Dr. Paula Pebsworth to discuss geophagy in non-human primates in the International Primatological Society meeting

Paula & GeresomuCongratulations to Dr. Paula Pebsworth, whose abstract “Can geophagy alter the feeding ecology of non-human primates?: a systematic literature review” has been programed for an oral presentation on Tuesday, August 23 @ 4:30, at the joint meeting of the International Primatological Society and the American Society of Primatologists in Chicago. She will discuss which non-human primate species have been observed eating earth, what kinds of earth, and where on Earth they do this.

Geophagy in non-human primates is considered adaptive and a form of self-medication; however, the proximate and ultimate mechanisms remain unknown. Paula will discuss the main physiological explanations, 3 new predictions, and lay out a research agenda.

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Pregnancy, HIV, and water insecurity

Congratulations to Dr. Natalie Krumdieck and co-authors whose manuscript  “Household water insecurity is associated with a range of negative consequences among pregnant Kenyan women of mixed HIV status” was accepted into the Journal of Water and Health. This is our group’s first publication on water insecurity, and the first to our knowledge exploring household water insecurity in the context of HIV and pregnancy. These data are the basis for our more comprehensive ongoing water insecurity cohort, the Pii Ngima study.

Capture here is the moment we learned the good news: Godfred, Shalean, and the youngest members of the Young Research Group, Stella and Aurora Lucks!

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Dr. Itziar Familiar presents at AIDS

Congratulations to Dr. Itziar Familiar and co-authors for their abstract “Predictors of neurocognitive outcomes among a cohort of 12-month old infants from Uganda of mixed HIV status” was programmed for a poster presentation at The International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. In this work, we found that HIV-exposed-uninfected children have significantly more cognitive delay than HIV-unexposed-uninfected children. Further, ARV exposure may be associated with better cognitive performance among HIV-exposed but uninfected children, and children living in environments with more stimulation may have better neurocognitive development overall.

Dr. Godfred Boateng and Shalean Collins receive USDA ThinkWater Fellowship

fellows_icon water-thinking-boatsCongratulations to Dr. Godfred Boateng and Shalean Collins who have been accepted as USDA ThinkWater Fellows for 2016-2017. This fellowship builds on the theories of systems-thinking to enhance research in water-related fields by incorporating interdisciplinary communication, individually tailored consultation, public presentation, and peer-reviewed publication. Godfred and Shalean will spend the next 8 months developing skills they can apply to the development of the water insecurity scale, and analysis of formative qualitative water insecurity work.

Dr. Elizabeth Fox wins student poster competition at the Society for Applied Anthropology!

logoCongratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Fox for winning 1st place in the student poster
competition at the Society for Applied Anthropology’s 2016 Annual
Meeting
 in Vancouver. The poster highlighted a part of Elizabeth’s dissertation in which she used free listing to illuminate the array of messages HIV-infected mothers received in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and in which she explored the intra-cultural differences betwe
en health workers, and HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected mothers.

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Iron-Folic Acid and Calcium Supplementation in Pregnancy

Our paper, led by Stephanie Martin, on the use of formative research to develop behavior change strategies to promote iron-folic acid and calcium supplementation in pregnancy is now available in Maternal and Child Nutrition! In brief, we conducted in-depth interviews with pregnant and postpartum women and health workers in western Kenya to identify barriers and facilitators IFA_Calciumto adherence to prenatal micronutrient supplements. We then used our findings to develop a behavior change strategy with activities targeting the health system, health facility, community, household, and individual levels. This research and strategy are presented here, and the behavior change materials can be viewed here and above.

Low B-12 concentrations in Kenyan women’s breastmilk

Congratulations to Dr. Anne Williams and co-authors! Our manuscrhome_coveript “Breastmilk vitamin B-12 concentrations are low and are not associated with reported household hunger, recent animal source food or vitamin B-12 intake among women in rural Kenya” has been accepted for publication in The Journal of Nutrition. We found lower than average dietary B-12 intake and breastmilk B-12 concentrations in lactating Kenyan women. This has important policy and programmatic applications for maternal health and child development.

NIH digs our water insecurity ideas!

In the course of our formative work in Kenya on food insecurity (cf. Pith Moromo, below), we discovered that household level water insecurity seems to be an unappreciated source of adverse physical and mental health. As such, it brought me great pleasure that the Young Group received the official notice of award today for our R21 application entitled “Health Consequences of Water Insecurity for HIV+ Women.” We are excited that we will be able to continue to work with our birth cohort in Kenya, to explore the experiences of water insecurity as well as food insecurity.

Pictured below, Godfred Boateng and Shalean Collins are holding the custom kanga that Ann Lei, an undergraduate in the Young Research Group, designed. We will be gifting these to the mothers in our cohort study with as a token of our gratitude. Maybe we will send one to our Program Officer, too!

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Representing at EB 2016

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The Young Group will be bringing it hard at Experimental Biology 2016, the premier nutritional science research venue. With 6 oral presentations and 8 posters, the team is gearing up for a robust and productive conference session. We are especially proud that two of our oral presentations have undergraduate group members as first authors. Nice Formation!