Ms. Anita Ram
Specialization: Public Health
Home institution in US: John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Host Institution in India: St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, Karnataka  
Start date/Month in India: August 2012
Duration of grant: 9 months

Brief Bio:
Ms. Anita Ram earned a B.A. in public health studies from Johns Hopkins University, Maryland in December 2011. As an undergraduate, she was co-president of the Women's Pre-Health Leadership Society, co-founder of the Conversations in Medicine lecture series and senior executive board member for the Public Health Student Forum. She was selected for the Community Impact Internship Program in summer 2011, when she worked full-time for the Baltimore City Health Department's Needle Exchange Program to reduce the transmission of HIV and hepatitis C by distributing clean syringes to intravenous drug users. She also volunteered at a clinic that provides primary care to homeless men and tutored inner city youth in math, reading and writing. In addition to her volunteer and leadership experiences, Ms. Ram’s awards include Phi Beta Kappa membership and the 2011 Provost's Undergraduate Research Award, which allowed her to study the shift from undernutrition to overnutrition-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity in a South Indian urban setting. Prior to this, she worked on a research project to study stress, dietary lapse and weight loss among type II diabetics in Baltimore. She aspires to become a doctor and maintain her strong commitment to improving community health, both domestically and globally.

Ms. Ram’s Fulbright research project, “The role of India’s ‘IT culture’ on the rising prevalence of obesity in Bangalore, India,” will study through interviews and surveys with IT employees India’s IT culture and its implications for population health, and more specifically, the prevalence of obesity. In addition to understanding the cultural and social factors that influence health behaviors of IT employees, she will take advantage of the recent rise of smart phone technology and the tech-savvy background of IT workers to assess the feasibility of a mobile health intervention to promote healthier habits.