Executive Board

Claire Heffernan

Professor Claire Heffernan, Principal Investigator

Professor Claire Heffernan is Director of the London International Development Centre and Chair of International Development at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC.) She holds a joint appointment with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM.) Her work at the Centre focuses on facilitating interdisciplinary research across seven University of London institutions aimed at addressing critical challenges in international development.

Current thematic areas include nutrition, health, agriculture, humanitarian emergencies, zoonotic diseases, impact evaluation and education. Claire’s particular areas of expertise include the application of interdisciplinary research within the development sphere in addition to the emerging paradigm of solutions-based research.

Professor Paul Haggarty, Deputy Principal Investigator

Professor Paul Haggarty is Deputy Director of the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health at the University of Aberdeen. He is Deputy Lead on the multi-disciplinary UKRI GCRF Action against StuntingHub. He is a member of the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN). He was a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at Cornell University.

This committee advises the Department of Health and other Government Agencies and Departments on matters related to diet and health and he chairs the SACN Saturated Fatty Acids working group.

Professor Haggarty is Chair of the BBSRC Bioscience for Health Strategy Advisory Panel, and his research is funded by UKRI, government, and medical charities. His research is focused on the dietary and social determinants of health, transgenerational effects, the influence of early life, and the interaction between the environment and the human genome, and he is applying this expertise to the Hub’s work.

Paul Haggarty
Bharati Kulkarni

Dr Bharati Kulkarni, Country Lead India, and Co-Investigator

Dr Bharati Kulkarni is Senior Grade Deputy Director at National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India. Her research focuses on ways to improve the nutritional status of vulnerable population groups, especially women and children.

She has carried out studies on public health nutrition problems including management of severe acute malnutrition in children, body composition, nutritional interventions to improve maternal nutrition, agriculture-nutrition linkages, and agricultural interventions to improve nutritional status of women and children.

She earned a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA and PhD from Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Dr Umi Fahmida, Country Lead Indonesia, and Co-Investigator

Dr. Ir. Umi Fahmida, MSc is academic staff at SEAMEO Regional Centre for Food and Nutrition (SEAMEO RECFON) at the Universitas Indonesia (UI) since 1997. She earned her Doctorate degree in Nutrition (2003) and MSc in Community Nutrition (1997) from SEAMEO-TROPMED RCCN Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia and her bachelor’s degree from Faculty of Agriculture Technology, Bogor Agriculture University (1995). She won the GTZ Fellowship Awards for both her Master’s and Doctorate studies.

Her research interest is in infant/child growth and development - in relation to micronutrient and care-related aspects (in particular feeding care and psychosocial care) - and food methodologies and applications particularly on linear/goal programming to develop/evaluate food-based dietary guidelines; food security.


Ir Umi Fhamida
Babacar Faye_0

Professor Babacar Faye, Senegal In-Country Lead, and co-Investigator

Professor Babacar Faye is Professor in Parasitology at the Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Cheikh Anta DIOP, Senegal. Babacar has conducted extensive research on the molecular epidemiology, immunology, treatment and control of parasitic diseases, including on the emergence of antiparasitic drug resistance and the discovery of novel antiparasitic therapeutic agents.

Professor Faye is a long-term collaborator with the Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) and serves on the secretariat for the Malaria Research Capacity Development in West and Central Africa, a partnership between African and European institutions aimed at building research capacity and excellence.

Our Funders


The £1.5 billion fund supports challenge-led, disciplinary and interdisciplinary research; strengthens the capability for research, innovation and knowledge exchange; and responds to emergencies with urgent research or on-the-ground needs.

The GCRF is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which brings together UK research bodies with a combined budget of £7 billion. It’s a key part of the UK government’s commitment to spending 0.7% of GNI on official development assistance.

The Action Against Stunting Hub is one of 12 exciting new Global Interdisciplinary Research Hubs funded by UKRI through the GCRF.

The Hubs are made up of 400 partner organisations from 85 countries. They are taking on some of the world’s toughest development challenges, supporting some of the most disadvantaged people on the planet.

Together the hubs address 16 Sustainable Development Goals. They are among the most ambitious investment (more than £200 million combined) the UK has ever made in international development research.