Professor, Department of Population Health
Dr. Parekh’s research and teaching are motivated by a deep commitment to reduce nutrition-related disease outcomes in at-risk groups. The overarching theme of her research program is to examine the role of nutrition and diet-related factors in the etiology of non-communicable diseases, with a particular focus on obesity, metabolic dysregulation and cancer, which have shared etiology. Her multidisciplinary research integrates the intricacies from four distinct areas of expertise: disease biology, nutritional biochemistry, epidemiology, and biostatistics.
She has developed a research program with three interconnected areas. The first arm consists of leveraging existing data to identify dietary patterns, dietary quality, and food consumption patterns in populations of interest. The second is to identify dietary determinants and biomarkers that predict disease outcomes including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. The third arm is to measure diets using novel dietary assessment methods that will contribute to more accurate and multi-dimensional measurement of diet. The three areas of her work complement each other and reveal preventive measures for populations, inform health policy and guide clinical practice. She has more than 75 peer-reviewed publications in prestigious journals and her work has been supported by awards from the American Cancer Society and NIH.
Dr. Parekh holds an MS in clinical nutrition from Mumbai University and a PhD in nutritional sciences with a minor in population health sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2005). After completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in cancer epidemiology at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey-Rutgers, she was recruited to NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Nutrition and Food Studies in January 2008, to cross-pollinate the fields of nutrition and public health. In 2015, as Associate Professor of Public Health Nutrition, she transitioned to NYU’s newly launched School of Global Public Health (GPH), as Director of the Public Health Nutrition program (until 2019), with an affiliated appointment in the Department of Population Health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine.
At GPH, Dr. Parekh teaches graduate courses in the New York campus and at study abroad sites (Mexico, Abu Dhabi, and Florence). Graduate courses taught include Global Nutrition, Nutritional Epidemiology, Perspectives in Public Health, and Global Cancer Epidemiology for which she has received awards. Dr. Parekh has been the Executive Director of Doctoral Programs at GPH since 2017. In this role, she supports about 30 PhD students, and promotes all aspects of their rigorous research and professional development towards impactful careers. Dr. Parekh is a New York Academy of Medicine Fellow and has served as an Independent Consultant at UNICEF. She has served the American Society for Nutrition as Chair of the Nutritional Epidemiology Research Group and is an Associate Editor for BMC Nutrition.
To view Dr. Parekh’s full list of publications, please see Google Scholar and Pubmed.
PhD from University of Wisconsin
Rutgers - Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Population Health Group
Nutrition & health. 2023 Jan 23; 2601060231151986
Public health reports. 2022 Dec 22; 333549221138851
Current atherosclerosis reports. 2022 Nov; 24(11):849-860
Advances in nutrition. 2022 Aug 01; 13(4):1009-1015
International journal of environmental research & public health. 2022 Jul 09; 19(14):
Translational behavioral medicine. 2022 Jul 07; 12(6):761-763
Ecology of food & nutrition. 2022 Mar 28; 1-19
Journal of nutrition education & behavior. 2022 Mar; 54(3):269-275