Summer 2014 Exchange-Student Opportunities in Guatemala with CeSSIUM

in Practicums/Internships
May 13th, 2014

Are you looking for a summer opportunity to be involved in research in Guatemala?

The Center for Studies of Sensory Impairment, Aging and Metabolism (CeSSIAM) was founded in 1985 in Guatemala for the original purpose of investigating the association between vitamin A deficiency and blindness.

CeSSIAM is currently investigating the effects of diet and specific micronutrients on outcomes such as health and function. It also mentors pre-doctoral and doctoral students as they lead several research projects.  CeSSIAM works in partnership with INF to conduct cutting-edge nutritional research in Latin America and is staffed by six core research professionals working in three thematic investigative areas, which are described below. There are several opportunities for this summer detailed below. Interested students should send a letter of interest and resume to Joe Anzalone at josanz@bu.edu ASAP.

Expected Summer 2014 projects:

Lactation Biology: We have on-going projects involving the collection and analysis of human milk (using standardized unilateral full-breast evacuation) in relation to subclinical mastitis prevalence and nutrient quality across different social strata and stages of lactation. The Center has an iCHECK rapid vitamina A analyzer.

Dietary Assessment: For students with a dietetics/nutrition background, we can offer a non-field – but in-country – experience generating some contextual analyses for manuscripts based on complete population diet-intake data-sets to be combined with specialized food-composition data-bases.

Stunting Biology: Guatemala has the highest prevalence of under-five stunting in the Americas, and sequelae in its adult population. One of our student-driven areas is using photographic images of individuals to assess length of different body segments (leg-length in adults) and total-length in newborn. This will allow for rapid, friendly survey approaches to assessing the anatomical aspects of the experience of linear growth failure.

Nutritional Environment Measurement Survey (NEMS): We are pioneering innovative departures surrounding the NEMS, which seeks to assess the availability and accessibility of food (and healthful food) in the different food-supply systems of Guatemala. We shall be refining and expanding experience in Supermarkets, and moving to the Tienda setting. We shall expand street-level mapping of dispensing establishments, and relate them to purchasing patterns of neighborhood residents. We shall look to the cafeteria and restaurant domain of the NEMS, as well.

Other Diverse Projects: For those with advanced fluency of Spanish, qualitative studies on beliefs and practices in child feeding and health can be developed. Moreover, we can work collaboratively to tailor a project to the interests of a student-faculty dyad at your institution (but this has to be done with longer-term anticipation for the Ethics Committee implications of novel projects outside of our covered and approved series).