Rosie and Riff Talk to Marta L. Fiorotto, Ph.D., Growth Biologist

Rosie and Riff Talk to Marta L. Fiorotto, Ph.D., Growth Biologist

Rosie and Riff Talk to Marta L. Fiorotto, Ph.D., Growth Biologist

Rosie and Riff

What do you do at your job?
I study the influence of diet on growth in babies. Also, I'm working to learn more about how to promote muscle grown in children. One of the most interesting parts of my job has been to develop a machine that compares levels of muscle and body fat in babies who are breast fed with those levels in babies who are fed baby formula.

How did you decide to do this kind of work?
I grew up in a remote part of Tanzania, in Africa. My family lived on a farm, where we grew coffee and corn, so much of our lives revolved around the table and food. Also, I noticed that other children I met often seemed small and unhealthy. I began to understand that many of these children did not get enough milk and were malnourished. Ever since, I have been interested in nutrition and its role in maintaining good health.

Dr. Marta Fiorotto

Have you always been interested in science?
Yes. From the time I was young, my father showed me how things worked. Without knowing it, he taught me many fundamental science concepts, which made me inquisitive at a very early age. In fact, sometimes I think my whole life has been an ongoing experiment!

What do you like most about your work?
I'm always learning new stuff. It's exciting, like a detective story. You start with a question or a mystery, and you have to use your wits and knowledge to solve it.

Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?
Be curious about everything. Take nothing for granted. And remember that your health and dietary habits today will affect you later on in life. We all need to take a role in caring for ourselves and our planet.

My Health My World Explorations for Children and Adults are publications of theCenter for Educational Outreach atBaylor College of Medicine, made possible by a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. For more information, contact Center for Educational Outreach, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.
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