Professor Melissa Gladstone

Honorary Appointment

Melissa Gladstone is Professor in Neurodevelopmental Paediatrics and International Child 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 for research and programmatic work and ( – much of this linking early interventions in nutrition, WASH and early stimulation programmes with later outcomes in children. 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).

She supervises PhD students in neurodevelopmental paediatrics or international child health topics as well as Master’s students through LSTM and the University of Liverpool. She has a number of medical students that she also supports for research and scholarship projects. Dr. Gladstone teaches on the DTM&H as well as on the Masters in Tropical Paediatrics both on child development and disability.