The Patrice L. Engle Dissertation Grant provides support for students interested in a career in global early child development who are from or doing research in low- or middle-income countries. Eugenia Maku Ocansey was awarded this grant for her dissertation project “Assessing developmental outcomes at preschool age following three micronutrient supplementation strategies for pregnant and lactating women and their infants in Ghana.”
While adequate nutrition is necessary for the rapid brain development that occurs during gestation and the first 2 years of life (the first 1000 days), and many pregnant women and children across the globe are at risk for nutrient deficiencies during this period, few randomized controlled trials of nutritional supplementation during both pre- and post-natal periods have assessed long-term cognitive development. For her dissertation research, Ocansey is leading the developmental assessments in the pre-school follow-up study of the International Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplements (iLiNS) Project DYAD trial in Ghana, which provided lipid-based nutrient supplements to women during pregnancy and their children from six to 18 months. This project will enable the examination of long-term cognitive effects of supplementation with micronutrients, protein, and fatty acids during most of the first 1000 days.