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Michelle Fernandes

Michelle Fernandes

Michelle Fernandes


Honorary Research Fellow & INTERGROWTH-21st, Project Neurodevelopment Lead

  • NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow & Speciality Trainee in Paediatrics

Investigating the phenotypes of normal and non-normal early child development

Michelle's research focuses on understanding normal and non-normal early child developmental trajectories from fetal life into early childhood, with a view to develop holistic, scalable measurements of early child development. 

She began her academic career at the Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford where she investigated the programming effects of maternal depression on the fetal brain. 

As a post-doc, she was awarded the Oxford Maternal and Perinatal Health Institute International Research Fellow at the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology where, as part of the INTERGROWTH-21st Project, she led the design, development and implementation of a holistic, novel measure of early child development. Named the INTERGROWTH-21st Neurodevelopment Package this measure of cognition, language, motor, behaviour, attention, social-emotional reactivity, vision, auditory processing and sleep is targeted at 22-26 month olds and has been used in over 5000 assessments of children in Brazil, Finland, Grenada, India, Italy Kenya, Pakistan, Mexico,Thailand, South Africa and the UK.  

Michelle's clinical interests lie in Paediatrics, particularly in Neonataology. She is currently an NIHR academic clinical fellow in Paediatrics at the University of Southampton and holds dual academic appointments at Southampton and Oxford. 

She has a DPhil in Child Psychiatry from Exeter College, Oxford and has held previous appointments as Junior Dean of Exeter College, founder at FoetoH Ltd and Core Clinical Fellow in Paediatrics at Southampton General Hospital.