Global Child Health Research

Polio. Arboviruses. Cancer. Newborn health. Gender-based violence.  Our group is actively investigating questions about how to reduce the burden of disease and improve the health of children around the world. Our research also includes parasites, child nutrition and development, educational interventions, and novel diagnostics.

While our work ranges from laboratory work exploring the efficacy of measles vaccines in Mexico to community-based interventions to reduce adolescent pregnancy in Kenya, we target the health of underserved children in low-resource settings.

Faculty Research Highlights

The end of polio

Director of Academic Global Child Health, Dr. Bonnie Maldonado, has been awarded new grant funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to explore the dynamics of oral polio transmission. The $3.6 million dollar grant will allow Maldonado and her lab group to study the impact of oral polio vaccination rates on the virus's circulation in Mexican communities, the results of which may inform public policy decision making in that country, as well as globally. 

Combatting arboviral threats

The LaBeaud lab is an infectious disease research lab at Stanford University School of Medicine. Our area of research is arboviral epidemiology, the study of arthropod- (or mosquito-) borne viruses. In particular, Dr. LaBeaud investigates dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika virus, and Rift Valley fever virus in Kenya and other developing regions.

The LaBeaud lab is specifically interested in studying arboviral epidemiology and virology, influencing factors on childhood immune system development, and vaccine response. The LaBeaud Lab’s main research questions focus on the risk factors for arboviral infections, the development of diagnostic tests that can be administered in the field to quickly determine what kind of arboviral infection a person has, and the genetic and immunologic investigation of why different people respond differently to the same infection.

Improving the health of populations

Dr. Gary Darmstadt,associate dean for maternal and child health and a professor of pediatrics, is leading multiple initiatives to promote the health of children worldwide. Most recently he will conduct two studies with Stanford's Center for Population Health Sciences and funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One will analyze existing data to assess the relationship between gender norms and the well-being of adolescent girls.  The second study will evaluate the effectiveness of a novel maternal and child health intervention in Bihar.

Human-centered design for child health

The Asili program aims to reduce poverty and improve child health in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo, through self-sustaining social enterprises created with a human-centered design approach. Stanford GCH researchers are evaluating a human-centered design approach to improving child health as well as poverty reduction in this fragile setting. 

Preventing gender-based violence

The Stanford /Packard Gender-Based Violence Prevention Collaboration (GBV PC) was founded in 2013 by an interdisciplinary group of researchers who share a passion for preventing gender-based violence, especially sexual assault, both locally and globally. The group includes experts in in public health, statistics, adolescent health, and behavioral medicine.

The GBV PC is working on a wide variety of projects, including running the largest randomized controlled trial of empowerment training for male and female adolescents in the informal settlements around Nairobi, Kenya, implementing and researching an intervention for assault prevention in high schools in San Jose, California, and working with Stanford University to identify appropriate sexual assault prevention programs to bring to campus.

Dr. Maldonado and colleagues in Mexico

GCHEP Seed Grants

Click to learn more about the Global Child Health Equity Program Seed Grants for Stanford researchers.