Message from the Director
Program in Human Nutrition
Dr. Parul Christian, Director
The Human Nutrition Program, within the Department of International Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, is unique in the opportunity and experience it provides for learning, teaching and conducting research. Today, just as it has been for over 40 years, the program is engaged in innovation and advancing current scientific knowledge to promote better nutrition, health equity, and thriving communities, globally. From breakthrough studies of micronutrient supplementation for improving maternal and child outcomes, to improving food environments in communities in Baltimore, to advances in proteomics for discovery of novel biomarkers, I continue to be amazed by the impressive work of the faculty and students in the program. I am honored to be part of this remarkable group once again, having recently returned after four years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
At the foundation, I was privileged to develop and lead the strategy on women’s nutrition focused on issues around novel interventions for pregnant and lactating women, understanding human milk composition—all with the goal of improving maternal health, birth outcomes, and growth and development in early life. I hope to continue work in these areas, including in research to improve our understanding of delivery of interventions effectively and at scale.
The Human Nutrition Program has always been a leader in advancing the field of maternal, infant and child nutrition, and micronutrient deficiency in low-resource settings. Not resting on its laurels, the program expanded into areas such as dietary quality, the food environment, and the double burden of malnutrition and consequent obesity and NCDs. Exciting new additions to our program will advance work on food systems and in food policy. Synergistically with other programs in the Department, I also aspire to grow our expertise and strength in implementation science in nutrition, where there is a big knowledge gap and need.
Our program is not limited to the Bloomberg School in Baltimore or our study sites in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Our accomplished alumni help us make an impact globally. From government ministries of health, U.S. government departments, and UN agencies to grassroots organizations, you will find our alumni working to improve the health, nutrition, and the well-being of the world’s most disadvantaged people. Through alumni linkages, we are also able to provide numerous opportunities for student internships and practicums. Our nutrition research spans across continents and is undertaken in collaboration with a global network of institutions, across areas of the continuum of under- to over-nutrition, from micronutrients to diets to food systems, and from discovery to delivery forging new frontiers in nutrition.