Lindsay Jaacks


Personal profile


After studying Nutrition and Epidemiology, Lindsay joined the faculty at Harvard University as an Assistant Professor of Global Health, where she established and led a research team working on global noncommunicable diseases (NCD) and developed the obesity transition framework. While at Harvard, she also developed and taught field-based classes on NCDs in India and Nepal. This work motivated her to adjust course and re-focus on the underlying causes of disease.

Lindsay joined the University of Edinburgh in 2020 as a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and Chancellor’s Fellow in the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security. 

Research Interests


Lindsay's current research projects broadly aim to advance understanding of the nexus between agriculture, nutrition, and health. She is especially interested in studying the effect of pesticides on human health and the health co-benefits of sustainable agriculture approaches such as organic. Her research also involves improving the measurement of food environments and leveraging citizen science for public health nutrition.

Current research projects:

  • Reducing meat intake to mitigate climate change and improve health - Wellcome Trust
  • Adaptation of the Rapid Urban Food Systems Appraisal Tool (RUFSAT) for nutrition in India and Nepal - UN Food and Agriculture Organization
  • Assessing the potential for rapid and massive scale introduction of organic farming in India to reduce pesticide use and improve health outcomes - Global Challenges Development Fund, Scottish Funding Council
  • Developing a Poshan Atlas for India’s Agro-Climatic Zones and a Multi-Lingual Dashboard for Regional Foods and Dietary Patterns - Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Co-Benefits of Largescale Organic Farming On HuMan Health (BLOOM) - UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship
  • Quantifying the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Agriculture, Food Security, and Diet Quality in India - The Royal Society of Edinburgh, The Scottish Government, Scottish Asia Partnerships Higher education Research Fund (SAPHIRE)


  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Society for Nutrition
  • Delta Omega, the Honorary Public Health Society
  • International Society for Environmental Epidemiology 
  • Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy

Advisory Board

  • EClinicalMedicine – The Lancet

 Other Public Service

  • Planning Committee for the U.S. Investigators’ Network Symposium on Global Non-Communicable Disease Research, Emory University (2014)
  • Alumni Mentor for the Cornell Global Health and Development Mentorship Program (2014-2015)
  • Co-Founder and Volunteer for the Emory Employee Cycling Network (2015-2016)
  • Discussant for the Global Partnerships to Advance NCD Research within the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda, Emory University, Atlanta, GA (08/08/2016)
  • Discussion Leader for the International Diabetes Federation’s “Diabetes Network for Health Professionals (D-NET)” (08/2016-09/2016)
  • Planning Subcommittee Member, American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions (07/2018-06/2019)
  • Fellow, Commission: The Global Syndemic of Obesity, Undernutrition, and Climate Change, The Lancet (07/2017-01/2019)
  • Co-Chair, Symposium on Diabetes In Humanitarian Settings, Harvard University (04/2019)
  • Expert Consultant, National DPP Nutrition Convening, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (06/2019)
  • Advisory Board Member, CitySprouts, a Non-profit organization based in Cambridge, MA (09/2019-07/2020)
  • Advisory Board Member, UNC Nutrition Alumni Council (12/2019-)
  • Co-Leader of Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security Journal Club, University of Edinburgh (09/2020-)


Education/Academic qualification

Nutrition, Minor Epidemiology, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Award Date: 1 Dec 2014

Biological Sciences, Nutritional Sciences, Bachelor of Science, Cornell University

Award Date: 1 May 2010

External positions

Adjunct Professor, Harvard University

Jul 2020 → …

Visiting Professor, PHFI, Public Health Foundation of India

Nov 2016 → …


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