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Margaret E. Bentley, Ph.D., Chamblee Distinguished Professor, Nutrition

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. Bentley was PI of a recently completed NICHD/NIH five-year longitudinal study, Infant Care, Feeding, and Risk of Obesity, to examine the role of behavioral and environmental factors on infant health outcomes in low-income African-American mothers and infants in North Carolina. She was PI of an NICHD/NIH 60 village, 600 mother-infant pair randomized clinical trial to improve growth and development of infants and young children in Andhra Pradesh, India and was PI of a Bill and Melinda Gates study to analyze nutrition and biomarker data of HIV-positive women enrolled in the BAN (Breastfeeding, Antiretroviral, and Nutrition) study in Malawi. She was PI of an NIH/NICHD R01, "Mothers and Others: Family-Based Obesity Prevention for Infants and Toddlers" that was completed in 2018. She is co-investigator of the NIH-funded study, Water, Food and the Triple Burden of Disease in the Galapagos. She has mentored pre-doctoral and post-doctoral students under her supervision. She has had consistent NIH support since receiving her first R01 in 2004. She has conducted substantive research in global nutrition and health in nearly a dozen countries and has held several leadership roles in global health that provide unique mentoring opportunities. 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.

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.

    Last Updated: 2019-09-13