← Back

Dr James Njunge

Post - Doc


James’s group focusses on identifying molecular mechanisms to help children survive and thrive. His portfolio lies at the interface of infection, immunity, and nutrition, examining mechanisms underlying clinical outcomes during and following acute illness. Specifically, he focuses on the relationships between infection, nutrition, mortality, and poor growth among acutely ill children. James joined the Programme in 2013 as an early post-doc and started biomarker research among critically ill children including biomarkers distinguishing bacterial meningitis from cerebral malaria with Dr. Evelyn Gitau. From 2016, under the mentorship of Prof. Jay Berkley, he successfully led the existing samples and data analysis workplan of the Childhood Acute Illness and Nutrition (CHAIN) Network. His work revealed that acutely ill undernourished children who die soon after hospital discharge have a sepsis-like inflammatory profile at discharge implicating untreated infections or ongoing microbial component exposures. He has further shown that children with severe malnutrition and HIV have evidence of metabolic stress, affecting pathways related to inflammation and lipid metabolism.