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Researcher named among world-class fellowship winners

Dr Lindsay Jaacks wins Future Leaders Fellowship from the UK Government.

A researcher working on the intersection between agriculture, nutrition and health has won a prestigious fellowship from the UK Government.

Dr Lindsay Jaacks is among Future Leaders Fellows announced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Dr Jaacks’ research broadly aims to quantify the health co-benefits of agricultural policies and interventions. She is also working on developing strategies to nudge consumers towards healthier, more sustainable food choices.

As part of her Future Leaders Fellowship, Dr Jaacks will conduct a natural experiment in a state in India where the government is planning to shift all farmers to organic.

The study will generate scientific evidence on the potential health benefits of reducing exposure to pesticides.

The health and nutrition expert is among 101 newly named Future Leaders Fellows, including three at the University of Edinburgh, in a scheme designed to establish the careers of world-class research and innovation leaders across the UK.

Indian market
Dr Jaacks will explore the impact of reduced pesticides in farming.

Cross-disciplinary studies

Dr Jaacks joined the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security in July 2020 as a Chancellor’s Fellow.

She was formerly an Assistant Professor of Global Health at Harvard University, where she established and led a research team working on global non-communicable diseases (NCD) and developed the obesity transition framework.

UKRI’s initiative aims to support the creation of a new cohort of research and innovation leaders who will have links across different sectors and disciplines.

The fellows, based at UK universities and businesses, are supported through an investment of £109 million. 

Awardees will each receive between £400,000 and £1.5 million over an initial four years.

The grant supports challenging and novel projects, and the development of each Fellow’s career.

The funding can also be used to support team members, their development, and pay for equipment and other needs.  

Our research team at Harvard found that the health systems of the Global South are not at all prepared for the tsunami of these chronic, expensive diseases. We urgently need to figure out how to prevent them in the first place. Improving the healthfulness of global diets will be critical. The challenges facing food systems are significant, but I strongly believe that they are solvable with the fresh perspectives that come from interdisciplinary thinking.

Dr Lindsay JaacksFuture Leaders Fellow, Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security

Developing food systems for healthy people and a healthy planet is one of the most pressing and complex challenges facing humanity. Dr Jaacks’ contributions to these challenges are already widely recognised internationally. We are delighted that this award of a Future Leaders Fellowship will enable a very significant expansion of her work in this vital area.

Professor Geoff SimmDirector, Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security

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Future Leaders Fellows