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Associate Professor
+91-129-2876356  (+91-129-2876346)
unatchu [at] thsti [dot] res [dot] in
MPH, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
MD (Pediatrics), AIIMS, New Delhi, India
MBBS, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India

The INCH Lab - Immunity, Nutrition and Child Health

Our focus is to look at relationships between nutritional status and immune function in pregnant women, the fetus and infants. This includes associations between components of the 'immune cytome' (cellular profiles of the immune system determined by flowcytometry) and serum Vitamin D concentrations in the umbilical cord and a clinical trial to assess if daily Vitamin D supplementation to newborns for 6 months affects immune responses to vaccines administered at birth and early in infancy. We are also studying inflammation and linear growth in infancy. The group links clinical research exercises with fundamental biological experiments by efficiently nesting efforts to understand human biology within well-executed clinical trials and cohort studies. We often incorporate questions of biological mechanisms early in the process of designing and structuring clinical research projects.

We collaborate extensively for a number of these approaches internally across the Pediatric Biology Centre and THSTI; with Dr Nitya Wadhwa & Prof Shinjini Bhatnagar for clinical research and Drs Shailaja Sopory, Anna George, Vineeta Bal, Satyajit Rath and Guruprasad Medigeshi for research involving biological mechanisms. The bulk of our clinical research is conducted at the General Hospital, Gurgaon in collaboration with the departments of Pediatrics and Gynecology. In addition, we work with Dr Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert at Stanford University for modeling based research on health policy and economics and with Professors Halvor Sommerfelt and Tor A Strand at the Centre for International Health, Bergen for clinical and community health research.

Doctoral students work on ongoing projects on Vitamin D immunology, neutrophil dynamics in infancy and linear growth. Dissertation activities can range from understanding of immunological mechanisms in infants using biological methods (human and animal experiments) to clinical research and epidemiology. Dr Natchu can be contacted at unatchu [at] thsti [dot] res [dot] in or 0129-2876-356. To know more about us visit 


Students: Deepa Nair, Anita Chaudhary, Saimah Raza

Previous students: Sheba Solomon, Avinash Londhe

  • Singh P, Wadhwa N, Lodha R, Sommerfelt H, Aneja S, Natchu UC, Chandra J, Rath B, Sharma VK, Kumari M, Saini S, Kabra SK, Bhatnagar S, Strand TA. Predictors of time to recovery in infants with probable serious bacterial infection. PLoS One. 2015
  • Rathore DK, Nair D, Raza S, Saini S, Singh R, Kumar A, Tripathi R, Ramji S, Batra A, Aggarwal KC, Chellani HK, Arya S, Bhatla N, Paul VK, Aggarwal R, Agarwal N, Mehta U, Sopory S, Natchu UC, Bhatnagar S, Bal V, Rath S, Wadhwa N. Underweight full-term Indian neonates show differences in umbilical cord blood leukocyte phenotype: a cross-sectional study. PLoS One. 2015
  • Natchu UC, Bhatnagar S. Diarrhoea in children: identifying the cause and burden. Lancet 2013
  • Babiarz, K, Zhang, J, Natchu, UCM, Tsiang, M, Rajaratnam, B, Lobell, DB, Goldhaber- Fiebert, JD. The Nutritional Status of an Aging Indian Population in Relation to Changing Weather Patterns. Harvard-Stanford Conference on the Economic Aspects of Population in China and India in Stanford, CA 2013.
  • Natchu UC, Liu E, Duggan C, Msamanga G, Peterson K, Aboud S, Spiegelman D, Fawzi WW. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces risk of mortality in infants up to 6 mo of age born to HIV positive Tanzanian women. Am J Clin Nutr 2012
  • Bhatnagar S, Wadhwa N, Aneja S, Lodha R, Kabra SK, Natchu UC, Sommerfelt H, Dutta AK, Chandra J, Rath B, Sharma M, Sharma VK, Kumari M, Strand TA. Zinc as adjunct treatment in infants aged between 7 and 120 days with probable serious bacterial infection: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet 2012
  • Wadhwa N, Natchu UC, Sommerfelt H, Strand TA, Kapoor V, Saini S, Kainth US, Bhatnagar S. Oral Rehydration Solution Containing Zinc Does not Reduce Duration or Stool Volume of Acute Diarrhea in Hospitalized Children: A Randomized Controlled Study. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2011
  • Goldie SJ, Sweet S, Carvalho N, Natchu UC, Hu D. Alternative strategies to reduce maternal mortality in India: a cost-effectiveness analysis. PLoS Med 2010
  • Kilewo C, Natchu UC, Young A, Donnell D, Brown E, Read JS, Sharma U, Chi BH, Goldenberg R, Hoffman I, Taha TE, Fawzi WW. Hypertension in pregnancy among HIV- infected women in sub-Saharan Africa: prevalence and infant outcomes. Afr J Reprod Health. 2009 Dec;13(4):25-36.
  • Natchu UC, Fataki MR, Fawzi WW. Zinc as an adjunct for childhood pneumonia –interpreting early results. Nutr Revs 2008 Aug; Vol. 66(7):398-405.
  • Bhatnagar S, Gupta SD, Mathur M, Phillips AD, Kumar R, Knutton S, Unsworth DJ, Lock RJ, Natchu UC, Mukhopadhyaya S, Saini S, Bhan MK. Celiac disease with mild to moderate histologic changes is a common cause of chronic diarrhea in Indian children. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2005 Aug;41(2):204‐9.
  • Bhatnagar S, Natchu UC. Zinc in child health and disease. Indian J Pediatr. 2004 Nov;71(11):991‐5.
  • Bhatnagar S, Natchu MU. Coeliac disease in Indian children. Natl Med J India. 2004 May‐Jun;17(3):124‐7.
  • Das M, Natchu UC, Lodha R, Kabra SK. Pneumomediastinum and subcutaneous emphysema in acute miliary tuberculosis. Indian J Pediatr. 2004 Jun;71(6):553‐4.
  • Bhatnagar S, Bhandari N, Mouli UC, Bhan MK; IAP National Task Force. Consensus Statement of IAP National Task Force: status report on management of acute diarrhea. Indian Pediatr. 2004 Apr;41(4):335‐48.
  • Lodha R, Puranik M, Natchu UCM, Kabra SK. Persistent Pneumonia in Children. Indian Pediatrics. 2003 Oct; 40(10):967‐70.
  • Lodha R, Puranik M, Natchu UC, Kabra SK. Recurrent pneumonia in children: clinical profile and underlying causes. Acta Paediatr. 2002; 91(11): 1170‐3.
  • Lodha R, Natchu UC, Nanda M, Kabra SK. Nosocomial infections in pediatric intensive care units. Indian J Pediatr. 2001 Nov; 68(11): 1063‐70.