Yusuf Hamied Fellowships Program 2020-2021

August 02, 2021

The third phase of the illustrious Yusuf Hamied Fellowship, a joint program of Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai and Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, has been awarded to four faculty members from Columbia University and Indian research institutions. The program was initiated in 2018 and is awarded to faculty working on India in the fields of environment and health, population and family health, and access to treatment, with the aim of developing a robust research network, enabling faculty to exchange knowledge and expertise, and produce scientific publications in public health that will help improve health outcomes.

Selected faculty members and their research projects are listed below. 

Aparajita Chattopadhyay, Professor, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai

Professor Chattopadhyay’s study aims to understand the implications of air pollution on the health of individuals aged 45 and above in India. Through her study, she aims to study the prevalence of indoor pollution and the diseases caused by it, understand the determinants of these diseases, and also estimate the effect of indoor pollution on mental health conditions. 

Maya Deyssenroth, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Columbia University Medical Center. 

Through this project, Professor Deyssenroth aims to evaluate the relevance of multi-metal exposure on deviations in placental processes that impact growth and metabolic trajectories in India. She aims to utilize data available from an extant repository of perinatal biospecimens, questionnaire data and post-natal follow-up data for biomonitoring trace metal exposure, and evaluating its health implications on maternal and child health. 

Nischay Mishra, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Center for Infection and Immunity, Mailman School of Public Health

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. 

Hari Sagiraju, Assistant Professor, Preventive Oncology, National Cancer Institute, AIIMS. 

Dr. Sagiraju 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.