• Research Faculty

  • A photo of Jeffrey Whitsett.

    Jeffrey A. Whitsett, MD Co-Director, Perinatal Institute

    investigates the hierarchy of transcriptional controls and signaling cascades which determine commitment of progenitor cells that produce the differentiated epithelial cells lining the primordial and mature respiratory tract. The goal of his research is to provide insight into the pathogenesis of acute and chronic lung disorders. The role of surfactant in innate host defense and lung function is also an ongoing interest.
    Visit the Whitsett Lab.


    A photo of James M. Greenberg.

    James M. Greenberg, MD Co-Director, Perinatal Institute

    investigates the developmental biology of pulmonary vascular development, including how vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mediates pulmonary vascular, lymphatic and airway development. He studies how VEGF mediates organization of pulmonary vasculature during late fetal life as well as how certain proteins implicated in axonal guidance during central nervous system development also direct developmental processes in the lung.


    A photo of Louis Muglia.

    Louis J. Muglia, MD, PhD Co-Director, Perinatal Institute

    is a pediatric endocrinologist whose research efforts seek to define the mechanisms controlling the timing for birth in humans to prevent or better treat human preterm labor. Recent efforts analyze the contribution of genetic determinants to preterm birth. A second area of investigation is elucidation of the molecular pathways involved in the behavioral and neuroendocrine responses to stress.
    Visit the Muglia Lab.


    A photo of Shawn K. Ahlfeld.

    Shawn K. Ahlfeld, MD

    investigates the effects of neonatal lung injury on alveolar repair and development. Using developmentally-relevant genetic and physiologic approaches, he is identifying the role of interstitial fibroblasts in mechanisms behind alveolar simplification characteristic of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, with the long-term goal of developing novel therapies that promote normal alveolar lung development and function.


    A photo of Henry Akinbi.

    Henry T. Akinbi, MD Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    studies host defense proteins in innate defense of the lungs using gene-targeted mice. The role of lysozyme in: 1) lung infection; 2) inflammation and 3) anti-oxidant defense is a major focus of his research program.


    A photo of Tanya Cahill.

    Tanya E. Cahill, MD Director, High-Risk Clinic

    is interested in high risk infant follow-up and neonatal abstinence syndrome.

    A photo of Michael Crossman.

    Michael W. Crossman, MD, PhD Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    focuses on intestinal function and host-microbial interactions, bioethics and neonatal palliative care.


    A photo of Hitesh Deshmukh.

    Hitesh Deshmukh, MD, PhD

    and his laboratory focuses on the role of intestinal commensal bacteria in development of appropriate innate immune responses to pathogens in neonates. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop novel therapeutic approaches to decrease mortality in premature babies, one of the most vulnerable groups.


    A photo of Neera Goyal.

    Neera K. Goyal, MD, MSc Attending Physician, Division of Hospital Medicine

    studies the role of hospital and community-based interventions to improve outcomes among preterm and other high risk newborns. Approaches to preterm birth prevention through social determinants of health is also an ongoing interest.


    A photo of Beth Haberman.

    Beth E. Haberman, MD Senior Medical Director, Neonatal Services

    has special interests in the care of infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia and follow-up care of premature and term infants with complex medical needs.


    A photo of Steven B. Hoath.

    Steven B. Hoath, MD

    has varied research interests including epidermal barrier development (in utero and postnatal), fetal and neonatal skin adaptation (skin/environment interactions), tissue engineering of human skin (in vitro systems), innate immune function (biology of vernix and skin proteomics), development of non-invasive skin-based sensors for brain monitoring and the role of the skin as a critical interface for health care delivery.


    A photo of Alan Jobe.

    Alan H. Jobe, MD, PhD Director, Division of Perinatal Biology

    has a special research focus on surfactant physiology. Dr. Jobe is also interested in lung maturation and lung injury in the fetus and newborn, the use of antenatal corticosteroids, and lung injury with ventilation of the preterm infant.


    A photo of Beth Ann Johnson.

    Beth Ann Johnson, MD, MA Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    has a research focus in perinatal cardiology, premature infants with congenital heart disease, fetal diagnosis, and simulation.


    A photo of Suhas G. Kallapur.

    Suhas G. Kallapur, MD Director, Neonatology Continuing Medical Education

    is interested in understanding how the fetus copes with and adapts to infectious and inflammatory insults in utero e.g. exposure to chorioamnionitis. Dr. Kallapur’s research focus is to understand the pathogenesis of lung injury and systemic inflammatory responses in fetuses and newborns. His lab uses a sheep model and has begun some work in humans.
    Visit the Kallapur Lab.


    A photo of Beena Kamath-Rayne.

    Beena D. Kamath-Rayne, MD, MPH Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    does clinical/translational research in preterm birth, fetal maturity and timing of delivery using biomarkers in amniotic fluid transcriptome. She is jointly appointed in Global Health. She is the associate editor for the 2nd Edition of Helping Babies Breathe (HBB), a global curriculum in neonatal resuscitation. She serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics Helping Babies Survive Planning Group. She is collaborating on several research studies of HBB around the world.


    A photo of Heather C. Kaplan.

    Heather C. Kaplan, MD, MSCE Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    focuses on understanding variations in evidence-based care practices across hospitals and identifying strategies for increasing the implementation of evidence and other innovations into practice. She recently began a line of investigation aimed at building the evidence base for quality improvement so that QI can be used more effectively as a strategy for improving quality and patient outcomes.


    A photo of Alan Kenny.

    Alan P. Kenny, MD, PhD

    studies the molecular mechanisms controlling the earliest stages of respiratory and digestive organ development, including the role of a pool of foregut progenitor cells in the ventral endoderm which are induced by FGF and BMP signals emanating from the cardiogenic mesenchyme.


    A photo of Paul Kingma.

    Paul S. Kingma, MD, PhD Neonatal Director, Cincinnati Fetal Center

    investigates the role of the innate immune system in neonatal infection. Specific projects currently focus on the role of surfactant protein D in neonatal sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome and on neutrophil function in cystic fibrosis patients.


    A photo of Thomas Korfhagen.

    Thomas R. Korfhagen, MD, PhD Attending Pediatrician, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    studies the roles and mechanisms whereby surfactant proteins A, B, D, Relm peptides and EGF receptor signaling control lung infections, inflammation and responses to lung injury. Translational studies assessing processes to reduce the extent of lung injury and remodeling in neonates and adults.


    A photo of Kristin Melton.

    Kristin R. Melton, MD Associate Program Director, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship

    is interested in early craniofacial development and focuses on the tissue interactions that direct the formation, migration and differentiation of neural crest cells. The Melton Lab focuses on understanding the influence of the endothelium and the cranial mesoderm on neural crest development.


    A photo of Stephanie Merhar.

    Stephanie L. Merhar, MD, MS Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    is interested in optimizing neuroimaging in preterm and term infants at risk for brain injury, neonatal seizure treatment and neurodevelopmental outcomes of infants in the NICU.


    A photo of Nagendra Monangi.

    Nagendra K. Monangi, MD Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology


    A photo of Ardythe L. Morrow.

    Ardythe L. Morrow, PhD Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Human Milk and Lactation


    A photo of Laurel Moyer.

    Laurel B. Moyer, MD Medical Director, TriHealth Nurseries

    has research interests that include quality improvement, late preterm infants, and international health.


    A photo of Vivek Narendran.

    Vivek Narendran, MD, MRCP, MBA Medical Director, University of Cincinnati Medical Center NICU

    is interested in innate immunity of the skin with a particular focus on epidermal biomarkers and antimicrobial peptides on the skin surface.


    A photo of Amy Nathan.

    Amy T. Nathan, MD Medical Director, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    focuses on antecedent factors leading to necrotizing enterocolitis and is interested in applying quality improvement methods to reduce the incidence of this major morbidity in preterm infants.


    A photo of Laurie Nommsen-Rivers.

    Laurie A. Nommsen-Rivers, PhD, RD, IBCLC

    has research interests that include human milk and lactation, clinical management of the breastfeeding dyad and perinatal epidemiology. 


    A photo of Mihaela Pavlicev.

    Mihaela Pavlicev, PhD

    is an evolutionary geneticist working on the structure of genetic variation of complex traits, with a special focus on epistasis and pleiotropy. Understanding how past evolution shaped this structure can help identify the genetic basis of complex traits, including complex disease. The lab uses computational, theoretical and experimental methods in two systems: vertebrate limbs and birth timing.
    Visit the Pavlicev Lab.

    A photo of Brenda Poindexter.

    Brenda Poindexter, MD, MS Director of Clinical and Translational Research, Perinatal Institute


    No photo available

    John H. Reuter, MD, PhD Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    is active in the administration of a 4000 delivery/year community level II service. His academic interests include breast milk and nutrition in the preterm infant.


    A photo of Ward Rice.

    Ward R. Rice, MD, PhD Medical Director, Newborn Services, St. Elizabeth Medical Center

    studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate processing of surfactant protein C, a protein that is critical for lung function.


    A photo of Kurt Schibler.

    Kurt R. Schibler, MD Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    is the principal investigator for the NICHD Neonatal Research Network at Cincinnati Children’s and is also involved in thematic collaborative research investigating the immune mechanisms underlying morbidity and mortality associated with preterm birth. He aims to identify infants at high risk for developing necrotizing enterocolitis and late onset infection and to devise strategies to prevent and to treat these complications.


    A photo of Deborah Sinner.

    Debora I. Sinner, PhD

    is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying foregut formation. Specifically, her lab focuses on the molecular mechanism underlying lung and upper airway development and the paracrine interactions between epithelium and mesenchyme. Ultimately, her goal is to use the embryo as a paradigm to understand diseases affecting upper airway and lung. To this end her lab utilizes knockout mouse models and the frog embryo combined with molecular and cellular approaches using in vitro systems.


    A photo of Kristen Suhrie.

    Kristen Suhrie, MD Neonatologist, Perinatal Institute

    is working on a translational research project to develop a prenatal genetic screening test to identify fetuses affected by genetic disorders using cell free fetal DNA obtained from a maternal blood sample as early as the first trimester of pregnancy. The goal of her research is to identify fetuses affected by genetic disease early in pregnancy to allow for improved prenatal and neonatal care for these patients.


    A photo of Laura Ward.

    Laura Placke Ward, MD

    focuses on strategies to prevent significant hyperbilirubinemia in term and late preterm infants.


    A photo of Kathy Wedig-Stevie.

    Kathy E. Wedig-Stevie, MD Medical Director, High Risk Follow-up Clinic at Good Samaritan Hospital

    focuses on neonatal follow-up, including the follow-up of graduates from the NICU and drug exposed neonates with neonatal abstinence syndrome. Her future research plans involve neuroimaging and therapy based on the neurological findings.


    A photo of Scott Wexelblatt.

    Scott L. Wexelblatt, MD Medical Director, Regional Newborn Services

    has interests in the late preterm infant and regional newborn care.