Dr. Robin is a Masters Candidate who will be earning his Master’s Degree in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition with concentration on International nutrition programs/interventions, food security, development and humanitarian assistance programs in May 2015. A medical doctor, Robin first became involved with the Nutrition Innovation Lab through our Nepal team, and then later as a research assistant in Africa. During his summer internship, he did a case study in Uganda that looked into the effectiveness of a nutrition project (the Community Connector project) in improving the knowledge and attitude about nutrition during pregnancy in 100 pregnant women from rural south-west and northern Uganda. Robin’s core interest is in becoming a champion in conceptualizing and creating sustainable nutrition programs in the developing world that not only address acute and primary causes of malnutrition, but also identifies and solves chronic underlying and protracted issues. He is most passionate about looking into theories of behavior change and determining the role of community based participatory researches in nutrition programs and its role in the impact and sustainability of the program itself.
Grace completed her Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Epidemiology from Boston University where she also developed a vested interest in Biostatistics and statistical programming, and expanded her scope of study while working on various projects as a data analyst. Grace first became interested in working with the Nutrition Innovation Lab due to their extensive investigations into various aspects of agriculture, nutrition and health with an aim to provide sustainable food security approaches and policy relevant strategies. She is currently analyzing data from the Policy and Science for Health, Agriculture and Nutrition (PoSHAN) project that seeks to investigate how nutrition policies are implemented in Nepal. Grace aspires to actively engage in programs that contribute to the betterment of lives in developing countries, and is excited to use this opportunity at Nutrition Innovation Labs to hone her skills and gain expertise in qualitative and quantitative analysis.
Ashish is a Master’s student and research assistant originally from Nepal. He is currently earning his degree in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition with a concentration in Nutrition Intervention at Tufts University. Ashish strongly believes in the need to improve health, agriculture, and nutrition in the world and his home country. During his undergraduate years he was involved in a Nutrition Intervention program that targeted obesity problems among the African American population. Expected to graduate in 2016, He aims to develop policies based on scientific evidence and develop effective strategies or frameworks to effectively implement said policies.
Doctoral Student, Purdue University
Ganesh Thapa, a doctoral student in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University is supported by USAID’s Feed the Future Nutrition Innovation Lab. He is involved in research that aims to identify potential pathways for improving child growth outcomes in Nepal. One strand of his research examines agricultural price dynamics in Nepal. Food prices are a very important component of food security in Nepal, given that the majority of households are net buyers of food and spend a large proportion of their income on food. A second strand of his research uses spatial hierarchical modelling to empirically measure the factors associated with child nutrition outcomes, with an emphasis on Nepal’s agricultural sector. He is also measuring the district-level association between transport infrastructure (roads and bridges) and a set of specific outcomes related to child nutrition. Geographic and economic isolation is widely perceived as one of the main reasons for high child malnutrition rates in Nepal, and is investigating the validity of this claim and the role of infrastructure in mitigating food insecurity. He expects the findings from my dissertation to help inform policy debates in Nepal regarding pathways for achieving large-scale improvements in child nutrition. He is expected to graduate in December 2015.
Naresh Shahi, Nepal
Masters Student, Tuskegee University
Naresh Shahi, a graduate student in the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, in the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences at Tuskegee University, is pursuing Food Science and being supported by Feed the Future Collaborative Research in Nutrition Innovation Lab. He has expanded his knowledge on Food and Nutritional information and his research in “Improving food safety of fresh produce in Nepal using natural extracts as washing solution” will allow him to mitigate nutritional problems by leveraging good agriculture practices and food based interventions to resolve the unsafe, unhygienic produce handling and consequent malnutrition of children and women in Nepal. He is expected to graduate in May 2014.
Joel Tumwebaze, Uganda
Masters Student, Tuskegee University
Joel Tumwebaze worked at the School of Food Technology Nutrition Bio-engineering-Makerere University as a graduate research assistant with Food Science degree prior to being accepted to graduate program in Nutrition Science at Tuskegee University sponsored by the Feed the Future Nutrition Innovative Lab project at Tuskegee University. His goal is to acquire all the experiences, training, and knowledge which will allow him to find a creative and innovative ways to solve nutritional problems in Uganda and help other students through teaching. His is expected to graduate in May 2014.