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Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
I'm a frood who knows where his towel is.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cast of characters part 1

Date: 5/27/2011

Dr. Guerrant and I
I thought it important to introduce the cast of characters on this side of the Atlantic. First comes the man who sparked my interest in the connection between malnutrition and cognitive development: Dr. Richard Guerrant. It was his pioneering work in Brazil that first aroused my interest in studying this topic in Indian populations. Dr. Guerrant has been a frequent victim of my angsty ravings about how little some people are affected by the horrors of childhood malnutrition and health disparities in impoverished regions of our world. He has attempted (and mostly succeeded) to calm me down about this .

Another person who has greatly guided me and shown a lot of patience with me is Dr. Rebecca Dilllingham (pictured below). If I can ever develop a bedside manner half as warm as hers, I'll consider myself a very lucky man.

Dr. Dillingham in her office at UVA
The grant that made this possible was given to me by the Center for Global Health at the University of Virginia where I am enrolled in the school of medicine.

This is the brand new medical education building at the University of Virginia.
Last, but not least is April Ballard who guided me through the tortuous rigmarole of the grant application process and helped me get the grant despite my discreditable adoption of Douglas Adams's attitude towards deadlines: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." She refused to let me photograph her, but I'm going to do my best to convince her in the coming weeks.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The story begins

Date: 5/20/2011

This photo of an Indian sage with a duffel bag waiting for a bus was taken in Jangpura, New Delhi in Summer 2010. I was taking a relaxing break before beginning med school.
I'll keep things brief here. I am an Indian medical student at UVA and just won a research grant to go and study malnutrition's impact on cognition at Christian Medical College, Vellore, India. This means much more than a free trip home for me. It's my first real step in the world of global health policy after an academic career devoted to basic science research. Considering, I hope to have an impact on the health care policy of underdeveloped regions of India and other developing countries, this is a very big step for me.

I'm really excited and hope to document the experience comprehensively out here. Sometimes, I might post things before I have fully processed stuff in my head. Please excuse me.

Om Ganeshaye Namah.

Vande Matram!