Addressing Critical Knowledge Gaps in Newborn Health

Joy Lawn

Biography

Professor Joy Lawn, B MedSci, MB BS, MRCP (Paeds), MPH PhD

Director of the MARCH Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Senior Health Advisor to Save the Children. 

Joy is an African-born paediatrician and perinatal epidemiologist. She has over 20 years’ experience in newborn health with a specific focus on Africa, including four years as a lecturer and neonatalogist in Ghana. She shifted to public health and global estimation whilst at the WHO Collaborating Center, CDC Atlanta, USA (1998-2001), and then at the Institute of Child Health, London, UK (2001-2004), completing a Masters of Public Health at Emory University, Atlanta and PhD at University College London.

In March 2013, she was appointed Professor of Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health and Director of MARCH Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. For over ten years she worked for Save the Children's Saving Newborn Lives program, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Most recently she was their Director of Global Evidence and Policy, and worked with governments and partners to integrate, scale up and evaluate newborn care. In 2011 she was appointed as the UK AID (DfID)’s Senior Research Fellow for newborn health (part-time).

Since 2004, Joy has coordinated the United Nation’s Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group’s (CHERG) Neonatal Team and developed the first cause-of-death estimates for 4 million neonatal deaths each year, published in 2005 in The Lancet Neonatal series and WHO's World Health Report. She also co-led The Lancet Stillbirth series in 2011 including developing WHO’s first national estimates of stillbirth rates, highlighting 2.6 million stillbirths worldwide. In 2011 she coordinated the first ever national estimates for preterm birth, published in The Lancet and co-led the team for Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report for Preterm Birth, with over 50 partner agencies to outline the data and actions to address 15 million preterm births, garnering major media attention. She also coordinated the GBD Expert team for neonatal and congenital conditions and is on the scientific committee of Countdown to 2015.

Joy has published over 100 peer reviewed papers and led or contributed to several high profile publications highlighting global estimates and linked solutions that have resulted in wide-scale change in low income countries. She is also a founding Board Member of Powerfree Education and Technology, a South African not-for-profit organization developing and testing innovative technology to improve maternal, newborn and child survival. Joy is the 2013 recipient of thePGPR Award for Outstanding Contributions to Global Child Health, particularly for her leadership and mentoring teams for newborn survival.

Follow Joy on Twitter @JoyLawn