The Department of Women’s and Children’s Health at the University of Liverpool is internationally renowned for its research and has specialist groups covering obstetrics, gynaecology, neonatology and medical and surgical paediatrics.
Their main research facilities are integrated with two of the largest specialist Women’s and Children’ hospitals in Europe – Centre for Women’s Health research within the Liverpool Women’s Hospital and Institute in the Park within the Alder Hey Hospital.
Melissa Gladstone is a Professor in Neurodevelopmental Paediatrics and International Child Health.at the Department of Women and Children’s Health, Institute of Life Course and Medical Sciences, University of Liverpool
Her main research interest is in the assessment and interventions for children with developmental and disabilities in low income settings globally. She has underaken and is presently undertaking large field studies in a number of African settings and pursues research looking at the linkages between assessment of children’s development and behaviour with interventions which can be provided in low income settings.
Dr Gladstone is particularly interested to understand how interventions to support children in the early years can be inclusive of children with neurodevelopmental disorders and how these interventions can be used best in community settings. She has created a culturally appropriate neurodevelopmental assessment tool, the MDAT, which is being utlised in over 25 countries in Africa. She also has led development of the IYCD (Infant and Young Child Development Indicators) for WHO.
She is leading a consortium on work looking at which tools globally best identify children with neurodevelopmental disorders and has recently completed studies collecting data across three sites which could be used for further analysis for tool validation. Dr Gladstone has completed field trials recently in Malawi, Uganda and Pakistan for the INDIGO network and is working closely with WHO and a wide team of investigators on studies looking at creating developmental indicators for global use (GSED).
Dorcas is a Clinical and Developmental Psychologist. She completed her PhD in 2020 at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She has a keen interest in unravelling the development of psychopathology in children to establish personal, social, and biological risk factors of these conditions. Her research has helped broaden the evidence on long-term neurocognitive and mental health implications of early childhood illnesses, thus, informing clinical practice and policy, especially in poor and marginalized settings. Besides, Dorcas has gathered valuable knowledge and experience on feasible mechanisms to foster healthy child development, positive behaviours, and positive parent-child interactions.
Prior to joining the team, she held a post doctorate position at the Aga Khan University where she developed various Early Childhood Development materials including an adaptation guide for Care for Child Development (CCD) and other CCD case study materials.