The Neonatology Section coordinates a robust and productive clinical research program based in the Division of Neonatology at USU/WRNMMC with the mission of improving health outcomes of children born to military personnel, in particular to those born preterm. The projects include collaboration with faculty from other departments at USU, and co-investigators at NIH and other academic health centers.
STUDIES TO IMPROVE THE LONG TERM HEALTH OF INFANTS, IN PARTICULAR FOR INFANTS BORN PRETERM
A multicenter clinical trial, funded by a 5-year NIH grant, is currently underway to assess if preventing the inflammation resulting from intermittent hypoxia events with extended duration of caffeine treatment will reduce the extent of inflammation and of white matter injury in preterm infants. Other studies assesses growth in infants born preterm compared to full term infants established for the first time normative anthropometric data, including for BMI.
ANALYSES OF THE BENEFITS OF MATERNAL FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTATION ON INFLAMMATORY BIOMARKERS DURING PREGNANCY AND EARLY NEONATAL LIFE
In partnership with Dr. Hee-Yong Kim, PhD, Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Signaling, NIAAA (NIH), a novel metabolite (synaptamide) responsible for the anti-inflammatory effect of these fatty acids has been identified in breast milk. We are now investigating, in pregnant woman at high risk for inflammatory complications, the anti-inflammatory effects of supplementation and the potential for decreased inflammatory sequelae in their infants.
BIOMARKERS AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
In collaboration with Dr. Aaron Hall at the Naval Medical Research Center, WRNMMC Departments of Radiology and Anesthesiology, and the Air Force Research Labs, we are conducting a clinical trial analyzing volatile organic compound (VOC) profiles in pregnant women admitted with preterm, premature rupture of membranes, a complication that often leads to preterm birth, infection, and adverse neonatal outcomes. These studies will determine clinical utility of a noninvasive means for early detection and treatment of inflammatory conditions.
A current clinical trial in neonates is underway comparing standard pulse oximetry to a new wireless pulse oximeter. This wireless technology has the potential to improve quality of life for military families of infants requiring home monitoring surveillance and also to enhance feasibility for improving transport capabilities of forward deployed medical teams.