Translating NICU Research Into Better Newborn Care

At Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), we welcome over 8,000 babies every year. With every birth, we see a wide range of medical conditions that inform our teaching and research. Each member of our faculty conducts research and training in areas spanning the full spectrum of newborn disease and development. From chronic lung disease in premature infants to embryonic stem cell research—our faculty is conducting exciting research that will result in life-giving breakthroughs for our smallest patients.

Terrie InderTerrie E. Inder, MD, MBChB joined us as the chair of the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine in the fall of 2013. She will lead the department in creating a multidimensional program and promoting cross-disciplinary research in three key areas: neonatal neurology, pulmonary biology and care, and neonatal health. Inder’s leadership, expertise, and innovative approach to discovery will advance BWH’s program and help to address questions of great relevance to the health of vulnerable infants. Read more…

Chronic lung disease (CLD) in premature infants

Sule Cataltepe, MD, focuses on identifying molecular mechanisms involved in the development of chronic lung disease (CLD) in premature infants. Cataltepe hopes her research will lead to new preventive and treatment approaches for CLD.

Exploring how Vitamin D affects CLD

Helen Christou, MD, and her team work to examine the potential role that vitamin D deficiency could play in the development of chronic lung disease (CLD) in premature infants. Her work could substantially improve the long-term health outcomes of infants and young children.

Complications of prematurity

Amir Lahav, ScD, PhD, is using innovative audio technology installed in incubators, to supply premature infants with audio recordings of their own mothers’ voices and heartbeats. This work will show that exposure to these biological sounds is expected to facilitate the formation of frontotemporal neural connections, thereby increasing the potential for normal brain development.

Embryonic stem cell research

Paul Lerou, MD, focuses on embryonic stem cell research. By studying how human embryonic stem cells maintain genetic stability, he aims to better understand how this instability can arise in human cells and how it may result in disease.

Brain development in utero of babies with HLHS

Cindy Ortinau, MD, is studying brain development in utero of babies diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a congenital heart defect caused by aortic stenosis, resulting in the swelling of the heart and eventually heart muscle death. Babies born with HLHS are at risk for developmental difficulties and neurological complications. Ortinau seeks to determine how brain development follows the progression of HLHS.