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Researcher | Research Overview

Jane Newburger's goals are to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and outcome of children with Kawasaki disease and to minimize neurologic problems that may occur after surgery for congenital heart disease. Dr. Newburger has focused on performing randomized trials of new therapies for these conditions.

Dr. Newburger designed an NIH-funded multicenter randomized trial comparing treatments for Kawasaki disease and directed the coordinating center for the study. The first phase of that trial compared high-dose intravenous gamma globulin plus aspirin to aspirin alone during the acute stage of the disease; the second phase compared the effects of two dose regimens of intravenous gamma globulin. Her other prospective studies in Kawasaki disease have focused on its epidemiology and long-term effects.

Recent dramatic reductions in cardiac surgical mortality have been accompanied by the recognition that the survivors frequently are frequently left with neurologic deficits, including mental retardation, seizures, cerebral palsy, and lifelong language and learning disorders. The majority of such brain injuries may be attributable to the support techniques used to protect vital organs during cardiac repair.

One of Dr. Newburger's early studies drew upon the database of the Regional Infant Cardiac Program, a prospective cohort study that collected perioperative and follow-up data on children with heart disease in New England. This work demonstrated that longer duration of cyanosis--reduced oxygen to the tissues--had an adverse effect on cognitive function. Subsequently, she has been principal investigator for a series of randomized clinical trials comparing the effects of different techniques for vital organ support during surgery--first on how well the patient does after surgery and, more recently, on the patient's subsequent neurologic and developmental function.

Researcher | Research Background

Jane Newburger received her MD from Harvard Medical School and MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. She completed an internship, residency, and fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital.

 

Researcher | Publications