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Researcher | Research Overview

Dr. Chan’s lab seeks to design, test, and implement sustainable clinical and public health interventions to advance maternal and child health. Research interests focus on:

  • Surveillance of maternal and child morbidity and mortality to improve disease estimates
  • Infections in newborns and antimicrobial resistance
  • Risk prediction and causal modeling for pregnancy complications and adverse birth outcomes
  • Development and testing of newborn care packages to improve survival of preterm and low-birth weight babies

Dr. Chan is a co-founder of the HaSET Maternal and Child Health Research Program. She has led international collaborations with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Save the Children to develop and test models to scale up kangaroo mother care, an evidence-based intervention that reduces mortality among preterm and low birth weight babies up to 40%. These findings have influenced the recent global WHO guidelines on the care of preterm and low birth weight infants. Dr. Chan served as the epidemiology lead for a large-scale cohort study with 29,000 pregnant women and their newborns in seven low- and lower middle-income countries (LLMICs) to determine the epidemiology and patterns of antimicrobial resistance of neonatal sepsis. Results demonstrated that over 90% of neonatal sepsis isolates were resistant to first-line antibiotics and led to global and national programs on infection prevention and targeted antibiotic therapy. She is currently working on estimating the morbidity and mortality of women and young children globally. More details can be found at

Researcher | Research Background

Dr. Chan is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. She completed her PhD and post-doctoral work at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a research fellowship at ICDDR, B. She trained in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center in the Boston Combined Residency Program. Dr. Chan serves as an Attending Physician in the Division of Medical Critical Care. She is also an honorary faculty member at St Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She has mentored many talented students and fellows.

Selected Publications

  1.  Chan GJ, Moulton LH, Becker S, Muñoz A, Black R.  Non-specific effects of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccination on child mortality in Cebu, The Philippines.  International Journal of Epidemiology, 2007; 36(5):1022-1029. 

  2. Chan GJ, Lee AC, Baqui AH, Tan J, Black RE. Risk of early-onset neonatal infection with maternal infection or colonization: a global systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Medicine, 2013; 10(8):e1001502. Epub 2013/08/27.

  3. Boundy EO, Spiegelman D, Fawzi WW, Lieberman E, Missmer SA, Dastjerdi R, Kajeepeta S, Wall S, Chan GJ. Kangaroo Mother Care and Neonatal Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Pediatrics. 2016;137(1):1-16.

  4. Bekele D, Hunegnaw BM, Bekele C, Van Wickle K, Tadesse F, Goddard FGB, Mohammed Y, Unninayar S, Chan GJ. Cohort profile: the Birhan Health and Demographic Surveillance System. International Journal of Epidemiology. April 2022;51(2). doi: 10.1093/ije/dyab225. PMID 34751768

  5. Milton R, Gillespie D, Dyer C, Taiyari K, Carvalho MJ, Thomson K, Sands K, Portal EAR, Hood K, Ferreira A, Hender T, Kirby N, Mathias J, Nieto M, Watkins WJ, Bekele D, Abayneh M, Solomon S, Basu S, Nandy RK, Saha B,  Iregbu K, Modibbo F, Uwaezuoke S, Zahra R, Shirazi H, Najeeb S, Mazarati JB, Rucogoza A, Gaju L, Mehtar S, Bulabula ANH, Whitelaw A, Walsh TR, BARNARDS Group, Chan GJ. Neonatal sepsis and mortality in low- and middle-income countries from a facility-based birth cohort: an international multi-site prospective observational study. Lancet Global Health. May 2022;10(5):e661-e672. doi:10.1016/s2214-109x(22)00043-2. PMID 35427523

Researcher | Media

Answers Blog

Around the world, five million children die each year before the age of 5, often in the first month of life. Dr. Grace Chan found this unacceptable. This is her story.

Researcher | Publications