Columbia University faculty awarded Innovation Grants

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Kavita Sivaramakrishnan

Columbia University faculty members Kavita P. Ahluwalia and Kavita Sivaramakrishnan have been awarded grants from the President’s Innovation Fund for global research programs.

“These projects play an essential role in realizing the potential of the Columbia Global Centers to create new opportunities for faculty and students, and in defining in tangible ways what it means for Columbia to explore new frontiers of knowledge,” a university announcement said.

University Provost John H. Coatsworth announced the awards on June 1 to them and faculty in nine other projects.

Sivaramakrishnan’s project has an Indian dimension as it explores “Generativity in Deprived Urban Contexts? Older Adults’ Experiences in Slums in Mumbai, Nairobi, and among Haitian Immigrants in New York.”

Kavita P. Ahluwalia

An assistant professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, she works on the project with Ruth Finkelstein, an assistant professor of Health Policy and Management in the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center at the Columbia University Medical Center.

Ahluwalia’s project is on oral health. An associate professor of Dental Medicine specializing in Community Health at the Columbia University Medical Center and College of Dental Medicine, she collaborates on her project, “A Global Learning Laboratory for Oral Health Step 1: A Planning Grant to Create a Kenya-Brazil Cross-National Collaboration in Support of Research, Education and Policy,” with Stephen Nicholas, the professor of Pediatrics and Population and Family Health at the Columbia University Medical Center and College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The university said, “The (President’s Innovation) Fund awards grants for faculty members to leverage and engage the eight Columbia Global Centers. The program supports projects within and across these sites, in order to increase global opportunities for research, teaching, and service.”

A graduate of St. Stephen’s College and Trinity College of the University of Cambridge, Sivaramakrishnan received her PhD from New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Earlier Harvard University, she was the David Bell Research Fellow of Center for Population and Development Studies. Her research interests include aging and elderly, global bealth and history of public health.

Ahluwalia recveived her DDS degree from the School of Dentistry and MPH from School of Public Health, both at University of Michigan. She specializes in population based research focusing on oral health and oral health-related quality of life in the elderly.

Columbia University has nine global centers, including one in Mumbai. The university says the centers aim to “promote and facilitate the collaborative and impactful engagement of the University’s faculty, students, and alumni with the world to enhance understanding, address global challenges, and advance knowledge and its exchange.”