Dr. Aengst is a medical anthropologist with an extensive research background on reproductive health and gender disparities, specifically in India, Nepal, and Guatemala. In India and Nepal, she worked with three NGOs in 1995-1996 on the issues of girl trafficking, gender-based violence, and refugee assistance. In 2001, Dr. Aengst interviewed Nepali human rights advocates about efforts to change legislation and build advocacy to assist girls who had been trafficked. In Guatemala, she researched how reproductive health disparities were impacting indigenous women in the highlands region. She conducted in-depth fieldwork in the north Indian region of Ladakh, where much of her research was focused on ethnic/religious tension among Buddhists and Muslims in the region. Her research analyzed the persistence of health disparities, ethnic/religious conflict, and gender discrimination.