1-acid glycoprotein.  AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 2010; 26:1171-4.

Kung’u J, Boor KJ, Ame SM, Ali NS, Jackson AE, Stoltzfus RJ.  Bacterial populations in complementary foods and drinking-water in households with children 10-15 months old in Zanzibar, Tanzania.  J Health Pop Nutr 2009 27:41-52.

Kung’u JK, Goodman D, Haji HJ, Ramsan M, Wright VJ, Bickle QD, Tielsch JM, Raynes JG, Stoltzfus RJ. Early helminth infections are inversely related to anemia, malnutrition and malaria and are not associated with inflammation in 6-23 month old Zanzibari children. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2009; 81:1062-70.

Paul KH, Dickin KL, Ali NS, Monterrosa EC, Stoltzfus RJ. Soy-rice based processed complementary food improves nutrient intakes in infants and is equally acceptable with our without added milk powder as assessed using Trials of Improved Practices in Pemba Island, Tanzania. J Nutr 2008; 138:1963-8.

Stoltzfus RJ. Research needed to strengthen science and programs for the control of iron deficiency anemia and its consequences in young children. J Nutr 2008; 138: 2542-6.

Tielsch JM, Khatry SK, Stoltzfus RJ, Katz J, LeClerq SC, Adhikan R, Mullany LC, Black R, Shresta S. Effect of zinc supplementation on mortality in children aged 1-48 months: a community-based randomized placebo-controlled trial. Lancet 2007; 101:766-72.

  • Founding Board Member, Society for Implementation Sciences in Nutrition, 2015--2016)

  • Fellow, Grassroots Research and Advocacy Movement, Swami Vivekenanda Youth Movement, Mysore India.  (2011—present)

  • Faculty Fellow, Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future, 2009—present

  • Faculty Fellow, Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, 2012--present


 I conduct publicly engaged teaching, research and action with the following organizations:

  • Swami Vivekenanda Youth Movement (SVYM), Mysore India; collaborative global health summer program, with College of ILR.
  • Keystone Foundation, Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu, India; collaborative field learning center
  • ANDA, Santo Domingo Dominican Republic; collaborative global health summer program, with CUSLAR.
  • Keystone Foundation, Kotagiri India; community-engaged research on infant feeding and diet diversity in tribal communities in the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve.
  • ZVITAMBO Institute for Maternal & Child Health Research, Harare Zimbabwe: community- and government-engaged research on community health strengthening, sanitation & hygiene, infant nutrition, pregnancy health, and mycotoxin exposure.
  • Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College, Moshi Tanzania; community-engaged teaching and research through the Global Health course NS 4630 Global Health and Development Policy Issues in Tanzania
  • Five Institutions in Tanzania; research and outreach on Building Strong Nutrition Systems in Tanzania, a program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  The institutions are: Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College, Moshi; Nelson Mandela African Institute for Science & Technology, Arusha; Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro; Muhimbili University College of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam; Tanzania Food & Nutrition Centre, Dar es Salaam.

1992, Ph.D., Human Nutrition, Cornell University

1988, M.S., Human Nutrition, Cornell University

1984, B.A., Chemistry, Goshen College

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