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Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Dr Jonathan Sturgeon, MBBS DTM&H MRCPCH

Wellcome Clinical Research Fellow

Centre: Centre for Genomics and Child Health

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 2267


I am a paediatrician doctor and Wellcome Trust clinical PhD fellow (administered by LSHTM) looking at malnutrition and its effect on the gut and the immune system in children. I am doing clinical research studies as sub-studies of the HOPE-SAM and TAME trials. I am based at Queen Mary, University of London, and I am working at Zvitambo Institute of Maternal and Child Health Research in Harare, Zimbabwe. I am interested in the body's response to infection, how it is affected by the gut and by malnutrition. I am aiming to  subspecialise in paediatric infectious diseases.

Website: /
ResearchGate: /Jonathan-Sturgeon


Research Interests:

I am conducting research in children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM). This is an extreme form of malnutrition which involves many of the organ systems of the body. Being this underweight means that patients are at significant risk of mortality, and those that survive can suffer serious problems that affect their quality of life. We know that children with SAM have problems with some key body systems:

  • Gut: Their guts are more leaky, their gut wall is less good at absorbing nutrients, and their gut bacteria changes.
  • Immune system: There is evidence of inflammation as their immune system is activated. Children with SAM are less good at fighting off infections. This means they are more likely to get serious infections. This can mean they spend all their energy fighting off infections, and in many cases can be life-threatening.
  • Skin: Children with SAM can get skin breakdown.
  • Hormone Changes: Children with SAM are less likely to produce hormones to help them grow properly, meaning that even if given suitable nutrition they are less likely to grow as tall.

My project is a sub-study of two different studies. In the HOPE-SAM study, I will be looking at the relationship between gut and immune markers in children who have been admitted to hospital with SAM. In the TAME trial, I will be looking at how children with SAM's immune system changes in response to trial medication given to treat their enteropathy - examining a causal link between the gut and the immune changes, and whether they are reversible. These are detailed on my website.

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