Faculty & Staff at TUC

Dr. Lucy  Thairu

Lucy Thairu

College: CEHS

Department: Public Health Program

Title: Assistant Professor

Phone: (707) 638-5837

Fax: (707) 638-5871

E-Mail: lucy.thairu@tu.edu

Office: Wilderman Hall, Rm. 403

Assistant Professor of Global Health at Touro University. Previously Postdoctoral Scholar in Infectious Diseases at Stanford University. Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Nutrition from Cornell University. Undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from France. Fluent in four languages, including French.

  • Ph.D. Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 2006
  • M.Sc. Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, 2002
  • Maitrise de Biochimie (Bachelor of Science with honors), Université de Nantes, France, 1999
  • PH 606: Health Education and Promotion
  • PH 622: Global Reproductive Health 
  • PH 619: Research Methodology
  • PH 618: Epidemiology
  • PH 625: Public Health Nutrition
  • PH 603: Maternal and Child Health
  • PH 645: Masters' Capstone Project
  • PH 600: Ethiopia Public Health Field Experience


  • Global Health Innovations for Mothers and Newborns in the Developing World
  • Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV through breastfeeding 
  • Delivery of low-cost CD4 diagnostics in resource-poor settings 

$10,000 Provost’s award to study breastfeeding and HIV in Ethiopia, Touro University, 2011

$8,850 Dean’s award to study breastfeeding and HIV in Ethiopia, Touro University, 2011

$100,000 Award to deliver low-cost CD4 diagnostic tests, Gilead Company, 2009

$25,000 Dean’s Postdoctoral Award, Stanford University Medical School, 2007

$25,000 Research Award, Department of Pediatrics at the Stanford University Medical School, 2006

Fogarty International Training Grant, Cornell University, 2002-2005

Abraham Horwitz Lecture Award, United Nations’ Committee on Nutrition, 2001

Graduate Tuition Fellowship, Institute for African Development, Cornell University, 1999-2000

Undergraduate scholarship (for study in France), French Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, 1993-1994


Thairu L, Wirth M, Lunze K. Trop Med Int Health. 2013 Jan;18(1):117-28. Innovative newborn health technology for resource-limited environments.

Wirth M, Thairu L, Lunze K. Low-cost technologies that can save the lives of newborns: Designing promising innovations for developing countries. Global Health and Diplomacy 2012 Sept; 2(2):106-10.

Thairu L and Wirth M (2012) ‘Medical devices for pregnancy and childbirth in the developing world’ Health and Technology journal. 2012 Aug 8

Thairu L, Katzenstein D, Israelski I (2011) “Operational Challenges in delivering CD4 diagnostics in sub-Saharan Africa” AIDS Care. 2011 Mar 10:1-8

Morton J, Hall J, Wong R, Thairu L, Benitz WE, Rhine WD (2009) “Combining Hand Techniques with Electric Pumping Increases Milk Production in Mothers of Preterm Infants” Journal of perinatology Nov;29(11):757-64

Thairu L and Pelto GH (2008) “Newborn Care Practices in Pemba Island (Tanzania) and their Implications for Newborn Health and Survival” Maternal and Child Nutrition Journal;4(3):194-208

Abiona TC, Onayade AA, Ijadunola KT, Obiajunwa PO, Aina OI, Thairu L (2006) “Acceptability, Feasibility and Affordability of Infant Feeding options for HIV-infected Women: A qualitative study in South-West Nigeria” Maternal and Child Nutrition Journal;2(3):135-144

Thairu L, Pelto GH, Rollins NC, Bland RM, Ntshangase N (2005) “Socio-Cultural influences on Infant Feeding Decisions Among HIV-Infected Women in South Africa” Maternal and Child Nutrition Journal;1:1-16

Pelto G, Levitt E, Thairu L (2003) “Improving Infant Feeding Practices: Current Patterns, Common Constraints and Designs of Interventions” Food and Nutrition Bulletin of the United Nations University;24:45-82

Thairu L (2001) “Infant Feeding Options for Mothers with HIV—Using Women’s Views to Guide Policies” Nutrition Policy Paper, United Nations’ Sub-Committee on Nutrition;20:63-69


Pelto GH, Levitt E, Thairu L (2013) ‘Babies: Practices, Constraints and Interventions’ in ‘Nutritional Anthropology: Biocultural Perspectives on Food and Nutrition’ Dufour, DL, Goodman AH, Pelto GH, (eds.) Oxford University Press. Second Edition

Thairu L (2011) “Maternal Care of the Newborn in Pemba Island” LAP Lambert Academic Publishing GmbH & Co. KG: Saarbrücken, Germany. ISBN-13: 978-3843363143

Thairu L (2010) “Breastfeeding HIV/AIDS transmission in sub-Saharan Africa” in “Infant Feeding Practices: A Cross-Cultural Perspective” Liamputtong, P. (Ed.). Springer: New York

Thairu L (2009) “Achieving Optimal Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices: Case Studies from Rwanda and Tanzania” in “Infant and Young Child Feeding: Multicultural challenges to implementing a Global Strategy” V. Moran and F. Dykes (eds.). Wiley-Blackwell Publishers

Namey E, Guest G, Thairu L, Johnson L, (2007) “Data Reduction Techniques for Large Qualitative Data Sets” in “Handbook for Team-based Qualitative Research” G Guest and K MacQueen (eds.). Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press

Last Updated: 5/4/18