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Giridhar R Babu
Professor and Head – Life Course Epidemiology
Giridhara R Babu has a medical degree (MBBS) from Kasturba medical college Manipal and has completed MPH and PhD from UCLA (University of California Los Angeles). He has two decades of experience in public health research, practice and academics. He began his career at the Center for Community Medicine of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi as a Junior Resident. Next, he worked with World Health Organization where he led the efforts in stopping polio transmission in the state of Karnataka. He initiated advocacy for Measles surveillance in Karnataka leading to constitution of Multi Year Plan (MYP) for Measles elimination in India. He is awarded the prestigious intermediate and now the senior fellowship of Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance to start and expand a cohort study titled MAASTHI (Maternal Antecedents of Adiposity Studying the Transgenerational role of Hyperglycemia and Insulin).
He was also recently awarded the prestigious Team Science Grant by the DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance where he will be leading a consortium of 18 investigators across 6 premiere public health institutions in India. This research program is titled Nutritional, psychosocial and environmental determinants of neurodevelopment and child mental health (COINCIDE) aims to evaluate how multiple factors in a child’s immediate environment impact their development in the first decade of their life starting from pregnancy.
Giridhara has over 100 papers published in national and international high impact journals. He has served on several national and international committees. Some of them include Lancet Commission Regional Task force for India on COVID19, workgroup of the ICMR National Task Force for COVID-I9 and the Technical Analysis Committee of the Government of Karnataka. He is the regional representative for LMICs on the DoHaD international society.
He is actively involved in writing articles for the general public, providing his expert opinion to media houses and consultation to several state governments.
Professional Society Memberships
Life Member, International Epidemiology Association [IEA]
Member, Society for Epidemiological Research, USA [SER]
Member, American College of Epidemiology
Life Member, Indian Public Health Association [IPHA}
Indian Medical Association [IMA]
Affiliate Positions and Memberships
1. Honorary Faculty, Department of Family Medicine of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Netherlands.
2. Adjunct Professor, Manipal University, India
3. Coordinator, Strengthening primary care for health task force, knowledge commission, Govt. of Karnataka
4. Member, Committee for review and amendment of Karnataka Private Establishment Act, Govt. of Karnataka
5. Member, Nursing Council of India, Core group for curriculum for Nursing Health Practitioner
6. Member, NCD Core Technical Group, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India
7. 2016 Member, State level core committee for preventive of blindness and diabetic retinopathy, Govt. of Karnataka
8. Member, Technical Group, Rolling out Universal Health Coverage, Karnataka
9. Consulted to World Health Organization for Reprioritization of Diseases under India Surveillance Program
10. Member, Karnataka Knowledge Commission Taskforce on Health
11. Member, NCD Technical group, World Health Organization & CCDC, India
12. Member, Karnataka Private Establishments Act amendment, Government of Karnataka
13. Committee member, Karnataka Public Health (Act) Committee, Govt. of Karnataka
14. Led the Core committee, Action Group on National Urban Health Mission.
15. Only external member on Committee to create Public health department and cadre in the state of Karnataka.
16. Led the Core Group on developing Universal Health Coverage pilots in the state of Karnataka.
17. Advisory Committee Member of Nutrition project, Ashoka Innovators for the public, Bengaluru
18. Task Force for developing Karnataka Public Health Policy (KPHP) Karnataka Jnana Aayoga
19. Consultancy to WHO SEARO, for finalization of “Handbook on Public Health Programs at the District Level”, for South East Asia Regional Office-WHO (SEARO) to be implemented by all the SEARO countries.
20. Consultation provided to proposed Karnataka Public Health Act
21. Member, Governing Council. Karnataka State Health System Resources Centre, Bangalore.
22. Member, Executive committee of Karnataka State Health System Resources Centre, Bangalore.
23. Member, Public Health Cadre and Department reorganization, Government of Karnataka.
24. Certification of Excellence for teaching at University of California Los Angeles.
25. Member of Chartered Class, National Board of Public Health Examiners, USA.
26. Recognized by WHO-NPSP for interrupting Polio transmission in the state of Karnataka. Initiated and was founding member of Karnataka State Core Group on Routine Immunization.
Research Summary and Interests
My goal is to study how micro and macro environmental factors across the entire life course influence the development of low birth weight (LBW) and childhood obesity, as early markers of non-communicable diseases. While the Middle Incomeassociation of nutritional and psychosocial determinants of LBW and childhood obesity are assessed in a cohort funded by Wellcome Trust DBT India alliance, the effect of prenatal exposure to air pollution is evaluated with support from Department of Science & Technology, GoI. Further, we are assessing the impact of Government of Karnataka’s nutritious meal supplementation to pregnant women in reducing LBW. The results from these studies will aid in implementing evidence-based public health policy planning and implementation.
Keywords: Life course Epidemiology; Low birth weight and undernutrition; Childhood obesity; Psychosocial environment and NCDs; Air Pollution; Public healtMiddle-Income Countries.
Areas of Expertise
- Public Health Nutrition
- Mental Health
- Non-Communicable Diseases(NCDs) and Injuries
- Environmental Health
- Climate Change
- Primary Health Care
- Health Promotion
- Implementation Research
- Clinical Trials
- Impact Evaluation
- Systematic Reviews
- Health System
Other Areas of Expertise
- Technical Advisor