Laura is originally from Fort Collins, Colorado. As a student-athlete at the University of Alabama, an explorer in Himalayan villages, and an educator on the islands of Fiji, she encountered a pronounced need for nutrition health specialists worldwide.
She earned a master’s degree in Nutrition for Global Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in order to engage in active research and lead community health programs. Her interest in epigenetics and the intergenerational effects of maternal nutrition led her to the Medical Research Council (MRC) Unit, The Gambia at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Laura now lives in Keneba, a small village in rural Gambia that hosts the MRC field station, where she is engaged in nutrition research as it relates to infant growth and development. She works on the BRIGHT project—Brain Imaging in Global Health—a longitudinal study using a variety of behavioral assessments and neuroimaging techniques to understand the effects that malnutrition (and other issues related to living in a low-resource context) may have on infants’ developing brains. She is interested in rural development, especially through agricultural and income-generation projects, and serves as an advisor for the grassroots organization Bamboo Foundation Gambia.
In her free time, she enjoys cycling to nearby villages, brewing attaya (green tea), Skyping friends from home, attending cultural ceremonies, visiting her tailor, and sitting by the sea.