The Director of NIN


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Brief Profile

Director, ICMR-NIN, Dr.Hemalatha’s research interests encompass maternal, child health and nutrition. She has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers, book chapters and regulatory reports. Her research efforts have generated vital information on the impact of inflammation and lower reproductive tract infections on fetal growth. She has worked extensively on nutrition status and immunity in women and children, and has carried out basic studies to support her clinical findings and demonstrated the role of nutrition and gut bacteria on endotoxemia, Inflammation, insulin resistance and lipid profile. To ensure good nutrition and health of the women in preparation of pregnancy, she conceptualised a Preconception kit that addresses risks like undernutrition, anaemia, other health issues to improve birth outcomes and health of the mother and baby.

Dr. Hemalatha led the seminal work on Nutrient requirements- the RDAs and EARs for Indians; for the first time the Nutrient recommendations include the Estimated Average Requirements (EAR) and also the Tolerable Upper Limits (TUL) of nutrients alongside RDAs. Fortification strategies, food labelling, supplementation programs are based on these recommendations. She also spearheaded ‘My Plate for the Day’ which provides food-based guidelines to prevent undernutrition and NCDs. As part of the Poshan Abhiyan initiative, she has developed 14 E-learning modules aimed at empowering adolescents, young adults and Anganwadi teachers. The report- ‘What India Eats’, gives overview of Regional Dietary Pattern of Indian Population and energy and protein sources from different food groups.

Dr.Hemalatha is presently the President of the Nutrition Society of India and Executive Council Member of the Federation of Asian Nutrition Societies (FANS). She is also an Expert Member of various task force committees of the Ministries such as National Technical Board on Nutrition and National Council of Nutrition of NITI Aayog, Steering Committee Member of the South Asian Policy Leadership for Nutrition and Growth (SAPLING), to name a few.

Dr.Hemalatha graduated (MBBS) and obtained an MD from Gandhi Medical College, Hyderabad, Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences, Andhra Pradesh. She has been honoured with various awards, including the Young Scientist Award, Ponduri Venkata Ramana Rao Gold Medal for MD, 7th Dr.Rajammal P. Devadas Memorial Oration Award, Dr.KamlaPuri Sabharwal Memorial Award, Change Maker Award and Prof. M. Viswanathan Gold Medal Oration Award and Dr Anandi Goyal Best Nutritionist Award from the International Society for Medical Food and Nutrition. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (FNAMS), International Union of Nutrition Sciences (FIUNS) and Telangana Academy of Sciences (FTAS). The Institute received two awards under her leadership - Excellence in Nutrition Science & Technology from POSHAN Outlook and Poshak Anaaj Award from ICAR-IIMR.