Director of ISGlobal's Initiative of Maternal, Child and Reproductive Health
Dr Clara Menéndez is the Director of ISGlobal's Initiative on Maternal, Child and Reproductive Health
Clara Menendez, a medical graduate from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, is a registered specialist in Family Medicine and in Community Health and Preventive Medicine. Shel holds a PhD from the University of Barcelona and a DTM&H following studies at the LSHTM. She has worked in India, Latin America and PNG. However, there has been a strong focus in sub-Saharan Africa, working in The Gambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. She was a key member of the founding team of the Manhica Health Research Center in Mozambique.
Prof Menendez has devoted most of her career to describing key determinants of maternal newborn and reproductive health problems and to design and test new interventions. She has made major contributions to understanding the physiopathology and parasite biology of malaria during pregnancy and its clinical consequences for both the mother and the newborn, as well as evaluating new intervention strategies for its prevention. She has also made significant contributions to the understanding of anaemia, the role of iron deficiency and the effect of iron supplementation on infection. Over the years, she has expanded her scope of work to include other infectious diseases that particularly affect women of child bearing age, including HIV and HPV infection. A major area of focus, that builds on more than 15 years of work, relates to the description of causes of maternal deaths based on full autopsies and the current adaptation and validation of new approaches based on minimally invasive autopsies.
Prof Menendez has published more than 200 papers and directed more than 14 PhD thesis of European and African students. She is a lecturer at the Master of Global Health at the University of Barcelona, the Master of Public Health at the University Pompeu Fabra and at the Diploma of International Tropical Pediatrics at the Instituto de Salud Carlos III. She is also a consultant for the World Health Organization on malaria control in children and pregnant women. She is also recipient of several national and international awards, including the Rudolf Geigy Prize.