Dr. Nichter has a long standing interest in gender and health both in the U.S. and in South and Southeast Asia. She is presently conducting tobacco-related research in India and Indonesia. In the past, Dr. Nichter has conducted research on maternal and child health and women's reproductive health in India and Sri Lanka, also studying issues of globalization among youth in India with a particular emphasis on changing notions of beauty among young women.
In the U.S., she has been conducting research on drinking and smoking among adolescents and young adults and conducting extensive research on body image and dieting among adolescent girls. All of Dr. Nichter’s work involves moving from research to intervention, and she has worked for many years in schools and in communities to develop health-related programs.