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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Penn State: Epidemiology Student Finalist in Two National Competitions

Mr. Djibril M. Ba, part of Penn State College of Medicine’s first cohort of PhD in epidemiology students, has been named a finalist in the American Society for Nutrition’s (ASN) Nutritional Sciences Council 2019 Graduate Student Research Awards Competition and ASN’s Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Poster Competition. Both events are part of ASN’s annual conference, Nutrition 2019, on June 8-11 in Baltimore.

In addition, Mr. Ba will share research findings during a poster presentation on the Evaluation of Urinary Iodine Concentration (UIC) for Predicting Iodine Deficiency in Sub-Saharan Africa.

For the research award, there were more than 450 entries submitted. As one of nine finalists, Mr. Ba will participate in an oral competition followed by a Q&A session with judges. Later, during the conference’s opening reception, a special council will judge research presented as part of the poster competition.

Mr. Ba conducted a cross-sectional study involving more than 3,000 women, ages 20 to 49, living in Tanzania to examine the factors associated with iodine deficiency. Findings show that among this population, those most at risk for iodine deficiency are pregnant and breastfeeding women. Research reveals that poverty and a lack of education are leading factors contributing to iodine deficiency. Because of this, actions to implement and enforce universal salt iodization among this vulnerable population could prove to be beneficial.

Mr. Ba will be joined by more than 3,600 researchers, practitioners and professionals at the annual nutrition science conference. The event features more than 100 sessions covering 6 tracks including global and public health nutrition.