Featured Students

Prajula MulmiPM

Prajula Mulmi is currently pursuing a PhD in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition (FPAN).  Her motivation to pursue this track stems from her desire to contribute to solving issues of hunger and poverty in a holistic manner. She is examining multidisciplinary approaches to influence the policy-making process while synthesizing the depth and breadth of knowledge and tools used to study complex issues in nutrition, health, and development. Prajula came to work with the Nutrition Innovation Lab as it overlapped with her geographical area of interest.  Her degree program was significantly infleunced as the Nutrition Innovation Lab enabled her to establish connections with professionals in the field.  Moreover, the lab provided a great opportunity to study some of the uncharted topics in the field of agriculture and nutrition.  After graduation, she aspires work towards closing data gaps that inhibit optimal evaluations of policy options for social and economic benefits. She hopes to explore and evaluate how best to leverage agriculture to order to improve nutrition outcomes in communities where agriculture is the primary mode of livelihood strategy.


Johanna Andrews-Chavez

Johanna Andrews-Chavez is working with the Nutrition Innovation Lab in the pursuit of her PhD.  This internationally-educated researcher is driven by a passion for global health and nutrition and her desire to make a substantive impact in the lives of children at risk for malnutrition.  Introduced to the Nutrition Innovation Lab while enrolled as a student at Tufts University, she quickly found that working with the lab would be a perfect match for her research and career goals, granting her access to cutting edge research and launching her into the international arena while still working towards her degree. Johanna is currently engaged with the Nepal Afla-Cohort study being conducted by the lab, coordinating activities with data collection teams and offering operational support.  She’ll be using the data from this study to answer her dissertation research questions.  Once graduated, Johanna aspires to continue working as a researcher or consultant specializing in maternal and child health, nutrition, and food safety throughout Asia and Latin America.


Ashish Photo

Ashish Pokharel

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.

Ganesh thapaGanesh Thapa

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 2016.