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Joy Lawn

Professor of Maternal Reproductive and Child Health Epidemiology, and Director of MARCH Centre, London School Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Professor Joy Lawn, BMedSci, MB BS, MPH, PhD, FRCPCH, FMedSci, is an African-born, British-trained paediatrician and perinatal epidemiologist with >25 years of experience including clinical care, epidemiological burden estimates, and the design and evaluation of integrated maternal, newborn and child care services at scale, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Her medical degree and paediatric training were in the UK, followed by teaching, programme and research work, mainly in Africa, including a decade with Saving Newborn Lives/Save the Children. Her MPH was at Emory, Atlanta, USA, whilst working at CDC, and her PhD was through Institute of Child Health London.

Joy’s particular contribution has been in developing the evidence-base for policy and programming change to measure and address the global burden of 2.7 million neonatal deaths, 2.6 million third trimester stillbirths, and 15million preterm births. This work came to prominence through Lancet Neonatal Survival series (2005), Lancet Stillbirth series in 2011 and 2016, and especially the Lancet Every Newborn series (2014) with the associated Every Newborn Action Plan, endorsed at the World Health Assembly and supported by >80 partners. She co-chairs the UN’s Every Newborn metrics work to increase the quantity, quality and use of data. She has published <160 peer reviewed papers, with an H index of over 80, as well as several widely-used policy relevant reports, launched with major media attention, and a number of academic chapters.

She is currently professor of Epidemiology, at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Director of Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive & Child Health (MARCH) centre including 200 academics from multiple disciplines organised around three research themes: Adolescents, Births, and Child health and development. She leads a research team of more than 20 scientists working on newborn health, stillbirths and child development around the world. She is the School’s Aurora Women’s Leadership Champion. Joy has been awarded a number of prizes such as the Nils Rosen von Rosenstein medal for paediatrics, PGPR Global Child Health award, Wolfson Royal Society Merit award and Fellowship of Academy of Medical Sciences.

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