Fish Innovation Lab Nutrition Specialist Dr. Lora Iannotti Receives 2022 BIFAD Award for Scientific Excellence in a Feed the Future Innovation Lab

Image of Dr. Lora Iannotti with logos of Feed the Future, BIFAD, and USAID

On September 12, 2023, the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) celebrated Lora Ionnotti, recipient of the 2022 BIFAD Award for Scientific Excellence in a Feed the Future Innovation Lab. The award recognizes outstanding research contributions to the interdependent objectives of the U.S. Government’s Global Food Security Strategy: inclusive and sustainable agriculture-led economic growth, strengthened resilience among people and systems, and a well-nourished population. The Global Innovator Award recognizes a researcher or research team whose research and outreach through the Feed the Future Innovation Labs demonstrates exemplary scientific merit, relevance to national and/or regional priorities, impact or demonstrated potential for impact, and demonstrated commitment to inclusive development and local capacity development. The BIFAD Global Innovators Award is presented to researchers at various stages of their post-student career.

Iannotti, a professor in public health and founding director of the E3 Nutrition Lab at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis is an expert in maternal and young child nutrition and nutrient deficiencies related to poverty and infectious diseases, and she serves as the nutrition specialist for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish, led by Mississippi State University. Iannotti also serves as director of planetary health and environmental justice in the recently launched Center for the Environment at Washington University in St. Louis. She is recognized for her research to improve nutrition for vulnerable groups through sustainable fisheries.

Watch the video below to meet award recipient Lora Iannotti.

Iannotti's involvement with the Fish Innovation Lab exemplifies the transformative potential of integrating a nutritional perspective into the sustainable advancement of aquaculture and fisheries. As the principal investigator for two Fish Innovation Lab activities, Iannotti spearheaded research aimed at integrating animal-source foods into healthy, sustainable diets for highly vulnerable populations globally. Her research builds on the landmark Lulun Project in Ecuador, which found that one egg per day during early childhood significantly reduced stunting and improved markers of brain development. With the Fish Innovation Lab, Iannotti and colleagues designed a bundled intervention—social marketing for health behavior change and modified fishing traps—to address malnutrition and poverty in small-scale fishing households. The innovation successfully improved child growth while simultaneously protecting fisher livelihoods and marine ecosystem health. Ianotti’s research has informed national and global nutrition policies and programs. Congratulations Dr. Iannotti!

Learn more about the BIFAD Award for Scientific Excellence: BIFAD Awards for Scientific Excellence in a Feed the Future Innovation Lab | Board for International Food and Agricultural Development | U.S. Agency for International Development (


Published October 17, 2023