Our Group


Sera Young S.L. Young

B.A. Anthropology, University of Michigan
M.A. Medical Anthropology, University of Amsterdam
Ph.D. International Nutrition, Cornell University

Previous appointments at U. California Berkeley, U. California Davis, and U. California San Francisco

Graduate Students

Barnabas Natamba Barnabas Natamba

B.S. Makerere University, Uganda
M.P.H. Hebrew University of Jerusalem

I am interested in nutritional and health problems faced by HIV affected populations, particularly pregnant and lactating women and young children. Specifically, I am studying how HIV-infected women's physical and psychosocial well-being is affected by the local physical and food environment in rural Uganda.
Roseanne Schuster Roseanne Schuster

B.S. Biology, Canisius College
M.S. Community Health Sciences, University of Northern British Columbia

My research explores the use of performance-based incentives to increase motivation of community- and clinic-based health worker cadres, to strengthen coordination between these cadres, and to improve delivery of prevention of vertical transmission of HIV services in rural Mozambique. Broadly, I am interested in health systems strengthening to improve delivery of health and nutrition services in low resource settings.

MD and MPH Students

Angela Arbach Angela Arbach

B.A. Mathematics, New York University

Class of 2015 at Weill Cornell Medical College

My research focuses on using photo voice to document the experience and determinants of food insecurity in pregnant women in Northern Uganda.  I will also study the relationship between alcohol use, food environment, and HIV status in this population.
shalean Shalean Collins

B.S. Dietetics, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
MPH Candidate, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

I am a registered dietitian and MPH candidate interested in maternal and child nutrition in low-resource settings. In Summer 2014 I will assume the post of study coordinator for the PostNAPS and Neurodev research studies in Gulu, Uganda. Currently I am assisting Dr. Elizabeth Widen and Barnabas with cleaning and analysis of the PreNAPS/PostNAPS data and am exploring the data for potential research projects I may work on during my time with the study. My research interests include: malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, food insecurity, HIV/AIDS, and displacement.
photo 1-2 Natalie Krumdieck

B.A. Mathematics, Smith College
Class of 2016 at Weill Cornell Medical College

I’m very interested in the field of maternal and child health, especially within the global sphere. For the next year, I will be working on the Pith Moromo 2 study in Kenya, which is examining the myriad impacts of food and nutrition insecurity on overall health in pregnant women and infants.


Elizabeth Widen Elizabeth (Beth) Widen, PhD, RD

Interdisciplinary postdoctoral fellow in Nutrition and Population Health, Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Columbia University
B.S., Dietetics, Miami University
Ph.D., Nutrition Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

I am a nutrition epidemiologist interested in maternal and child nutrition across the life course in the United States and globally. Specifically, I study predictors and outcomes of maternal and child nutritional status in pregnancy and postpartum, and ultimately how nutrition in this period relates to later health. I am particularly interested in understanding what factors predict gestational weight gain patterns and body composition changes, and furthermore how gestational weight gain and body composition changes during this period relate to maternal and offspring health in the postpartum period and thereafter. I am collaborating with the Young group on the Pre- and Post-NAPS study to add longitudinal measures of maternal and infant body composition. Previously, I worked on a project examining the dyadic interrelationships between maternal and infant nutritional status in HIV-infected Malawian mothers and their exclusively breastfed infants in the Breastfeeding, Antiretrovirals and Nutrition Study.

Undergraduate Students

Maaz Ahsan Maaz Ahsan '16

My focus on research in Dr. Young's lab is related to pica. Currently I am investigating the relationship between geophagy and iron deficiency anemia.
Hijab Kahn Hijab Kahn '16

In Dr. Young's lab, I am currently assisting Roseanne Schuster by coding and analyzing surveys and interviews on health worker motivation that she is collecting in Mozambique. The project is part of a larger effort to better understand how to extend health care services to treat pregnant women and young children living with HIV/AIDS.
Rachel Lumish Rachel Lumish '14

I am examining the relationship between iron deficiency and pica in pregnant adolescents from Rochester, NY.  Using data collected by Dr. O’Brien, I I will consider various biomarkers for iron status, such as hemoglobin, serum ferritin, transferrin receptor, and hepcidin, and will look at if, when, and how frequently pica occurred.
Devon McMahon Devon McMahon '15

I am analyzing data from Roseanne's work on prevention of vertical transmission in Mozambique. Next semester, I plan to study cultural beliefs impact the experience of pregnancy and childbirth during my study abroad experience in Nepal next spring and summer.
Sophie Mou Sophie Mou '15

I will be coding the responses on a study for responsive feeding in infants. I will also be assembling a literature review for a part of the PreNAPs project, which looks into the correlates of depression.
Amy Zheng Amy Zheng '15

I am currently examining the relationship between maternal income generation and post-natal depression as part of the Pre- and Post-NAPS study in Gulu, Uganda. I am also working on the qualitative analysis of the effects of a nutritional supplement on the health of pregnant and lactating HIV-positive participants and their babies as part of the PROMOTE study in southeastern Uganda.