Dr.Hemalatha took over as the Director of the ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition in December 2017, which is the largest Nutrition research organisation in the country. The institute covers the spectrum from basic to public health research. Dr.Hemalatha has carried out extensive research in the realm of Nutrition, Infection and Immunity with special emphasis on women and child health, preconception nutrition and the first 1000 days of life. She has conducted a battery of experiments, on gut and vaginal microbiome and Inflammation, that have generated vital information on the impact of unhealthy diet and inflammation on foetal growth and pregnancy outcomes. She has spearheaded several funded projects and has more than 200 scientific publications and several popular articles to her credit.
Dr.Hemalatha has received her MBBS, MD from Gandhi Medical College, Hyderabad. She is a Fellow of the International Union of Nutrition Sciences (FIUNS), the National Academy of Medical Sciences (FNAMS) and the Telangana Academy of Sciences (FTAS). She has served as Joint Secretary of the Nutrition Society of India and received awards such as PV RamanaRao Gold Medal, Dr.Rajammal P Devadas Memorial Award, the 46th KamlaPuri Sabharwal Memorial Award from the Lady Irwin College and Change Maker Award from the Save the Children organization. After she took over as the Director, the Institute received the prestigious award of Excellence in Science and Technology from Poshan Outlook. Popularisation of evidence based nutrition knowledge is one of her primary focuses; she has been actively leading and encouraging nutrition information dissemination.
Dr.Hemalatha is an expert member of various task force committees of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; Food Safety and Standards of India (FSSAI), National Technical Board on Nutrition and National Council of Nutrition of NITI Aayog. Dr.Hemalatha is the current President of the Nutrition Society of India (NSI), and Executive Committee member of the Federation of Asian Nutrition Societies (FANS).