Nutrition Ph.D. alumna Sharmin Hossain moderated a panel on public health careers as part of the 13th Annual National Institutes of Health (NIH) Career Symposium, which was held in virtual format this year. The panel, which included professionals from higher education, government and industry, also included current nutrition doctoral student Ruthfirst Ayande.
Hossain works for the National Institute on Aging (NIA) as a postdoctoral research fellow on the HANDLS (Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span) study, a 20-year longitudinal study investigating the sources of persistent health disparities in overall longevity, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Ayande is researching the role of nutrition education on health literacy and pregnancy outcomes. As part of her dissertation research, she has conducted focus groups in Ghana to identify gaps and barriers to nutrition education and is planning to return to Ghana to implement and evaluate a nutrition education intervention.
The panelists discussed why they chose to pursue careers in public health, reflected on what they might have done differently at the start of their careers, and described challenges they have faced. They also offered advice on transitioning to a career in public health from another field. Finally, they shared their thoughts on how the Covid-19 pandemic is changing the current and future landscape of public health.