Margaret E. Bentley
Associate Dean for Global Health; Gillings School of Global Public Health; Associate Director, Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases
Peggy Bentley focuses on the first thousand days of life, beginning in pregnancy and through two years of life of the infant. Her particular focus is on parenting, early child feeding, growth and development. She does this work locally and globally through observational and intervention research.
Bentley is a medical/nutritional anthropologist whose research focus is on women's and infants' nutrition, infant and young child feeding, HIV and breastfeeding, and community-based interventions for improving growth and development of young children. She has expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research methods and in the application of these for program development and evaluation. She received Kellogg International Nutrition Lectureship Award, American Society Nutrition and the Bernard G. Greenberg Alumni Endowment Award, Gillings School of Global Public Health in 2016, was named the 2017 Triangle Global Health Consortium Global Health Champion. In 2019, was elected President of the Society for Implementation Science in Nutrition.
Dr. Bentley received her MA and PhD degrees in Medical Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. From 1985-98 she was on faculty in International Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University. Since 1998 she has been on faculty at the University of North Carolina, where she has held several leadership roles.
Dr. Bentley formerly led an NIH-funded intervention to improve child growth and development in Andhra Pradesh, India and currently leads an NIH-funded trial in North Carolina for prevention of obesity among infants and toddlers. She is Principal Investigator of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant for analyses of nutrition data from the Breastfeeding, Antiretroviral and Nutrition (BAN) study. Dr. Bentley was a member of the Advisory Board of the Indo-US Joint Working Group on Maternal and Child Health and is a member of the ASPPH Global Health Committee. She is a Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology. She was the founding Chair of the Board of Directors of the Triangle Global Health Consortium. She is an officer of the Board of Directors of the Consortium for Universities in Global Health. In 2019, she was elected president of the Society for Implementation Science in Nutrition.
Looking forward, Bentley's research will continue its focus on population-science issues affecting women's and children's nutrition and health, both globally and locally. Her theoretical and empirical work on caregiving/parenting and its relationship to child growth and development, which has been continually funded by awards from NIH/NICHD since 2004, will remain a key focus of her research, publications, and future grants.