OHSU Global Nutrition Project 2

Nutrition Institute in Laos

Nearly one in two children under the age of five in Laos are stunted (, a fact that is unacceptable given the country's abundant access to fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. The use of ready to use supplemental foods, while important to address an immediate need for infants and children with severe acute malnutrition, has disappointingly not lowered the stunting rate in this age group, raising the need for innovative and local solutions to address this national priority.

Together with the Lao University Health Sciences and the US Department of Defense, OHSU is providing technical support to operate a Lao American Nutrition Institute (LANI) where leading clinicians, nutritionists, and researchers can train local nutrition experts to study and initiate new approaches to improve the state of nutrition in Laos for the years to come. By late 2017, the LANI will be opened to the public with its vision, goals, strategic plan and teaching curriculum "ready to launch" and initiate collaborative projects tailored to address the malnutrition and food insecurity in the areas with the highest needs.

Education by OHSU to Lao nationals in nutrition will initially start with Lao Pediatricians and nurse midwives.


Diane Stadler OHSU Global Leadership

Diane Stadler PhD, RD
Assistant Professor, Graduate Programs in Human Nutrition
OHSU Nutrition Curriculum Director, Lao American Nutrition Institute, OHSU SE Asia

Dr. Stadler, PhD, RD is a Research Assistant Professor of Medicine. She received her doctoral degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Iowa and was on the faculty at the University of Utah before joining the faculty at OHSU in 2000 and the Division of Health Promotion & Sports Medicine in 2005. Her clinical and research experience centers on "extreme nutrition interventions" for the treatment and prevention of disease including: nutritional rehabilitation of severely malnourished children in Zambia, Africa, dietary treatment of children with rare genetic disorders, use of extremely high fat diets for children with severe, unresponsive seizure disorders, and comparing the health risks and benefits of very low- and high-carbohydrate diets for weight loss in obese adults.

Dr. Stadler is the Principal Investigator of the Energy Balance Study-a study that seeks to explain why low carbohydrate diets result in reduced food intake and weight loss. She is also a Co-Investigator of the Insight Weight Loss Study and the Studies to Treat &Prevent Pediatric Type 2 Diabetes of which HEALTHY-A Middle School Program to Prevent Diabetes is a part. She has mentored students completing their Masters in Clinical Nutrition degrees and published more than 20 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. She is an accomplished speaker and has presented her work at local, regional, and national meetings.

OHSU Global Joanna Cummings

Joanna Cummings, MS, RD
Coordinator and Instructor of the Lao-American Nutrition Institute (LANI)

Joanna is the Coordinator and Instructor for the Lao-American Nutrition Institute (LANI) in Vientiane, Lao. She received her Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from Oregon Health &Science University (OHSU) and is a Registered Dietitian (RD). Her clinical and research experience includes pediatric and adult nutrition, inherited metabolic disorders, oncology, and bone marrow transplant. Joanna previously worked as the curriculum coordinator for Metabolic University, an intensive nutrition education program for dietitians, physicians, registered nurses and genetic counselors working with patients with inherited metabolic disorders. Additionally, she has worked extensively on the development of nutrition education tools as the Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) trainee at the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center (CDRC) at OHSU, Clinical and Research Dietitian at Children's Hospital Colorado, Oncology Dietitian at the University of Colorado and as an adjunct professor at the University of Northern Colorado.  Joanna is based in Vientiane, Lao.