Lindsay Jaacks

Lindsay Jaacks PhotoLindsay Jaacks
Assistant Professor of Global Health
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

I graduated Summa Cum Laude with Distinction in Research from Cornell University with a Dual B.S. in Biological and Nutritional Sciences in 2010, and received my Ph.D. in Nutrition with a formal minor in Epidemiology from The University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill, in 2014. I completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Emory Global Diabetes Research Center in August 2016, and was appointed an Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in September 2016.

My current research program can be characterized by two broad categories: (1) projects related to elucidating the role of nutritional and environmental exposures within the food system in the etiology of cardiometabolic diseases, and (2) projects related to preventing overweight/obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in low-and middle-income countries. Changes in diet that result from globalization and urbanization have been studied before. But the interactions of these dietary changes with other factors that accompany globalization and urbanization such as pesticides and air pollution have not been explored. By conducting research in the United States and internationally, I am able to capture heterogeneity across populations in both exposure and response. To date, this transdisciplinary body of work has been published in a range of peer-reviewed journals including Health Affairs, Diabetes Care, the International Journal of Epidemiology, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the Journal of Nutrition, and Environmental Health, among others. 

My leadership in the field of global health was made evident by my role as lead author on a recent article in the Annals of Internal Medicine based on a collaboration of over 50 U.S. institutions, to promote an agenda for global non-communicable disease research. I have served as a consultant to the U.K. Department for International Development on addressing overweight/obesity in low-income countries, and am currently serving as a consultant to RTI International on estimating the impact of food and nutrition policies on diabetes. I am a member of Delta Omega, the Honorary Public Health Society; the American Diabetes Association; and the American Society for Nutrition. I received the Emory Outstanding Postdoctoral Fellow Award; the UNC, Chapel Hill, A. Hughes Bryan Outstanding Doctoral Award; and I was a Cornell Howard Hughes Research Scholar.

Obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease represent some of the most important threats to human health and development. The overall goal of my research program is to improve our understanding of the etiologies of these diseases and critical time windows for intervention, and to translate those findings into high-impact programs to improve global health and wellbeing.

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