SLS Hosts Eminent Scholar Dr. Keith West from Johns Hopkins University

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Professor Keith West of Johns Hopkins University spoke at a seminar organized by The School of Life Sciences (SLS) and International Center for Biotechnology and Health (ICBH) at IUB on July 20, 2017, entitled, “Preventing Micronutrient Deficiencies: Mechanisms of Impact on Health and Survival.” Nearly 200 faculty, students, and administration staff attended the talk.  An eminent scholar who has published over 200 scientific articles, Dr. West is currently the George G. Graham Professor of Infant and Child Nutrition, and Director of the Program and Center for Human Nutrition within the Department of International Health at JHSPH. Dr. West has worked extensively in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa for 40 years, conducting field trials and epidemiological studies to prevent vitamin A and other micronutrient deficiencies and their health consequences among infants, children and women. During the seminar, he emphasized the role of cutting edge biology such as nutritional genomics and proteomics to elucidate the cellular mechanisms of deficiencies and interventions. Through his presentation, he exposed the students to the ties that exist between molecular biology and public health and the possible areas of exploration for upcoming generations of scientists. Dr. West especially focused on his work revolving around vitamin A, its mechanism of action within the body, the roles it plays as part of physiological processes, and the consequences of deficiency in pregnant women and new-borns. The audience was fascinated by the results of the trials involving vitamin A supplementation and multiple micronutrient supplementation. The correlation between micronutrients and reduced infant mortality, reduced rate of miscarriage, increased birth weight, improved immune system etc left the students with an eagerness and determination to explore the field of nutrition research in Bangladesh and to understand what more can be done in the future.  Following the presentation, Dr. West spent a considerable amount of time into insightful discussions with the faculty members and students and over all, the event was a great success. Professor M. Omar Rahman, the Vice Chancellor of IUB spoke on the occasion.  The Dean of The Life Sciences School delivered the opening remarks and introduced the speaker. The seminar was coordinated by Afreen Zaman Khan, Lecturer at The School of Life Sciences, who also delivered the official vote of thanks.

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