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International Health

Kristen Hurley


Kristen Hurley, PhD MPH

Assistant Professor
Program in Human Nutrition
Department of International Health

Research Interests
  • Maternal and child micronutrient status and child development
  • Responsive feeding and early child growth and development
  • Maternal mental health and maternal and child nutritional status 
Current Research

Nutritional deficiencies and the lack of adequate and responsive learning opportunities contribute to the loss of developmental potential among more than 200 million children under 5 years of age from low- and middle-income countries. Without adequate nutrition and early learning opportunities, children are at risk for poor growth, low academic performance and life-long disparities. My research activities focus on the intersections between nutrition and early child development and include the following interventions. 

Project Grow Smart

Project Grow Smart is an integrated randomized double-masked placebo-controlled intervention trial that examines how home and preschool fortification with multiple micronutrient power (MNP) combined with an early child-development intervention affect child development, growth, and micronutrient status in rural India. The 1-year trial has an infant phase (enrollment age: 6-12 months) and a preschool phase (enrollment age: 36-48 months). Study outcomes include child development, growth, and micronutrient status. 

Project MIEL

Project MIEL was developed to systematically examine the effects of an integrated intervention that includes both multiple micronutrients and responsive feeding. The primary objective is to examine how an integrated nutrition/responsive feeding intervention affects the growth and development of young children in rural areas of Guatemala. We will focus on infants 6-12 months of age when the risk for micronutrient deficiencies begins (following the depletion of micronutrient stores available at birth). Study outcomes include child development, growth, and micronutrient status. 

Lessons learned during the development, design, implementation, and analysis of these integrated trials can be used to guide policy and programs designed to promote the developmental, educational, and economic potential of children in low- and middle-income countries.