Dr Marko Kerac BSc MBBS DTM&H MRCPCH MPH MFPH PhD RNutr
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I joined LSHTM in September 2014 as a clinical lecturer in public health nutrition. I am a medical doctor by background and have long been interested in global health. Early experiences included undergraduate projects in Yugoslavia, Guyana, and India (in and around Delhi; my first RCT in a Calcutta street clinic); post-qualification work in Serbia, Bosnia and UK.
I initially trained in paediatrics in Plymouth and London before leaving the NHS in 2003 to work at the College of Medicine, Malawi. Most of that life-changing year I spent on “MOYO” ward, Queen's Hospital, Blantyre, one of Africa’s biggest and busiest nutritional rehabilitation units. Following a 2004-5 LSHTM MSc (PHDC) I returned to Malawi from 2005-8 to work on a PhD - again combining clinical work and teaching alongside research.
From 2009-2014 I was a specialty registrar in public health in London. Academic posts, initially at UCL IGH and later as a NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer at the UCL Leonard Cheshire Disability & Inclusive Development Centre allowed me to maintain and develop my international work.
- Centre for Evaluation
- Evidence on Disability
- Global Non-Communicable Diseases
- Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive & Child Health (MARCH)
I particularly enjoy supervising student projects and like to encourage policy/practice-relevant work which leads to experience presenting and publishing - adding to the far too sparse evidence-base underpinning my areas of research interest.
My focus is on acute malnutrition. I was especially fortunate to enter the field when it was undergoing major changes from a clinically-focused to a more public-health-orientated model of care, Community Management of Acute Malnutrition. I was then, and still remain, inspired by the many individuals and organizations behind those changes: developing the evidence using good quality operational research as well as more 'formal' studies; encouraging effective research-policy-practice dialogue; pursing what’s realistic as well as idealistic; being aware that ‘the best’ can too easily become be the enemy of 'the good’.
My main recent and current projects include:
- Management of Acute Malnutrition in Infants aged <6 months (MAMI) - Projects in Malawi and now just starting in Bangladesh are building on work colleagues and I first started in 2008. Our highlight to date is contributing to the WHO "Nutrition and Growth Advisory Group" that led to infants <6m, for the first time, being included in 2013 WHO Guidelines for the Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition.
- Chronic disease outcomes following Severe Acute Malnutrition (ChroSAM study) - Following a cohort of children first admitted to "Moyo" nutrition ward, Malawi in 2006/7.
- Improving the treatment of acute malnutrition - A number of projects including ones on: new formulation F75 milk; use of films in health; nutritional assessment and new assessment tools.
I am keen to explore interventions working across different disciplines (nutrition, health, mental health, social science, community & development work; behaviour change): viewing malnutrition not so much as a disease, but as a symptom of more complex underlying process and problems - at the level of the individual; within the carer-child relationship; within the wider family and community; within and between societies and countries.
- Adolescent health
- Child health
- Clinical guidelines
- Clinical trials
- Public health
- Operational research
Disease and Health Conditions
- Chronic disease
- Mental health
- Least developed countries: UN classification
- South Asia
- Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)
- Behavioural And Cultural Change
- Child Development
- Cohort Studies
- Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition
- Evidence-informed health policy making
- Food And Agriculture
- Member Of MARCH
Research Priorities to Improve the Management of Acute Malnutrition in Infants Aged Less Than Six Months (MAMI).
Angood, C. ; McGrath, M. ; Mehta, S. ; Mwangome, M. ; Lung'aho, M. ; Roberfroid, D. ; Perry, A. ; Wilkinson, C. ; Israel, A.D. ; Bizouerne, C. ; Haider, R. ; Seal, A. ; Berkley, J.A. ; Kerac, M. ; MAMI Working Group Collaborators, . ;
PLoS Med, 2015; 12(4):e1001812
Interpretation of World Health Organization growth charts for assessing infant malnutrition: a randomised controlled trial.
Ahmad, U.N. ; Yiwombe, M. ; Chisepo, P. ; Cole, T.J. ; Heikens, G.T. ; Kerac, M. ;
J Paediatr Child Health, 2014; 50(1):32-9
The interaction of malnutrition and neurologic disability in Africa.
Kerac, M. ; Postels, D.G. ; Mallewa, M. ; Alusine Jalloh, A. ; Voskuijl, W.P. ; Groce, N. ; Gladstone, M. ; Molyneux, E. ;
Semin Pediatr Neurol, 2014; 21(1):42-9
Follow-up of post-discharge growth and mortality after treatment for severe acute malnutrition (FuSAM study): a prospective cohort study.
Kerac, M. ; Bunn, J. ; Chagaluka, G. ; Bahwere, P. ; Tomkins, A. ; Collins, S. ; Seal, A. ;
PLoS One, 2014; 9(6):e96030
Prevalence of wasting among under 6-month-old infants in developing countries and implications of new case definitions using WHO growth standards: a secondary data analysis.
Kerac, M. ; Blencowe, H. ; Grijalva-Eternod, C. ; McGrath, M. ; Shoham, J. ; Cole, T.J. ; Seal, A. ;
Arch Dis Child, 2011;
Probiotics and prebiotics for severe acute malnutrition (PRONUT study): a double-blind efficacy randomised controlled trial in Malawi.
Kerac, M. ; Bunn, J. ; Seal, A. ; Thindwa, M. ; Tomkins, A. ; Sadler, K. ; Bahwere, P. ; Collins, S. ;
Lancet, 2009; 374(9684):136-44
Operational implications of using 2006 World Health Organization growth standards in nutrition programmes: secondary data analysis.
Seal, A. ; Kerac, M. ;
BMJ, 2007; 334(7596):733
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