2021 Fellows

2021 Yusuf Hamied Fellows: Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

Maya Deyssenroth

Impact of Gestational Multi-Metal Exposure on Perinatal Health Outcomes in India

Maya A. Deyssenroth, DrPH
Assistant Professor
Department of Environmental Health Sciences

Gestational exposure to multiple metals is linked to fetal growth restriction.  Our previous work characterizes molecular signatures in the placenta that capture the growth-restrictive impact of gestational arsenic and cadmium exposure in US populations. The proposed work seeks to extend this paradigm in India, where pollutant exposure sources, land-use patterns and climactic factors can play an important role to uniquely frame the relationship between such environmental exposures and health outcomes.  Through collaborations facilitated by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), this project will seek to establish the network of collaborators and resources necessary to survey multi-metal exposure in pregnant women, evaluate trends between these metals and birth weight and assess placental markers as potential mediators in this paradigm. 

Dr. Maya Deyssenroth is an Assistant Professor in Environmental Health Sciences.  Her lab focuses on surveying the in utero environment to identify molecular signatures indicative of exposure-induced early life health outcomes.  Dr. Deyssenroth specifically focuses on the placenta as the interface that captures reprogrammed developmental trajectories in response to in utero exposures.  To this end, her work is centered on the incorporation of multi-pollutant exposure modeling methods and integrative genomics in environmental epidemiology studies.  

SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Variant Analyses in Fully Vaccinated COVID-19 Patients in Manipal, Karnataka, India; and Development of Rapid, Sensitive, and Affordable Molecular Diagnosis of Tuberculosis in Pune, Maharashtra, India

Nischay Mishra, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology
Center for Infection and Immunity

Professor Mishra will work on two projects.  The first will study those individuals who were infected with Sars CoV-2 even after taking both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine (Covishield or Covaxin). The focus of this study will be to understand if these individuals pose a risk of transmission to their close contacts, and if the infections are due to viral variants that are resistant to the immunity induced by these vaccines. Findings from this research will help in increasing the urgency of tracking the spread of specific variants in the human population and for modifying the antigenic composition of the vaccine.  His second project aims to develop a rapid, sensitive, and affordable molecular diagnosis of tuberculosis in the city of Pune through a platform built at the Center for Infection and Immunity that can simultaneously screen for all known human pathogenic bacteria, including TB as well as markers for virulence and antibiotic resistance.

Dr. Mishra, Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and based at the Center for Infection and Immunity, is a virologist and molecular biologist with more than a decade of experience in high throughput sequencing, viral metagenomics, serology, viral epidemiology, diagnostics, and bioinformatics.

2021 Yusuf Hamied Fellows: India

Air Pollution and Health of Population in India

Aparajita Chattopadhyay, PhD
International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, India (IIPS

Pollution, especially air pollution, is a human carcinogen. The concentration, and impact of air pollution needs to be investigated on urgent basis. In India, there is a wealth of health data through which may be measured a series of health outcomes in context of pollution at varying spatial and administrative levels. Further, the Concentration Response Coefficient of pollutants on health may be estimated, which is necessary to visualize the health impact of pollution. Dr. Chattopadhyay’s research aims to build academic collaborations to explore different data sets for understanding the implications of air pollution on health of children, men and women, elderly in India.  

Dr. Chattopadhyay, Professor at the International Institute for Population Sciences, is in the Department of Development Studies where her focus areas include Environment and Development, Aging, Nutrition, Gender issues, Child and Maternal Health, and Environmental Health. She handled different research projects funded by the Government of India/State Governments, UNICEF etc, like Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI), Comprehensive Nutrition Survey in Maharashtra and Gujarat, SWABHIMAAN baseline survey, Population-Environment and Settlement Project. Springer Nature has published two of her books in 2020.

Evaluating the Mutation Detection Performance of Various Brca Testing Eligibility Criteria Tools Among Indian Females With Breast Cancer and in Their Immediate Family Members

Hari Sagiraju, MD, MPH, PHD
Assistant Professor
Preventive Oncology, National Cancer Institute, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India

This project aims to understand local characteristics of modifiable risk factors for breast cancer in India, develop predictive and prognostic modelling tools for survival analysis, and devise locally effective prevention strategies for breast cancer control in India.

Dr. Sagiraju is an Assistant Professor, Preventive Oncology, National Cancer Institute-AIIMS, New Delhi-India. He is especially interested in Population and Family Health with special focus on understanding the modifiable risk factors for breast cancer among Indian women such as obesity, physical inactivity, and other unhealthy lifestyle behaviors.