Global and Public Health Nutrition

Pathways to Child Growth and Development: Is Linear Growth Retardation a Valid Indicator of Delayed Neurodevelopment?

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Location: Ballroom C

Learning Objectives:


Anuraj H. Shankar, DSc

Senior Research Scientist
Boston, Massachusetts


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Jef L. Leroy, PhD

Senior Research Fellow
International Food Policy Research Institute
Washington, District of Columbia


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Elizabeth Prado, PhD

Assistant Professor
University of California Davis
Davis, California

Dr. Prado's research focuses on nutrition and child development. Her research interests also include caregiving, health and other influences on child development in low-resource settings, evaluating programs and policies to support children to achieve their developmental potential, and cross-cultural developmental and cognitive assessment. Like a vine, children need nurturing care and strong support structures to ensure their healthy growth and development to their full potential. Parents and caregivers are the gardeners that tend and nurture the vine so that it can grow and flourish. Policies and programs, from the national to community level, are the trellis that supports the vine to grow. Dr. Prado's lab, the Translational Research in Early Life Learning for Impact at Scale (TRELLIS) lab, works with collaborators from across the globe to translate findings from basic science to conduct research informing how policies and programs can best support parents and caregivers to provide the nurturing care that children need to thrive. Research approaches include efficacy, effectiveness and impact evaluations, longitudinal cohort studies, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and methodological studies and reviews on assessing child development and cognition in low- and middle-income contexts


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Leila Larson, PhD, MPH

Research Fellow
University of Melbourne, Australia
North Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Maternal and child malnutrition, particularly anemia and its implications for child health, growth and development are central to Leila Larson’s research interests. She has worked in various countries worldwide, including Laos, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Malawi, and India. Leila Larson received her Ph.D. in Nutrition and Health Sciences at Emory University. Her dissertation focused on consequences of malnutrition and effects on child development. As part of her Ph.D. research, she worked on an effectiveness trial to examine the impact of home fortification with multiple micronutrient powders on anemia and child development. Leila Larson has also worked with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition on an evaluation of a Double Fortified Salt program in Uttar Pradesh, India. Through her research in South Asia and her work with the Biomarkers Reflecting the Inflammation and Nutritional Determinants of Anemia (BRINDA) collaboration, she has pursued her interest in the etiology of anemia to examine the contribution of nutritional, genetic, infectious, and environmental causes of anemia in women and children. Leila is now a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Medicine at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and is working on the effects of iron on maternal and child health and development.


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Pathways to Child Growth and Development: Is Linear Growth Retardation a Valid Indicator of Delayed Neurodevelopment?

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