Dr. Hemalatha took over as the 13th Director of the ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition in December 2017. She heads the largest Nutrition research organisation in the country that covers the spectrum from basic to public health. Dr.Hemalatha has carried out extensive research in the realm of Nutrition, Infection and Immunity with special emphasis on women and child health, preconception nutrition and the first 1000 days of life. She has conducted a battery of experiments on gut and vaginal microbiome and Inflammation that have generated vital information on the impact of unhealthy diet and inflammation on foetal growth and pregnancy outcomes. She has spearheaded several funded projects and has written and published more than 200 papers.
She has completed MBBS, MD from Gandhi Medical College, Hyderabad.She is a Fellow of the International Union of Nutrition Sciences (FIUNS), Fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (FNAMS), and Fellow of the Telangana Academy of Sciences (FTAS). She has served as Joint Secretary of the Nutrition Society of India and received awards such as PV RamanaRao Gold Medal, Dr. Rajammal P Devadas Memorial Award, the 46th Kamla Puri Sabharwal Memorial Award from the Lady Irwin College and Change Maker Award from the Save the Children organization. After she took over as Director, the Institute received the prestigious award of Excellence in Science and Technology from the Poshan Outlook.
Dr.Hemalatha is the President Elect of the Nutrition Society India (NSI) for a four year term starting in 2020. She is an expert member of various task force committees of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; Food Safety and Standards of India (FSSAI), National Technical Board on Nutrition and National Council of Nutrition of NITI Aayog.