Global Health and Food Security

International Studies and Collaborations


This study will determine community readiness for adopting rice bran as a novel food ingredient to prevent malnutrition and establish whether heat-stabilized rice bran consumption is palatable to mothers and children (starting at 6 months of age) at the household level in the ‘Trifinio’ region of southwestern Guatemala. This study will evaluate 1) community readiness and acceptability of rice bran supplementation 2) typical food consumption of children and their mothers, and 3) the feasibility and acceptability of increasing rice bran intake in women and children aged 6-24 months at the household level. This project is in collaboration with the University of Colorado Anschutz and the Center for Global Health and is supported by the Colorado School of Public Health Pilot Inter-Institutional Award, COMIRB IRB approval (21-3227).  



Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) carries a high risk for mortality and affects an estimated 49.5 million children under five globally. In Indonesia, SAM treatment coverage is poor (<2%), whereas the total caseload of SAM children in the country is estimated to be close to 3 million children, or 6% of the global number of children with SAM. In this investigation we will compare the efficacy of treating SAM children for 2 months with a locally produced ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) with rice bran (n=200) or without rice bran (n=200) and determine the impact on human microbiome maturation 2 months after treatment. While we expect similar recovery and changes in body composition between the two groups, the impact of locally produced RUTFs with rice bran may reduce risk for relapse and improve indicators for risk of later life non-communicable diseases. The use of rice bran could lead to an affordable local product that has improved treatment outcomes, reduced systemic inflammation, a balanced mucosal immune response to pathogens, and increased nutrient absorption. This project is in collaboration with Savica and the French National Research Institute for the Sustainable Development (IRD), with support from the Thrasher Research Fund, CSU IRB approval (1823).



A total of 47 infant participants living in Leon, Nicaragua participated in a 6-month dietary intervention trial (from ages 6 months of age to 12 months of age) and were randomized into either a control group (no intervention, n=24) or heat-stabilized rice bran supplementation (1-5 grams daily consumption over the 6 months; n=23). The study objectives were to 1) assess feasibility of rice bran consumption in weaning children and 2) collect pilot data on gut microbiome and metabolome modulation with and without rice bran intakes for diarrheal prevention.



Diarrhea and malnutrition represent leading causes of death for children in Mali. Understanding a community’s needs and ideas are critical to ensure the success of prevention and treatment interventions for diarrheal disease and malnutrition. The objective was to incorporate the Community Readiness Model (CRM) for the issues of childhood diarrheal disease and food security in Mali. The CRM assessment found that the community’s readiness fell within the preparation stage for both reducing childhood diarrheal diseases and improving food security. This stage indicates that at least some of the community does have basic knowledge regarding these issues, and they want to act locally to reduce childhood diarrhea and food insecurity. The questionnaires revealed the community’s interest and willingness to try novel prevention strategies, including improving the local food security with rice bran. This project preceded implementation of a dietary intervention trial with rice bran in weaning infants and provided essential baseline information to implement community-specific activities to improve these issues.


Development of a One Health Sampling Scheme for Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistant Bacteria

Antimicrobial resistant bacteria (ARB) are a growing threat with increasing global attention, but coordinated international surveillance is lacking. Despite calls for worldwide harmonized approaches across diverse sample medias, persistence of differing methodologies across disciplines and lack of comprehensive, but equally-feasible, monitoring methods between developed and developing country sites hinder an effective global “One Health” ARB surveillance scheme. An interdisciplinary team from Fort Collins, CO, is collaborating with researchers in León, Nicaragua and Chapel Hill, NC in order to identify and validate a surveillance method that is versatile in its ability to be used across animal, human and environmental medias. These studies are supported by CSU One Health Initiative and CSU Water Center.


A new partnership between Colorado State University (CSU), Sustainable Schools International (SSI), and the Colorado School of Public Health (CSPH) was formed in the fall of 2015. The purpose of this partnership is to identify and address pressing public health concerns in the rural and under served Tro Pang Cho Commune of Cambodia. To accomplish this task, our team partnered with SSI and SSI supported students from Tro Pang Cho to complete a community public health needs assessment and in depth school water, sanitation, and hygiene (SWaSH) interventions. This collaboration is moving forward with the goal of decreasing diarrheal disease among school children by utilizing a community-capacity approach and evidence informed SWaSH interventions.