Dr. Amos Laar, – (Public Health)
Dr. Laar has academic training in Nutrition, Public Health, and Bioethics. In his independent scholarship, he draws on theoretical and methodological perspectives from these three fields, to understand how physical environment, social environment, and the macro-environment affect health. Currently, his research focuses on two distinct, yet related areas of public health: bioethics–ethics & public health; health & human rights, nutrition rights, food and nutrition ethics; and public health nutrition–food and nutrition literacy, nutrition-related non-communicable diseases – particularly the nexus between food environment and health. He spent the last decade exploring the “socio-cultural, socio-ethical, and medico-ethical dimensions of a sexually/perinatally transmissible infection–HIV.
Dr. Laar is an active researcher having served as Principal/Co-Investigator of over 20 successful research grants at the University of Ghana. From 2015, when he decided to channel his research efforts into nutrition-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs), he has co-led the evaluation of the Novartis Foundation-funded “Community-based Hypertension Improvement Project in Lower Manya Krobo, Ghana”; the UK Government DFID/Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded “Dietary Transitions in Ghanaian Cities”; as well as the MRC-funded “Dietary Transitions in African Cities Projects” (both projects aimed to identify how social, and physical environments drive consumption of energy dense nutrient-poor foods and beverages).
He is the Principal Investigator of an IDRC-funded project which is “measuring the healthiness of Ghanaian children’s food environments to prevent obesity and non-communicable diseases”; and a Co-Principal Investigator and Ghana Lead of an NIH-funded project which will establish a master programme in Bioethics at the University of Ghana – the first of such in Ghana. Dr. Laar writes for both academic and non-academic audiences. Currently, his scholarly works include 68 scientific publications - one book, five book chapters, 62 Journal articles (44 of which are indexed in PubMed and 45 in Scopus databases). His non-academic works includes 16 OpEds/feature articles, and commentaries in local print/electronic media.
Dr. Laar is a mentor; having supervised over 60 graduate and undergraduate theses from the University of Ghana, University of South Africa, the Nagasaki University of Japan, and currently from the University of Sheffield, UK. He is the Founder of hm2r (www.hm2r.org), - a global mentoring think tank, and President of African Nutrition Association (a learned society with members from all over Africa; www.ansnet.org).
Dr. Laar was recently recognized in the Lancet Biomedical Journal, for his efforts at combating nutrition-related NCDs in Ghana. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(19)30216-5/fulltext
Prior to this recognition, Dr. Laar has been engaged internationally on matters relating to public health nutrition, including participating in the 66th Session of the UN-General Assembly Meeting in New York, 2011 (during which a new international agenda on NCDs was birthed). Dr. Laar has also been Ghana’s representative at several High Level Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Global Gathering Events. In 2017, he was invited to present his work to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Expert Group Meeting on “Reducing Child Stunting in Africa.