Work Aims to Scale Nutritional Interventions to Address Tuberculosis in India

Boston University Global Programs and Boston University Foundation-India are pleased to announce that our spring 2019 Seed Fund has been awarded to Dr. Subitha Lakshminarayanan, MBBS, MD, and Associate Professor, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry, India and Dr. Natasha Hochberg, Associate Professor, of the Boston University School of Medicine and School of Public Health, for the research proposal titled “Scaling up Nutritional Interventions to Stop Tuberculosis in India.”

The study aims to determine optimal implementation strategies for nutritional interventions as part of the effort to combat tuberculosis (TB) in India. This includes beginning to identify the direct and indirect costs of TB for an individual and his or her family, including lost wages, absenteeism from school, and money needed for treatment. This will form the basis for developing a cost-benefit analysis of the intervention programs that reflects direct health benefits as well as broader community and social impact.

“We are excited to win the seed grant for this project,” said Dr. Lakshminarayanan. “This will facilitate testing optimal implementation strategies for nutritional interventions as we work to help fight TB.”

“We are pleased to provide assistance to India-based researchers through the seed fund,” said Ashish Jha, Manager of the Boston University Foundation-India. “These researchers are working on some critical issues pertaining to India, and we hope to support additional initiatives in the future to benefit the people of India.”

At Boston University, Dr. Hochberg will work with a multidisciplinary team of BU co-investigators: Nalin Kulatilaka, Wing Tat Lee Family Professor in Management, Finance Professor, and Co-Director of the Susilo Institute for Ethics in the Global Economy, and Lindsey Locks, Assistant Professor, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

“I’d like to thank BU Global Programs and BU Foundation-India for this opportunity,” said Dr. Hochberg. “This work will help us understand how to scale up nutritional interventions to stop tuberculosis in India – where more than a quarter of the worlds cases occur. In collaboration with our partners at BU and in India, we hope to address some of the complex biomedical, public health, and economic challenges associated with this disease.”

“We are thrilled to award the 2019 seed fund to Dr. Hochberg and Dr. Lakshminarayanan,” said Willis Wang, Vice President and Associate Provost for Global Programs. “The international collaboration headed by the two principal investigators and the multidisciplinary work being done at BU will illuminate the power of working together on complex, global issues. We look forward to learning about the progress they make in helping combat tuberculosis in India.”

About the Award

The BU Global Programs and Boston University Foundation-India (BUFI) Seed Fund Program is designed to seed new or support existing collaborative research projects in India conducted by BU faculty and their peers in India. The research project may be in any discipline, but must directly benefit India. Review criteria for the seed fund include:

  • Clearly articulated potential for measurable positive impact on India and leads to improved quality of life for its people;
  • Likelihood that the project will lead to subsequent external funding;
  • Well defined and achievable project scope, activities, and goals.