Groups


The CHAIN Network is led by a core group of individuals that have, over the years, fostered and built solid foundations. With vision and perseverance, The CHAIN Network has recruited, one by one, accomplished researchers, doctors, nurses, as well as coordinators and other skilled staff to work together as teams with a common goal. The CHAIN Network leaders have extensive experience in running clinical trials in difficult settings and have been embedded within the communities they serve for years. The CHAIN Network will grow from these solid foundations.

Dr. Judd L. Walson, MD, MPH

Dr. Judd Walson, an Associate Professor at the University of Washington, completed his Internal Medicine and Pediatrics training at Duke University, and his fellowship in Infectious Disease at the University of Washingto...

Professor Jay Berkley

Jay Berkley is the Principal Investigator of the CHAIN Network and co-directs the Network with Judd L. Walson. Jay is based full-time at t...

A panel of experts provides high level oversight and guidance to the CHAIN Network through the CHAIN Advisory Committee. With expertise across policy, nutrition programming, clinical management and research, the CHAIN Advisory Committee routinely review the objectives and progress of the Network and provide critical linkages to global stakeholders working to improve pediatric survival and development.

Saskia van der Kam

Saskia van der Kam is a specialist in nutrition from the Netherlands that is currently working in the Public Health Department of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). She has more than 25 ...

Mark J. Manary

Dr. Mark J. Manary, is a pediatrician currently appointed as the Helen B. Roberson Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University...

Nigel C. Rollins

Dr. Nigel Rollins trained as pediatrician at Queen’s University, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He completed his doctoral research in Tanzania before going to South Africa where he lived and worked for 14 years. There, he was Professor a...

The coordination team works to implement and harmonize The CHAIN Network's research activities at each site while considering their specific capacities. The team manages the mechanics of CHAIN such as finances, design of research tools (i.e. Case Report Forms and Standard Operating Procedures), database and website management, and progress reports. The team also oversees logistics, communication, as well as sample processing and handling. Their main goals are to ensure that procedures are correctly implemented and actively troubleshoot with local partners to solve or mitigate any issues.

Coordination Team

The coordination team works to implement and harmonize The CHAIN Network's research activities across international sites while taking into account each sites' specific capacities. They manage the fundamentals such as finances, website ...

The Network has identified key leaders in fields that are relevant to CHAIN activities. Our Expert Advisors review research questions and procedures to provide technical guidance based on their specific areas of expertise.


Within the CHAIN Network, areas of focus are organized around “working groups” comprised of, and led by, members of the Network. Each working group aims to address questions important to a particular area of research believed to be critical for reducing childhood mortality.

Social & Behavioral Science

Acute illness and undernutrition in children usually occur against a background of social and economic disadvantage. It is conceivable that no amount of nutritional or anti-infective interventions will be effective in preventing longer te...

Nutrition & Metabolism

Team Leaders: Dr. Robert Bandsma
‘Undernutrition’ encompasses a range of macro- and micronutrient deficiencies that usually co-exist. For children with acute illness, metabolic disturbances affect nutrient metabolism, energ...

Causes of Death

The causes of death among malnourished children are hard to elucidate and not well understood. The gold standard in establishing cause of death is to conduct post mortem studies but these are limited by social and cultural barriers. This ...

Respiratory Disease and Tuberculosis

Many clinicians suspect that undiagnosed tuberculosis (TB) may be responsible for many cases of acute illness and malnutrition. However, TB is notoriously difficult to diagnose in children. A significant proportion of inpatient and post-d...

Immunity & Invasive Infection

Children with malnutrition are at increased risk of life-threatening infection, even after therapeutic feeding. However, the nature of immunological dysfunction is unclear and only a small proportion of children with a sepsis-like clinica...

Enteric function and infection

The enteric system is critical for the maintenance of normal immune function, and nutrient absorption. Alterations in the biology of the gut caused by pathogens or medical intervention may be associated with poor recovery from acute illne...

Undernutrition in Infancy

Team Leader: Dr. Martha Mwangome
Malnourished infants experience very high mortality and incidence of severe infections such as pneumonia and diarrhoea. However, nutritional rehabilitation guidelines for infants under 6 months a...

Acute Care and Monitoring

Children with malnutrition and an acute illness often die unexpectedly, usually with a rapid deterioration preceded by few warning signs. Unlike well-nourished children, mortality often occurs late in the hospitalization period or after d...

Neuro-cognitive development

Malnutrition can impair the neurocognitive development of a child which can lead to extended disabilities and impact their survival. In low resource settings, little is known about the prevalence of neurodevelopmental disability and its i...