Advanced Fetal Care Center | Research & Innovation

Boston Children's Hospital and the Advanced Fetal Care Center (AFCC) are committed to leading-edge clinical research and innovative medicine and surgery. We want to make a difference in your prenatal care, the care of your baby-to-be and the care of generations to come. The goal is to continue to find ways to detect and treat fetal disorders through medical and surgical innovation.

Ongoing research

Clinicians and researchers in the AFCC are currently overseeing or contributing to a variety of clinical research projects.

Newborn Medicine

  • Advanced Fetal Imaging - Phase II The goal of this study is advance fetal MRI imaging by designing MRI coils specifically for pregnant women and testing recently developed MRI image acquisition techniques.
    Contact: 857-218-5111 or email ellen.grant@childrens.harvard.edu
  • MRI Assessment of Placental Health
    The ultimate goal of this project is to develop methods that allow informed decision-making on the delivery time of fetuses that are at increased risk of stillbirth due to intrauterine growth restriction.
    Contact: 857-218-5111 or email ellen.grant@childrens.harvard.edu

Cardiac Surgery

  • Placental Biopsies in Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) Patients
    This study is researching the possibility of using stem cells obtained from placental tissue as a fetal intervention for patients with HLHS.
    Contact: 617-919-4457 or email Breanna.Piekarski@cardio.chboston.org
  • Preserved Umbilical Vein Use as Autologous Shunt Conduits in Neonatal Cardiac Surgery
    This is a prospective, single center, safety and feasibility trial to evaluate the use of autologous umbilical vein as shunts or conduits in neonatal cardiac surgery.
    Contact: 617-919-4457 or email Breanna.Piekarski@cardio.chboston.org

Neurology & Cardiology

  • Fetal Heart & Brain Project
    The purpose of the study is to better understand brain development in fetuses with congenital heart disease, and how it affects their long-term development.
    Contact: 617-355-8525 or email Reem.Chamseddine@childrens.harvard.edu

Cardiology

  • National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative (NPC-QIC)
    A Collaborative Initiative to Improve Care of Children with Complex Congenital Heart Disease - Phase II The purpose of this initiative is to improve care and outcomes for infants with HLHS by expanding the NPC-QIC national registry.
    Contact: 617-355-8427 or email terry.saia@cardio.chboston.org

Radiology

  • Motion-Robust Super-Resolution Diffusion Weighted MRI of Early Brain Development
    The overall objective of this research is to dramatically improve technology and knowledge for in-vivo analysis of normal and abnormal white matter structure and neural connectivity before and early after birth when the brain undergoes its most rapid formative growth.

Urology

  • Fetal Renal Extracorporeal Evaluation (FREE)
    This study is testing a painless, entirely non- invasive way to evaluate kidney function of a fetus using an MRI machine.
    Contact: 617-919-2023 or email michael.kurtz@ childrens.harvard.edu

General Surgery

  • Gene Mutations and Rescue in Human Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH)
    This study aims to identify genetic variations that cause CDH and associated disorders.
    Contact: 617-355-2555 or email cdhresearchstudy@childrens.harvard.edu

Complex Care

  •  The Neural Tube Defect Biomarker Study
    This study is looking for markers or labels in expectant mothers' urine and blood that are associated with a diagnosed spinal cord condition.
    Contact: 857-218-4009 or email Lily.cabour@childrens.harvard.edu