Laura Smith, PhD

Name goes here

Department of Public & Ecosystem Health

Assistant Professor

Department of Public & Ecosystem Health
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Ithaca, NY 14853


  • Ph.D., 2016, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University
  • B.S., 2007, Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University

Biography/Professional Experience

  • 2021 - present, Assistant Professor, Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine
  • 2017 - present Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, University at Buffalo
  • 2019 - present, Associate Director in Nutrition, Zvitambo Institute for Maternal and Child Health Research, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • 2016 - 2017, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University
  • 2008 - 2011, Research Specialist, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University


  1. Phillips E, Ngure N, Smith LE, Makule E, Turner P, Nelson RJ, Kimanya M, Stoltzfus RJ, Kassim N. Protocol for the Trial to Establish a Causal Linkage Between Mycotoxin Exposure and Child Stunting: A Cluster Randomized Trial. BMC Public Health. Accepted.
  2. Evans C, Chasekwa B, Ntozini B, Majo F, Mutasa K, Tavengwa N, Mutasa B, Mbuya MN, Smith LE, Stoltzfus RJ, Moulton LH, Humphrey JH, Prendergast AJ. Mortality, HIV transmission and growth in HIV-exposed children in rural Zimbabwe. Clinical and Infectious Diseases. 2020.epub ahead of publication:
  3. Gough EK, Moulton, LH, Mutasa K, Ntozini B, Stoltzfus RJ, Majo F, Smith LE, Panic G, Giallourou N, Swann JR, Humphrey JH, Prendergast AJ. Effects of improved water, sanitation, and hygiene and improved complementary feeding on environmental enteric dysfunction in children in rural Zimbabwe: a cluster randomized controlled trial. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2020; 14(2), e0007963
  4. Murenjekwa W, Makasi R, Chasekwa B, Mutasa K, Moulton LH Tielsch JM, Humphrey JH, Smith LE, Prendergast AJ, Bourke CD. Determinants of urogenital schistosomiasis among pregnant women and its impact on pregnancy outcomes, neonatal deaths and child growth. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2019.
  5. Prendergast AJ, Gharpure R, Mor S, Viney M, Dube K, Lello J, Berger C, Siwila J, Joyeux M, Hodobo T, Hurt L, Brown T, Hoto P,Tavengwa N, Mutasa K, Craddock S, Chasekwa B, Robertson RC, Evans C, Chidhanguro D, Mutasa B, Majo F, Smith LE, Hirai M, Ntozini R, Humphrey JH, Berendes, D. Putting the “a” into wash: A call for integrated management of water, animals, sanitation, and hygiene. The Lancet Planetary Health 2019; 3(8): e336-e7 %@ 2542-5196.
  6. Humphrey JH, Mbuya MN, Ntozini R, Moulton LH, Stoltzfus RJ, Tavengwa NV, Mutasa K, Majo F, Mutasa B, Mangwadu G, Chasokela CM Chigumira A, Chasekwa B, Smith LE, Tielsch JM, Jones AJ, Manges AR, Maluccio JA, and Prendergast AJ. Independent and combined effects of improved water, sanitation, and hygiene, and improved complementary feeding, on child stunting and anaemia in rural Zimbabwe: a cluster-randomised trial. The Lancet Global Health. 2019;7(1):e132-47.
  7. Prendergast AJ, Chasekwa B, Evans C, Mutasa K, Mbuya MN, Stoltzfus RJ, Smith LE, Majo FD, Tavengwa NV, Mutasa B, Mangwadu GT, Chasokela CM, Chigumira A, Moulton LH, Ntozini R, and L.E. Smith Humphrey JH. Independent and combined effects of improved water, sanitation, and hygiene, and improved complementary feeding, on stunting and anaemia among HIV-exposed children in rural Zimbabwe: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. 2018 Dec 18.
  8. Smith LE. Convergence and Divergence in Statistical and Programmatic Approaches to Address Child Stunting and Wasting. The Journal of Nutrition. 2018; 148(6): 823-4
  9. Chasekwa B, Maluccio JA, Ntozini R, Moulton LH, Wu F, Smith LE, Matare CR, Stoltzfus RJ, Mbuya MMN, Tielsch JM, Martin SL, Jones A, Humphrey JH, and Fielding K. Measuring wealth in rural communities: Lessons from the Sanitation, Hygiene, Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) Trial. PLoS one.2018; 13(6): e0199393
  10. Smith LE, Mbuya MN, Prendergast AJ, Turner PC, Rukobo, S, Humphrey JH, Nelson, RJ, Chigumira A, Kembo G and Stoltzfus RJ. Determinants of Recent Aflatoxin Exposure among Pregnant Women in Rural Zimbabwe. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 2017; 61(9): 1601049. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201601049.
  11. Smith LE, Prendergast AJ, Turner, PC, Humphrey, JH, and Stoltzfus RJ. Aflatoxin exposure during pregnancy, maternal anemia and adverse birth outcomes: a review. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2017; 96(4): 770-776.
  12. Smith LE, Stasiewicz M, Hestrin R, Morales L, Mutiga S, and Nelson RJ. Environmental Drivers of Spatial Variability in Mycotoxin Accumulation in Maize in Kenya. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development. 2016; 16(3): 11086-11105.
  13. Smith LE, Prendergast AJ, Turner P, Mbuya MN, Mutasa K, Kembo G, Stoltzfus RJ and the SHINE Trial Group. The potential role of mycotoxins as a contributor to stunting in the SHINE Trial. Clinical and Infectious Diseases 2015. 71 Suppl 7: S733-7.
  14. Desai A, Smith LE, Mbuya M, Chigumira A, Fundira D, Tavengwa NV, Malaba TR, Majo F, Humphrey JH, Stoltzfus RJ and the SHINE Trial Group. The SHINE Trial infant feeding intervention: Pilot study of effects on maternal learning and infant diet quality in rural Zimbabwe. Clinical and Infectious Diseases 2015. 71 Suppl 7: S710-715.
  15. Jones A, Mbuya M Ickes S, Heidkamp R, Smith LE, Chasekwa B, Menon P, Zongrone A, Stoltzfus RJ. Reply to Correspondence: is the strength of association between indicators of dietary quality and the nutritional status of children being underestimated? Maternal and Child Nutrition. 2013; 10: 161- 162.
  16. Jones A, Ickes S, Smith LE, Mbuya M, Chasekwa B, Heidkamp R, Menon P, Zongrone A, Stoltzfus RJ. World Health Organization infant and young child feeding indicators and their associations with child growth: a synthesis of recent findings. Maternal and Child Nutrition. 2013; 10: 1-17.
  17. Wansink BC, Just DR, Patterson R, and Smith LE. Nutrition Report Cards: An opportunity to improve school lunch selection. Plos One. 2013; 8(10).
  18. Wansink BW, Just DR, Hanks AS, Smith LE. Pre-Sliced Fruits in Schools: Children’s selection and intake. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2013; 44(5): 477-480.
  19. Smith, LE, Stoltzfus, RJ, and A Prendergast. Food chain mycotoxin exposure, gut health and impaired growth: A conceptual framework. Advances in Nutrition. 2012; 3: 526-531.
  20. Hanks AS, Just DR, Smith LE, and BC Wansink. Healthy Convenience: Nudging students toward healthier choices in the lunchroom. Journal of Public Health. 2012.
  21. Gillespie AH, Smith LE. Food decision-making framework: Connecting sustainable food systems to health and well-being. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. 2008; 3(2/3):328-346.
  22. Smith LE, Schuster R, Dumas S and Kerr B. Food, Body and Land: Three intersecting systems in Nutrition. In Transforming Global Health: Interdisciplinary Challenges, Perspectives, and Strategies. Editor: Smith, K. 2020.

Awards and Honors

  • 2013 Fellow, NIFA Predoctoral Fellowship, United States Department of Agriculture- “Assessing the effects of mycotoxin exposure on the maternal-fetal dyad”.
  • 2011 Fellow, Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT), Food Systems and Poverty Reduction, National Science Foundation.

Professional/Academic Affiliations

  • 2008-present American Society for Nutrition, Global Nutrition Council, Nutritional Epidemiology Research Interest Group
  • 2006-present American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, ASTMH
  • 2007-2011 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, SNEB