I was born and grew up in London, UK. I was interested in biology at school and went on to study BSc Physiology at Southampton University. One of the optional modules I studied on my undergraduate course was Public Health Nutrition which I found very interesting at the time. When I completed my degree I decided to spend some time travelling and went to Peru, Bolivia, China and South-East Asia. I was saddened by the living conditions of some people in these parts of the world and noticed the lack of variety in their diets. I decided that I would like to study for a Masters degree in public health nutrition and enrolled at Southampton University. The course was excellent, I learnt a lot about research methods, policy, programmes and statistics, and I met some like-minded people who also felt strongly about improving the situation of the world’s poorest people and reducing health inequalities. This provided me with plenty of motivation to follow a career in public health nutrition.
After obtaining my masters degree in 2006 I started my job as a research assistant at the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit in Southampton working on a programme of research in India. This involves working with research teams based in Mumbai and Mysore (South India) on nutritional aspects of randomised controlled trials and cohort studies, assessing the impact of nutrition in early life on risk of chronic disease in later life. I was attracted to this work because of the way in which the research was community led and because I was interested in the developmental origins idea. I registered for a part time PhD in 2008 and continued with my role as research assistant. My thesis, which I expect to submit in 2012, is on the nutritional status of slum dwelling women in Mumbai.