Global Child Development Group, University of the West Indies
Susan Walker, PhD is Professor of Nutrition at the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica. She heads the Child Development Research Group in the Epidemiology Research Unit, Tropical Medicine Research Institute, UWI. The group’s research focuses on psychosocial and nutritional factors that affect children’s cognition, behaviour and educational achievement and on the development and evaluation of interventions to improve children’s development. This work has influenced the policy and programs of international agencies. Her recent research includes the long term effects of undernutrition on cognitive and psychological functioning in young adulthood and follow-up to age 22 years of children who participated in a randomised trial of early childhood interventions. This study has shown that a home visiting stimulation program delivered by community health workers has sustained benefits for cognition, education and psychological functioning. Other research areas include the development of term low birth weight infants and interventions to promote social and emotional competence in young children.