Charles Newton is a pediatric neurologist with over 30 years of experience in conducting studies on the neurodevelopment of children in East Africa. Newton also has a professorship in psychiatry, with a special interest in global neurodevelopmental disorders, in particular autism.
Over the course of his career, Newton has studied the brain damage caused by falciparum malaria, tetanus, bacterial meningitis, neonatal jaundice and neonatal sepsis, by following up cohorts of children exposed to these conditions in Kenya. In addition, Newton has conducted cross-sectional studies of neurological impairment and disability in Kenyan children, and the epidemiology of epilepsy in five African countries. He also spent a year as part of his neurology training assessing children with autism at the Wolfson Developmental Assessment Clinic, attached to Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, UK. In following up with Kenyan children exposed to severe malaria, Newton and colleagues noticed that some of them had features of autism. This led him and others to develop tools for detecting autism in Kenya. More recently, Newton and colleagues have conducted the first population-based epidemiological study of neurodevelopmental disorders in sub-Saharan Africa.