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Dr. Agrawal's research focuses on the genetic basis and molecular mechanisms of rare diseases with special focus on congenital skeletal muscle disorders. His goals are:
Long-term, his research will help patients with orphan diseases without an identifiable cause. Identifying molecular basis for their disease will help find new potential therapies in the future.
Dr. Belfort’s research focuses on the long-term outcomes of infant growth and nutrition. Her interests include:
Ultimately Dr. Belfort hopes that her research will lead to better nutritional practices for all infants, as well as better overall health later in life
Dr. Brodsky's area of interest is medical education. She recently developed an interactive computer-based module for neonatology fellows focused on the “Principles of Teaching and Learning”. She has also co-written a Neonatology board review book (Brodsky, Martin) and co-edited a book for primary care clinicians caring for premature infants (Brodsky, Ouellette). Her current research areas include:
Dr. Burris studies potential underlying mechanisms behind racial disparities in preterm birth and poor fetal growth. Her goals are to:
Ultimately, Dr. Burris’s research may identify targets for interventions to reduce the incidence of preterm birth and its associated racial/ethnic disparities.
Dr. Cataltepe’s research focuses on regulation of angiogenesis in normal and pathological lung development as well as retinopathy of prematurity. Her studies also investigate the role of proteinase/antiproteinase balance in chronic lung disease of prematurity. Her research goals are to:
Ultimately, these studies may unravel novel mechanisms that could contribute to the development of improved therapies for common diseases of premature infants, such as chronic lung disease and retinopathy of prematurity.
Dr. Christou's research focuses on the effects of acidosis on vascular homeostasis. The current focus is the role of acidosis in the development of pulmonary hypertension. Her goals are to:
The Christou lab uses rodent models of pulmonary hypertension and a combination of in vivo physiologic and imaging studies to understand the effects of acidosis in this disease. In a complementary approach, they pursue molecular and cellular studies in isolated blood vessels and vascular cells to define the molecular mechanisms of the observed physiologic effects.
Dr. Dukhovny’s academic focus involves applying cost-effectiveness analysis and decision science to help optimize resource utilization and allocation in neonatal intensive care, a critical issue given the current constraints on the health care system
Ultimately, Dr. Dukhovny’s research hopes to assist the decision makers towards optimal and cost-effective resource utilization in the NICU, especially as new health care technologies are introduced to the field.
Dr. Grant is the Director of the Fetal-Neonatal Neuroimaging and Developmental Science Center (FNNDSC) at Children's Hospital Boston. The center's purpose is to create the infrastructure and provide the expertise needed to support and foster cutting edge clinical and translational science research involving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) across multiple subspecialties.
Dr. Grant holds a Master of Science degree in physics and an MD from the University of Toronto. She did her radiology residency at Vancouver General Hospital in British Columbia, Canada, and her fellowship in adult and pediatric neuroradiology at the University of California, San Francisco. She is now an associate professor of radiology at the Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Grant headed the Division of Pediatric Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital for five years before moving to Children's Hospital Boston to become the founding director of the Fetal-Neonatal Neuroimaging and Developmental Science Center and the first incumbent of Children's Hospital Boston Chair in Neonatology. At Children's she holds appointments in the Division of Newborn Medicine and the Department of Radiology.
Dr. Grant is a co-author of two popular textbooks for clinical neuroradiology and has won a number of awards for her research efforts as well as recognition for her clinical excellence.
Dr. Gray's previous research includes development of methods for performing cross-institutional assessments of NICU outcomes. Currently, his research is focused on advancing the integration of evolving information technologies into the practice and evaluation of newborn care. He is currently working to evaluate the impact of medical device technologies in Neonatal Intensive Care.
Dr. Gupta is interested in quality improvement, patient safety, and clinical innovation in neonatal intensive care. His work includes projects covering numerous areas of clinical care, with a particular focus on the respiratory support of preterm infants and determinants of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. His interests include:
Ultimately, Dr. Gupta hopes to contribute to novel methods of quality assurance and quality improvement in neonatal care in general, and in particular, to improving the respiratory care of preterm infants.
Dr. Kourembanas' area of research is in newborn lung vascular biology. Using bench to bedside approaches, her group is investigating the vascular responses to hypoxia at the molecular, cellular, and in vivo level. The long term goals of her research program are to:
Ultimately, Dr. Kourembanas' research may identify specific molecular targets for therapies of lung diseases, both to prevent and to reverse established injury.
Dr. Lerou's research goals are to advance the fundamental understanding of pluripotent stem cell biology and to explore how failure of genomic integrity impacts human development. They are developing novel live-cell and fixed-cell imaging techniques to study mitotic progression and genomic stability in human pluripotent stem cells. These techniques will be coupled with single cell analysis and computational biology approaches to improve our understanding of how cell cycle regulation and pluripotency are coupled. His research interests are:
The most common and clinically problematic form of genomic instability is aneuploidy, a hallmark of cancer and a cause of infertility and congenital developmental defects. The causes of aneuploidy remain largely unknown, yet the impact on development is profound. Aneuploidy affects 35% of clinically recognized spontaneous abortions, 4% of stillborns and 3 in 1000 live borns. Neonatologists witness firsthand the consequences of aneuploidy on development when they care for couples that have struggled with infertility and whose infants are afflicted by genetic syndromes. The long term goal of Dr. Lerou's research will be to use human pluripotent stem cell research to improve our understanding of early human development and how genomic instability disrupts normal development and contributes to birth defects.
Dr. McCormick's work focuses on the outcomes of high-risk neonates and interventions to improve their outcomes.
Her most recent project involved the follow-up at age 18 of a cohort of youth who had participated in a multi-site, randomized trial of early educational intervention for premature, low birth weight infants. These data are available for secondary analysis for students with fluency in SAS and statistics, and an interest in longitudinal development. To facilitate the follow-up of high-risk neonates, the members of the follow-up team are conducting a comparison of parental report on a structured questionnaire with the results of developmental testing in the clinic by trained professional observers. In addition, she is initiating a study on the predictors of depression in the mothers of NICU patients.
The outcome of this research is to define further the factors influencing the outcome of premature infants, especially those that may point to interventions to improve their outcomes.
Dr. Parad has several areas of interest in molecular genetics (genotype-phenotype relationships and screening) and clinical research, particularly with regard to respiratory diseases in newborns (including chronic lung disease and cystic fibrosis). His goals are to:
Dr. Parad's research aims to protect premature newborn lungs from injury and optimize their pulmonary outcomes.
Dr. Piao's research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that control normal brain development and malformation. Polymicrogyria is a brain malformation characterized by numerous (poly) small (micro) cortical foldings, named gyri. Recently, a new syndrome was described in which polymicrogyria is mainly localized to the frontal part of the cerebral cortex, but the rest of the cortex is relatively spared. Dr. Piao named this syndrome bilateral frontoparietal polymicrogyria (BFPP). Individuals with BFPP present severe mental retardation, gait difficulty, language impairment, and seizure disorders. Dr. Piao recently demonstrated that the causative gene of BFPP is GPR56, an orphan G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). Little is currently known about how GPR56 regulates brain development, and what its binding partners are. Her short-term goal is to establish how GPR56 delivers signals to cells and regulates the normal development of the brain. Specifically, she is focusing her research activities in the following two areas:
Further functional analysis of GPR56 in a mouse model will provide new insights and potential novel mechanisms in brain development and the pathophysiology of cortical malformation. Achieving the proposed objectives will likely yield information essential for genetic counseling, screening, as well as prediction, prevention, and possible treatments for polymicrogyria syndromes.
Dr. Puopolo’s research focuses on the epidemiology of neonatal early- and late-onset sepsis.
Dr. Rhein is involved in clinical research related to long-term pulmonary outcomes of neonatal lung diseases, especially bronchopulmonary dysplasia. He is also involved in studies that utilize long-term recorded oximetry to identify patterns of oxygen desaturation and determine which patterns of desaturation affect long-term neurodevelopmental and respiratory outcomes. His goals are to:
Ultimately, Dr. Rhein hopes that his research will define which patterns of oxygen desaturation require intervention to optimize long-term outcomes.
Dr. Shi’s research focuses on mechanisms of epigenetic regulation. His goals are to:
Ultimately, Dr. Shi’s studies are aimed at understanding fundamental regulatory mechanisms that impact the epigenetic states of the cell. Given the growing evidence of epigenetics in human diseases, Dr. Shi's findings may instruct development of future therapeutics.
Dr. Smith's conducts Health Services research on former preterm infants and their families. His goal is to:
Ultimately, the goal of Dr. Smith's research is to create interventions to improve outcomes for all preterm infants and their families.
Dr. Sola-Visner's research focuses on mechanisms underlying quantitative platelet disorders in neonates. Her goals are to:
Ultimately, Dr. Sola-Visner's research hopes to lead to better therapies for neonatal thrombocytopenia.
Dr. Van Marter's focus is on the epidemiology of neonatal cardiopulmonary disorders, in particular, Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) and Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN). She studies the antecedents of BPD, one of the commonest and most significant sequelae of prematurity, in an effort to understand how immaturity and care practices interact to modulate a preterm infant's risk of developing BPD. Her research also aims to eucidate the epidemiologic exposures of a pregnant woman and/or the newborn infant that cause or modify risk of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension among full-term infants. This life-threatening disorder cannot be diagnosed prenatally and usually affects otherwise normal term infants. The goals of Dr. Van Marter's research are to:
Dr. Zupancic's research focuses on improving the efficiency with which scarce health care resources are used in improving the health of children, and in particular, newborns. His two approaches to this area of health policy are to:
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”