Melissa Fuster, PhD
Associate Professor, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
Dr. Melissa Fuster’s research examines the cultural and structural factors influencing food practices and the policies implemented to improve them. This work applies a multidisciplinary approach to examine underlying determinants of diet-related health inequities. Her book “Caribeños at the Table: How Migration, Health, and Race Intersect in New York City” aims to change how we address diet-related disparities among ethnic communities. She shows how our prevalent emphasis on food culture as cause and solution fails to fully engages the structural factors that underlie the community’s access to food and high-quality healthcare. Building on this work, Dr. Fuster’s is currently tackling food access issues via the Latin American Restaurants in Action (LARiA) Project, supported by her National Insitutes of Health Career Development Award. Dr. Fuster completed her Ph.D. in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and a post-doctoral fellowship in food studies at New York University. Before joining the faculty at Tulane, she was an Assistant Professor at the City University of New York Brooklyn College.