Srilakshmi Raj, PhD

Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics and Tata Cornell Institute,
Cornell University, Ithaca,USA

Research :Stunting, or height-for-age that falls two standard deviations below the mean value for universal growth curves, impacts 38% of children in India under the age of five. Stunted linear growth in development and early childhood can have major health and economic repercussions throughout life. Much of the discussion on stunting is concerned with possible environmental causes, and the relative contribution of genetics to explaining the high prevalence of stunting has not been adequately addressed.

Existing environmental interventions have managed to reduce, but not eliminate, stunting cases. We hypothesize that these efforts have had limited success due to genetic and environmental variation that may influence health outcomes. We aim to elucidate the biological mechanisms of stunting in two or more diverse environments of India. We will accomplish this by identifying genetic and epigenetic marks that act in specific environmental and familial contexts to contribute to stunting.

Joint Publications with Centre's faculty:

Patterns of variation at diabetes- and obesity-associated loci may mirror neutral patterns of human population diversity and diabetes prevalence in India. Annals of Human Genetics, 77: 392-408 (2013). Raj SM, Halebeedu P, Iliescu FM, Romero IG, Kadandale J, Thangaraj K, Chandra HS, Muniyappa K, Kivisild T