Laura Hackl

Determining iron transition from Indian mothers to their infants via breast milk using stable iron isotopes in the context of a sustainable food-based intervention

Doctorate: ETH Zurich, 2017
Home mentor: Saurabh  Mehta,  Associate Professor of Global Health, Epidemiology, and Nutrition,  Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University
Host mentor: Anura Kurpad, Professor and Head, St. John’s Research Institute, Bengaluru

Short biography:

Laura S. Hackl, Mag.pharm., PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. She studied Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Vienna and received her PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, where she focused on post-harvest iron fortification of rice.

Laura’s general research interests are maternal and child nutrition with a focus on micronutrient supply through nutrition interventions. She is currently involved in a randomized control trial on the effects of bio-fortified staple crops on micronutrient status of Indian mother-child pairs.

Project summary:

Despite various efforts to improve iron status among populations, iron deficiency (ID) remains a major public health concern. Aside from trials in women and children, limited evidence exists regarding the potential impact of maternal consumption of iron biofortified foods on infants, a population group that is at high risk for deficiency particularly as iron obtained in utero depletes by 3-4 months postpartum.

As an IMMANA Fellow Laura will investigate maternal iron absorption from bio-fortified foods and subsequent breastmilk-iron transfer to the child.