SATHI Program

Core Advisory Committee

Dr. Sunanda GaurDr. Sunanda Gaur, Director is a Professor of Pediatrics and specialist in Pediatric Infectious Diseases.  She serves as Director of the Robert Wood Johnson AIDS Program at Rutgers- Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick , one of the largest Pediatric HIV Programs in New Jersey . She serves as the Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the New Jersey Statewide Family Centered HIV Care Network, a Title IV network of seven pediatric HIV care centers. Dr. Gaur also serves as the Director of the Pediatric Clinical Research Center.  Her research and academic interest are in Pediatric/Adolescent HIV, Tuberculosis, and Health Disparities. 



Dr. Robert LikeDr. Robert Like , Director of the Center for Healthy Families and Cultural Diversity at Rutgers- Robert Wood Johnson University Medical School, is a board certified Family Physician with a background in medical anthropology. He is actively involved in funded research and provides training and technical assistance related to the delivery of patient - and family centered, culturally responsive care to diverse populations by clinicians, health care organizations, and academic medical centers. Visit site



Dr. Geetha Ghai Dr. Geetha Ghai Dr. Geetha Ghai is a consultant, actively participating in the community by volunteering her time with various community organizations.   She has a PhD in biochemistry and a MBA from the executive program at Rutgers University.  Her professional experience includes research, marketing and sales in Industry, teaching and research in academic institutions, and outreach to industry.   She retired from The Center for Advanced Food Technology (CAFT) at Rutgers University as the Associate Director where she was instrumental in initiating the food, nutrition and health program.   She has been a scientific lecturer for the Institute of Food Technology Scientific Lectureship Program on the “Future of Nutraceuticals” with one of the first evidence demonstrating gene-phytonutrients interaction and has over 6 patents.   She worked with the faculty and administrators of the Bergen County Technical School to develop the curriculum for the Culinary Food Science Program.  Dr. Ghai instructed classes in South Indian Cooking and the nuances of health benefits of spices at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York.   She continues to work with the New Jersey Office on Minority and Multicultural Health in an advisory capacity. 


Upendra J. ChivukulaUpendra J. Chivukula (Ex-officio) is a politician who has served in the New Jersey General Assembly since 2002 as a representative of the 17th legislative district . He is the first Asian Indian American elected to the New Jersey General Assembly and the fourth Indian American in the United States to be elected to state office. Mr. Chivukula has been the Assembly's Deputy Speaker since 2007 and serves as Chair of the Telecommunications and Utilities Committee and the Commerce and Economic Development Committee.



Jigna RaoJigna Rao is an advocate for health related issues, with a particular focus on women’s health. In 2006, she was diagnosed with Pelvic Tuberculosis, while undergoing treatment for infertility. Since that time, Jigna has been actively involved with advocacy efforts towards elimination of TB and speaks regularly at lectures and conferences attended by medical professional providing a patient perspective. She works closely with many nonprofit and government organizations including, Results, Stop TB USA, Global TB Institute of NJ and the New Jersey Department of Health to help eliminate health disparities.  Jigna volunteers and serves on many other committees and boards, including Womanspace, an organization that helps victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. In addition to her volunteer activities, Jigna is also a full time student pursuing her academic interests.  Until 2010, Jigna worked with Governor Jon Corzine as the director of Drumthwacket, New Jersey's official Governor's Residence.






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