Dr. Amir Alakaam is the MPH Program Director and Associate Professor UTC Department of Health and Human Performance. Dr. Alakaam has over six years of clinical experience as a Medical Doctor in family medicine and general surgery, and about eight years of teaching and research experience in nutrition and public health. He holds a PhD in Nutrition and Food Systems from the University of Southern Mississippi, an MS in Nutrition and Dietetics from Marywood University in Pennsylvania, and an MBChB in Medicine and General Surgery from the University of Baghdad. He is also a Fulbright Scholar (2010) and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (2019-present). Prior to coming to UTC, he was as Assistant Professor at the University of North Dakota (2016-2019), and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Southern Mississippi (2015-2016). His research interests focus on using the concepts of the Socio-Ecological Model to address health and nutrition needs of marginal populations. He is also interested in the research related to breastfeeding’s policies and practices in the U.S. and eating habits of international students and immigrants in the U.S. Currently, he is working on research related to breastfeeding that aims to identify breastfeeding needs and determinants in Tennessee. Dr. Alakaam is also heavily involved in local community organizations. He is currently serving as a member of board of directors of Chattanooga Food Center, and he is the current Awards and Scholarship Chair and the upcoming President for Chattanooga Academy of Nutrition. As the MPH Program Director, Dr. Alakaam is aiming to develop a multicultural scholars’ program, aims to address the workforce deficit in underrepresented populations by increasing the number of students and graduates from these communities.
Fun facts, Dr. Alakaam was born in Nouakchott, Mauritania and has four siblings who all live in different countries.