BU researcher wins NIH award to quantify long-term impact of nutritional interventions on TB incidence

Pranay Sinha, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, has received a National Institutes of Health Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01). These awards provide support and protected time (three to five years) for an intensive, supervised, career development experience in the biomedical, behavioral or clinical sciences, leading to research independence.

As part of this honor, Sinha has received a five-year, $640,508 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases grant for his project, "Nutritional Interventions to End Tuberculosis (TB) among persons with HIV in India-- NUTRIENT-India." The award will be used to help quantify the long-term impact of nutritional interventions on TB incidence and mortality among persons with and without TB in India. In addition, Sinha will also be supported by a career investment award from the school's department of medicine.

India has the third-highest number of persons with HIV. One-quarter of deaths among persons with HIV are due to TB. Transmission from HIV-negative persons likely fuels this epidemic, and undernutrition is the leading risk factor for TB among them.

Sinha believes that population-scale nutritional interventions would reduce TB incidence and mortality among persons with and without HIV. "The NUTRIENT-India study will define the most cost-effective nutritional interventions. Additionally, it will inform policymakers on why they must address this critical TB risk factor that keeps TB entrenched in India and how they can intervene while making maximal use of available resources," explains Sinha who also is an infectious disease physician at Boston Medical Center.

Sinha attended the University of Virginia School of Medicine, completed his residency training at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and is currently completing a master's degree in health policy and management at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. He has been involved in TB research since 2014 and has conducted epidemiological studies in South Africa, Benin, Togo, and India.

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