• Lecturer, Global Health
Sarah Benki Nugent

Harborview Medical Center
325 9th Ave.
Box 359931
Seattle, WA 98104
United States

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Dr. Benki-Nugent received her PhD (Microbiology) and MS (Epidemiology) from UW. Her research focuses on how environmental insults, including infectious pathogens and pollutants, impact the developing child’s brain. Using combined molecular epidemiologic, neurodevelopmental assessment, and environmental exposure assessment approaches, her work addresses biologic mechanisms of neurodevelopmental insults, risk factors for impairment and the types of impairment that are caused by these insults. The ultimate goal is to inform therapeutic, psychosocial and policy-level interventions to improve child developmental trajectories. Ongoing studies will determine early life burden and impact of air pollution on child neurodevelopment in Kenya. She is also involved in studies on neurodevelopmental and hearing outcomes in HIV-exposed uninfected children.

Country Affiliations 
  • Spanish
Health Topics 
  • Environmental Health (incl. Climate Change)
  • Neurology

HIV pediatrics


1. Benki-Nugent S, Martopullo I, Laboso T, Tamasha N, Wamalwa D, Tapia K, Langat A, Maleche-Obimbo E, Marra C, Bangirana P, Boivin MJ, John-Stewart G. High plasma soluble CD163 during infancy is a marker for early and long-term neurocognitive outcomes in early treated HIV-infected children. JAIDS. 1;81(1):102-109.

2. Suter MK, Karr CJ, John-Stewart GC, Goméz L 3, Moraa M, Nyatika D, Wamalwa D, Paulsen M, Simpson C, Ghodsian N, Boivin MJ, Bangirana P, Benki-Nugent S. Implications of combined exposure to household air pollution and HIV on neurocognition in children. . Int. J Environmental Res and Public Health. 2018 Jan 20;15(1). pii: E163.

3. Gomez L, Crowell C, Njuguna I, Cranmer L, Wamalwa D, Chebet D, Otieno V, Maleche-Obimbo E, Gladstone M, John-Stewart G, Benki-Nugent S. Better growth at entry to ART is associated with higher neurodevelopmental function at ART and improved post-ART recovery of function in Kenyan children. Ped Inf Dis J. 2018 Feb 12. doi: 10.1097.

4. Benki-Nugent S, Wamalwa D, Langat A, Tapia K, Adhiambo J, Chebet D, Okinyi HM, John-Stewart G. Comparison of developmental milestone attainment in early treated HIV-infected infants versus HIV-unexposed infants: a prospective cohort study. BMC Pediatr. 2017 Jan 17;17(1):24. doi: 10.1186/s12887-017-0776-1.

5. Benki-Nugent S, Eshelman, C, Wamalwa D, Langat A, Tapia K, Okinyi HM, John-Stewart, GC. Correlates of age at attainment of developmental milestones in HIV-infected infants receiving early antiretroviral therapy. Ped Inf Dis J. 2015 34(1):55-61.