The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition is pleased to announce the graduation of one our featured students and past interns, Ashish Pokharel. Originally from Nepal, Ashish completed his undergraduate studies in the United States before earning a scholarship through the Nutrition Innovation Lab and beginning his Master’s Degree in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition. Now, as he graduates with honors, Ashish is looking forward to the next step in his path. Over the past months, he has been keeping his eyes peeled for potential jobs back in Nepal, and is currently in the interview process with Helen Keller International, as he hopes to secure a position on one of their Nepal-based research teams.
During his time at the Nutrition Innovation Lab, Ashish spent one summer doing an internship in which he played a substantial role in the prep-work for the Innovation Lab’s research in Egypt. He even traveled to Egypt with the senior researchers to assist with the project and work on protocol design.
Now, he hopes to expand on those research skills through a position on the Helen Keller International Aflatoxin Cohort Study currently underway. Aflatoxin, a type of mold found in food, is heavily linked with stunting and cancer. A topic of great passion for the graduate, Ashish sees Aflatoxin not only as a health concern or a food safety issue, but stresses the importance of the agricultural and economic perspective. “Farmers are able to make more money at market if their crops are healthier (ie. Contain no aflatoxins), and they are then able to better feed their families.”
Ashish strongly believes in the need to improve health, agriculture, and nutrition in the world and his home country. He hopes that in expanding his research skills it will give him a solid base from which he could either continue onto a PhD, or move into program management. “It will be easier to operate a study or an intervention if I have strong base knowledge of research.” Ashish states.
Although for all those that have worked with him on research projects over the past year, there is no doubt that Ashish would make a valuable addition to any nutrition research team.