Other iLiNS researchers

The iLiNS Project involves a large number of collaborating researchers. This page introduces some of our Project researchers - more to come!

Souheila Abbeddou, PhD

abbeddouPostdoctoral scholar, Department of Nutrition
University of California, Davis; Associate Researcher, Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé, Burkina Faso

Souheila Abbeddou recently completed her PhD in animal nutrition at the Institute of Animal Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, following earlier studies in food sciences and nutrition. Her interdisciplinary doctoral work included two years at the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in Syria, where she carried out experiments related to animal nutrition and its effect on the composition of milk and dairy products, with particular attention to fatty acids with potential human health benefits. She joined the iLiNS Project team in Burkina Faso as Field Scientific Coordinator in July, 2011. Together with Jerome Somé, Rosemonde Guissou, and Lucien Bado, she is supervising data collection and assuring data quality management.

Seth Adu-Afarwuah, PhD

adu-afarwuahProject Manager, iLiNS-Ghana
University of Ghana

Dr. Adu-Afarwuah’s research is in the area of maternal and infant nutrition, with a focus on the prevention and treatment of malnutrition. His previous work includes the assessment of the efficacy and acceptability of multiple micronutrient supplements used in home fortification for pregnant and lactating women and infants, and the impact of lipid-based nutrient supplements given to children attending routine growth monitoring sessions on prevention of severe acute malnutrition. Before the iLiNS Project, Dr. Adu-Afarwuah worked with UNICEF, first as Nutrition Consultant and then as Nutrition Program Officer. He has also been a Consultant for the World Bank. In the iLiNS Project, Dr. Adu-Afarwuah is the Project Manager for the Ghana site.

Lindsay H. Allen, PhD

allenCenter Director, USDA, ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center
Research Professor, Department of Nutrition
University of California, Davis

Dr. Lindsay Allen has conducted extensive research on the prevalence, causes and consequences of micronutrient deficiencies, evaluating micronutrient supplements, food fortification, and food-based approaches to improve nutritional status, pregnancy outcome and child development, resulting in over 200 publications from many countries. One of her important achievements has been to document the globally high prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency, its adverse consequences and response to food-based and supplementation interventions, and the use of novel methods for measuring B12 absorption. Dr. Allen has served on eleven committees of the Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, and has advised WHO, UNICEF, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, USAID, PAHO, CGIAR and FAO. She served as President of the American Society for Nutrition and the Society for International Nutrition Research, received the Kellogg Prize for International Nutrition and the Elvejhem Award for Public Service in Nutrition, and is currently Vice President of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences.

Ulla Ashorn, PhD

Senior researcher
University of Tampere Medical School, Finland

Dr. Ashorn is a social scientist who has conducted research on child health-related issues mainly in East Africa. In the iLiNS Project Dr. Ashorn is responsible for studies that examine child nutrition in the local context from the perspective of mothers and other caregivers. Study methods include direct observations in households and repeated in-depth interviews, as well as surveys. The aim of these sub-studies is to explore the feasibility of LNS products.

Emmanuel Ayifah, MPhil

ayifahSocioeconomic Studies Manager, iLiNS Ghana
University of Ghana

Emmanuel Ayifah is an economist with experience in project cycle management and development cooperation. His research interests are in the area of development and health economics. Prior to joining the iLiNS Project, he worked with a number of local and international NGOs in Ghana. On the iLiNS Project, he is responsible for the day-to-day management of activities associated with the socio-economic arm of the study in Ghana. His primary responsibilities include assisting in drafting of survey instruments and procedures; training and supervising field research assistants; monitoring the quality of incoming data, and managing the logistics of field data collection.

Lucien Bado, MS

Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé, Burkina Faso

Lucien Bado has Master’s degrees in biochemistry (human nutrition option) and applied biology/biological systems modeling. He has been a student in nutrition at Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé (IRSS) since 2006. He has previous experience working on a study that examined the effects of zinc and vitamin A on nutritional status and the incidence of malaria among preschool-age Burkinabe children. His primary role for the iLiNS-ZINC study is to oversee the collection, processing and analysis of blood, saliva, and urine samples. Together with Faustin Ye and Beth Yakes, he trains and supervises the biochemistry team and participates in quality control measures for the biochemistry data.

Lacey Baldiviez, BA

baldiviezDepartment of Nutrition, University of California, Davis

Lacey is completing graduate research in International and Community Nutrition at the University of California, Davis. She has contributed to several iLiNS Project pilot tests at the Ghana field site and is investigating the effects of antenatal supplements on potential subclinical and clinical adverse outcomes in pregnant women. Her doctoral thesis research involves high-throughput quantification of oxidative stress biomarkers in urine and an analysis of the potential association between iron status and severity of malaria in pregnant women.

Neill Booth, MSc

BoothUniversity of Tampere School of Health Sciences, Finland

Having completed an M.Sc. in health economics from the University of York, Neill is a British-born health services researcher, based in Tampere, Finland. Since graduation he has worked on a number of different projects and continues to work on his PhD studies. He joined the iLiNS Project in spring 2010, and his role is to help to facilitate economic evaluations of the studies' interventions. His main research interests are the ways in which benefits are valued and costs are collated for economic evaluations, as well as the ways the results of economic evaluation can be used to inform policy processes.

Yin Bun Cheung, PhD, CStat

cheungProfessor, Centre for Quantitative Medicine, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore
Head, Biostatistics, Singapore Clinical Research Institute, Singapore
Adjunct Professor of International Health, University of Tampere, Finland

Yin Bun is a paediatric epidemiologist and medical statistician. He has researched maternal and child health in African and Asian countries. He also develops and evaluates statistical methods, with a focus on improving approaches to the analysis of time-to-event and count data. Currently he is the principal investigator of two statistical methodology studies funded by the National Medical Research Council, Singapore. He has authored about 150 publications, and is an associate editor of Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. He works with the Finland/Malawi team on the design and analysis of the iLiNS-DOSE and related studies in Malawi.

Elaine Ferguson, PhD

fergusonSenior Lecturer, Department of Nutrition and Public Health Intervention Research
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dr Ferguson has extensive research experience in dietary assessment methodology, micronutrient nutrition and the use of mathematical modelling to inform nutrition intervention decisions. Her role in the iLiNS project is to advise on the dietary assessment methodology. She is directly involved in setting-up and supervising the dietary assessment component of the iLiNS-Malawi project and will supervise formulation of food-based recommendations for 9-month old Malawian infants using mathematical modelling.

Evelyn Akorfa Yaa Fiawornu, Msc

fiawornuKAP Coordinator, iLiNS Ghana
University of Ghana

Evelyn Fiawornu is a social scientist on the iLiNS Project Ghana team. Her first degree is in Population and Family Life Education, from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. She has a Master’s degree in marketing from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom. In iLiNS Ghana, she is responsible for developing and coordinating “Knowledge, attitude and practice” (KAP) surveys, and for related written procedures. She also trains data collectors and monitors the quality of in-coming data. She also has responsibility for developing interview guides and procedures for in-depth interviews and for interviewing selected participants. She assists with transcriptions and edits and writes notes for all transcribed work.

Rosemonde Guissou, MSc

guissouSocioeconomic Studies (SES) Manager, iLiNS-Burkina
Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé, Burkina Faso

Rosemonde Guissou is a health economist with previous experience working on the issue of health worker motivation, and on the tools used by the Burkina Faso Ministry of Health for planning and programming processes. Her primary role in the iLiNS Project is to coordinate the collection of socioeconomic data by adapting survey tools for the local context, training and supervising the SES team workers, and monitoring the quality of the incoming data. She is also involved in the data cleaning and analysis process. She plans to complete a PhD in the near future.

Sali Hafez , BDS

hafezUniversity of Tampere, Finland

Sali Hafez is dentist with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from Alexandria University, Egypt. She is currently studying towards a Master’s in International Health at the University of Tampere. As a dentist and Global Health professional, Sali is investigating the association between the caries-related odontogenic infections and low body mass index (BMI) in recently delivered women in Malawi.


Ulla Harjunmaa, DDS, MSc

harjunmaaUniversity of Tampere Medical School, Finland

Ulla Harjunmaa is a dentist with a Master’s Degree in Health Sciences (International Health). She is currently studying towards her PhD at the University of Tampere. Ulla has long working experience in clinical dentistry from Finland, Nepal and Namibia. She has also worked with community health development and health workers’ education in Nepal and Finland. Before joining iLiNS, she worked as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Tampere Medical School. Ulla joined iLiNS to develop an oral health part of the iLiNS-DYAD trial. Her main research interest is the association between periodontitis and preterm delivery/low birth weight.

Marjorie Haskell, MPH, PhD

haskellAssociate Research Nutritionist
University of California, Davis

Marjorie Haskell’s research is focused on evaluating food-based interventions for increasing micronutrient status in populations at risk of deficiency. Her primary focus is on vitamin A and carotenoids, and she also studies vitamin A kinetics and metabolism using isotopic methodologies. Her role in the iLiNS Project is to assist with assessing breast milk intake in infants receiving different daily doses of LNS at 9-12 months of age in Malawi. Marjorie also assists with logistics for managing biological specimens and coordinating laboratory analyses for the iLiNS Project.

Jaimie Hemsworth, RD, MSc

hemsworthDepartment of Nutrition and Public Health Interventions Research
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Jaimie Hemsworth is a Registered Dietician with a Master’s Degree in Food and Nutritional Sciences from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Her previous research was carried out in Mwanza, Tanzania, assessing the effects of probiotic yogurt on the immune and nutritional status of people living with HIV. She is currently studying toward a PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her role within the iLiNS Project is to manage dietary intake studies in a subgroup of infants. She will assess the intake of complementary foods among infants consuming various doses of LNS at 9 and 15 months of age. The methods include 24-hour dietary recalls and weighed dietary records. In addition, Jaimie will be developing Food Based Dietary Guidelines for 9 month old infants in Malawi.

Sonja Y. Hess, PhD

hessAssociate Research Nutritionist
Program in International and Community Nutrition
University of California, Davis

Sonja Hess is the Executive Officer of the International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group (IZiNCG) employed as Associate Project Scientist by the University of California, Davis. She completed studies leading to a PhD in Human Nutrition from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. She has worked in human nutrition research focusing on interactions among trace elements and control of micronutrient deficiencies in low-income countries. She is involved as a co-Principal Investigator in the iLiNS-ZINC study in Burkina Faso.

Moses Kwashie Klevor, MPhil

klevorProgram in International and Community Nutrition
University of California, Davis

Moses is currently a PhD student in International and Community Nutrition at the University of California, Davis. His primary research interests are on maternal and child nutrition. He supervised the acceptability trial of LNS in Ghana and recently conducted focus group discussions among pregnant and lactating women using LNS. He will also analyze vitamin A and zinc interactions in women (Ghana site). Previously, Moses worked on the World Health Organization Multicenter Growth Reference Study in Ghana and supervised data collection for the ENAM (Enhancing Child Nutrition through Animal-Source Food Management) project in Northern Ghana. Prior to joining the iLiNS team, Moses worked for the Ghana Red Cross Society as the National Health Coordinator.

Chiza Kumwenda, MSc

kumwendaUniversity of Tampere Medical School, Finland

Chiza Kumwenda is a Nutritionist with Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition from University of Glasgow, Scotland. He has worked as a nutritionist in the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS in the Office of the President and Cabinet in Malawi. He is currently enrolled with Tampere University as a PhD student in International Health. In the iLiNS Malawi project, he works on measurement of breast milk intake among infants consuming different LNS doses, using compartmental modeling and measurements of deuterium enrichment in saliva of mothers and their babies. He is interested in infant and young child feeding.

Jane Kwon, PGDipPH

kwonLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Jane Kwon has a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacology and physiology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health from the University of Auckland. She is studying towards her MSc Public Health Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. She has previous experience with public health economy studies related to HIV/AIDS in Malawi. She is working in the iLiNS-DOSE trial in Malawi to identify feasible strategies to improve the micronutrient status of young rural infants in Malawi, by comparing the nutritional and cost implications of a food-based strategy alone or a food-based strategy with LNS supplementation.

Travis Lybbert, PhD

lybbertAssistant Professor
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
University of California, Davis

Travis Lybbert joined the faculty of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis in August 2006. Dr. Lybbert earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Economics from Cornell University, where he also taught engineering economics in the Operations Research Department. Dr. Lybbert conducts research in four interrelated areas of applied economics: risk, poverty dynamics, technology, and environment. Often motivated by international economic development problems, he has worked in North Africa, India, and in the Intellectual Property Division of the World Trade Organization. In addition to contributions to socio-economic aspects of the iLiNS project, Dr. Lybbert is assessing drought risk, drought coping and vulnerability in Morocco and Burkina Faso; risk and poverty dynamics among Kenyan pastoralists; and cell phones and adult literacy in Niger. Dr. Lybbert currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in economic development and applied economics.

Mark J. Manary, MD

manaryHelene Roberson Professor of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine
Director, Global Harvest Alliance, Washington University, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Dr. Manary was one of the original developers of ready-to-use foods, was the first to treat severely malnourished children with these foods and remains active in research. His team is developing local supplementary and complementary foods, as well as foods used in conjunction with HIV treatment. His work also involves clinical trials and observational studies to elucidate the pathophysiology of kwashiorkor, investigations in tropical enteropathy, changes in the gut microbiota in malnourished states and work with nutrient-enhanced staple crops for sub-Saharan Africa. In the iLiNS Project, Dr. Manary provides support in a consulting role for the studies in Malawi.

Brietta Oaks, PhD

oaksPostdoctoral Scholar
Program in International and Community Nutrition
University of California, Davis

Brietta Oaks received her MPH at George Washington University in Washington, DC. She completed her PhD at University of California, Davis, examining the effects of LNS on maternal cortisol levels during pregnancy and how cortisol and other biomarkers relate to birth outcomes in Ghana. She is now a postdoctoral scholar for the iLiNS Project with a current focus on fatty acids research. Her research interests also include prenatal nutrition, epigenetics, and reducing health disparities.

Harriet Okronipa, MSc

okronipaAssistant Project Manager, iLiNS Ghana
University of Ghana

Harriet completed her Masters degree in Nutrition at McGill University, Montreal, Canada in 2009. Her primary research interests are in the area of maternal and child nutrition as well as HIV/AIDS-related areas. She previously worked on the Research to Improve Infant Nutrition and Growth (RIING) Project, which aimed to identify factors that alter the ability of HIV-affected households to provide optimal care for their infants. On the iLiNS Ghana Project, Harriet is responsible for the daily administrative management of all field research staff, including the scheduling and supervision of field personnel and data collection.

Zinéwendé P. Ouedraogo, MD

ouedraogoMedical Officer
Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé, Burkina Faso

Dr. Ouedraogo is a physician with previous experience working on a study that examined the absorption of zinc from tablets or syrup among Burkinabe children. This study was used to make decisions about the design of the iLiNS-ZINC trial. In addition, she has experience as the study physician for a trial examining the efficacy of 3 different malaria treatments. From January 2010 through January 2012, she shared responsibility for overseeing recruitment and clinical assessment of study participants in iLiNS-ZINC. Together with Jerome Some and Beth Yakes, she trained and supervised the enrollment team and a large team of field supervisors and morbidity field workers, and participated in quality control measures for the morbidity data.

Nozgechi Phiri, BSc

phiriSocial Scientist and KAP Coordinator, iLiNS Malawi
University of Malawi

Nozgechi Phiri is the social scientist for iLiNS Project Malawi. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in demography from the University of Malawi and is currently enrolled with the University of Malawi, College of Medicine for a master’s in Public Health. She has previous experience with social studies with different projects mostly related to HIV/AIDS and poverty. Her role in the iLiNS Project is to coordinate data collection activities for knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) surveys and for 12-hour in-home observations. Other study methods that she uses are in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. She is also responsible for coordinating community sensitization and mobilization activities for the Project.

Thokozani Phiri, MPhil

thokozaniPiriSocioeconomic Studies Manager, iLiNS Malawi
University of Malawi

Thokozani Phiri is an economist working for iLiNS Project in Malawi. Her first degree is in Social Sciences, with the core subjects in Economics. Her postgraduate studies led to a research degree in Development Economics and she is passionate about economic development, in the context of poverty alleviation. Her current responsibilities include coordinating the socioeconomic studies and training data collectors assigned to these studies. She also lends a hand in drafting procedures and investigator’s brochures and is involved in data management activities related to the iLiNS Project in Malawi.

Beth Prado, PhD

pradoPostdoctoral Scholar
Program in International and Community Nutrition
University of California, Davis

Beth Prado completed a BA/MS in Linguistics at Georgetown University in 2004 and a PhD in Psychology at Lancaster University in 2009. She joined the iLiNS team to lead the assessment of motor, language, cognitive, and socio-emotional development at age 18 months. In previous research, she evaluated the effect of maternal multiple micronutrient supplementation on the same four areas of development in children age 3.5 years in Indonesia. She also evaluated maternal cognition and mood in the same trial. Her research interests include evaluating programs to promote healthy child development and developing appropriate tools to assess child development in developing country settings, assessing child development from the perspective of developing brain systems, and the effect of micronutrients on cognition throughout the lifespan.

Anna Pulakka, MSc

pulakkaUniversity of Tampere Medical School, Finland

Anna Pulakka is studying towards her PhD at the University of Tampere, Finland. She is a registered public health nurse and has a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy. She did her master’s degree in International Health in 2009. She is working in the iLiNS-DOSE trial in Malawi developing methods to study physical activity of children consuming different doses of LNS. She is also interested in parental perspectives on child health and development.


Winbetouréfâ Jérôme Somé, MD

someMedical Officer
Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé, Burkina Faso

Dr. Somé is a physician with previous experience working on the issue of treatment adherence in the context of pediatric clinical trials of highly active anti-retroviral therapy for children with HIV, and the routine care of children exposed to or infected with HIV in Burkina Faso. His primary role for the iLiNS-ZINC trial is to oversee the recruitment and clinical assessment of study participants. Together with Souheila Abbeddou, he trains and supervises the enrollment team and a large team of field supervisors and morbidity field workers and participates in quality control measures for the morbidity data.

Beth Yakes Jimenez, PhD


Assistant Professor, Nutrition Program, Department of Individual, Family and Community Education
University of New Mexico

Dr. Yakes is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in public health nutrition and a PhD in epidemiology and experience managing research studies and public health projects in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso and the United States. She is interested in the impact of improved nutritional status on infectious disease morbidity in children. She spent a year and a half in the field helping to coordinate the iLiNS-ZINC project and will continue working with the team to analyze and publish the study results.