Babies born early or with congenital infections or malformations often need intensive care, and our Division of Neonatology is already at the national forefront in pioneering the use of surfactant and the prevention of retinopathy of prematurity in infants born early. But we must do even better. Prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, later life susceptibility to pneumonia and asthma – all possible only with research and all within reach of the next generation of neonatology physician-scientists.
Our neonatology and pulmonology fellows spent the better part of two years working in the laboratories of our scientists so they can bridge the gap between the neonatal intensive care unit and the laboratory and bring the laboratory discoveries back to the NICU. Rebecca Barnett, D.O., is piloting gene therapy for surfactant deficiency in the laboratory of David Dean, Ph.D.. Diana Go, M.D., is examining the role of cellular immune mechanisms in bronchopulmonary dysplasia in the laboratory of Gloria Pryhuber, M.D.. Echezona Maduekwe, M.D., is exploring the effects of different intensities and durations of oxygen therapy on injury and development of the prematurely postnatal lung. Endowing fellowships and professorships for our mentors is an investment in the enhancement of health for generations to come!