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Additional Professor, Head , Environmental Health & Deputy Director, Centre for Environmental Health
Trained as a physician in Bangalore Medical College, Poornima has a Master’s in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a PhD in Social Medicine from the University of Bristol, UK. After a few years in clinical practice, a short stint at the Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Division and the Population Health Research Institute at the McMaster University in Canada piqued her interest in epidemiology and public health leading her to acquire training in the UK in these disciplines under reputed mentors. Her earlier work in the New Delhi Birth Cohort and the Andhra Pradesh Children and Parents Study (APCAPS) involved studies on the role of early life growth and development on later life cardiometabolic and other chronic disease outcomes, in addition to intergenerational influences on cognitive function and chronic disease risk in the offspring cohorts.
Since 2015, Poornima moved her focus to the study of environmental health risk factors recognising that this was missing in children’s’ health research in India. She was instrumental in sensitising the fraternity of birth cohort researchers in India through training and capacity building for environmental health. She is currently Additional Professor, Head, Environmental Health and Deputy Director of the Centre for Environmental Health at the Public Health Foundation of India where she leads a team of nearly 20 researchers and consultants on research, training, advocacy, capacity building and remediation for environmental health issues spanning air pollution, climate change, water, sanitation and hygiene, chemical and heavy metal exposures and children’s environmental health. Additionally, she is a Consultant at the Centre for Chronic Disease Control, New Delhi where she continues research in lifecourse approach to chronic disease. She also leads work in engaging health sector leadership for environmental issues across India.
Poornima enjoys music, reading, writing poetry, travelling and every opportunity to spend time with family, kids and nature.
International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Research Summary and Interests
Poornima has a core interest in chronic disease epidemiology and environmental health. She has conducted studies in birth cohorts in New Delhi and Andhra Pradesh that assessed the role of early life growth, development and socio-environmental determinants on adult disease risk. Her interest in lifecourse epidemiology motivated her to conduct an intergenerational study in the Andhra Pradesh Children and Parents Study(APCAPS) assessing parental influences on offspring disease risk accounting for physical, biological and socio-environmental determinants. Her current role encompasses research, training, advocacy and technical consultations on environmental issues spanning air pollution, climate change, water, sanitation and hygiene, chemical and heavy metal exposures and health impact assessment studies.
Areas of Expertise
- Adolescent Health
- Maternal Health/Women’s Health
- Public Health Nutrition
- Neonatal Health and Child Health
- Non-Communicable Diseases(NCDs) and Injuries
- Environmental Health
- Climate Change
- Water, Hygiene and Sanitation
- Social Determinants of Health
- Health Promotion
- Urbanisation/Urban Health
- Global Health
- Community Health
- Implementation Research
- Research Methods
- Health Impact Assessment