Indian-origin professor awarded Fulbright-Nehru fellowship

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Washington: An Indian-origin professor has been awarded the Fulbright-Nehru fellowship for Academic and Professional Experience to teach immunonutrition and functional foods in medical institutions across India, a press statement said.

Anil Kulkarni, a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Centre at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School in Texas, will work as a faculty member in four Indian universities, namely Sikkim Manipal University Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita University Institute of Medical Sciences in Kochi, Deccan Education Society affiliated to Pune University and its Fergusson College, and Haffkine Institute in Mumbai, affiliated with the University of Mumbai.

According to Kulkarni, the teaching experience in India would help him write and improvise a course curriculum for immunonutrition in US medical schools and health science centres.

Kulkarni also plans to establish the Centre of Immunonutrition, which will feature the development of basic and translational curriculum in these specific areas.

"This will be the first of its kind organisation in the world," he said.

Kulkarni moved to the US in 1970 to pursue his education and career.  

He joined the UTHealth Medical School faculty in 1999.

"I wondered about having a career in medicine, or getting involved in advocacy of proper nutrition and preventive health care. Eventually, I graduated with a Ph.D degree in Faculty of Medicine from the United Kingdom," said Kulkarni, who grew up in India.

"In the last decade or so, India has experienced extraordinary economic growth which has had an alarming impact on the rates of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension and cancer. In the next decade, lifestyle diseases are expected to grow at a faster rate than infectious diseases in India," he said.

Fulbright grant recipients are chosen by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, a 12-member group appointed by the US president.

Grants are made possible through funds appropriated by the US Congress and by contributions from partner countries and the private sector.

The Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowships aim to provide US faculty, researchers and professionals the opportunity to teach, conduct research, or carry out a combination of teaching and research at an Indian institution.

These fellowships are for four to nine months.

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