Throughout my career as a neonatologist and researcher, I’ve cared for infants with complex medical and surgical problems and led efforts to reduce preterm birth and infant mortality in our community. I also study the link between social determinants of health and health outcomes.
I started my career as a molecular and cellular biologist, but over time, I found that medicine — especially pediatric medicine and neonatology — incorporates the perfect combination of human and scientific problems that are worth solving. Even though children fully represent the future, they are underrepresented recipients of research and advocacy that can provide the best outcomes.
Children also manifest fascinating, fundamental biological questions: How does development work? Why does it work so well most of the time, and why and how does it sometimes go wrong? The patients we see in neonatal-perinatal medicine are rapidly growing and developing, and the disease processes they experience present exciting opportunities for research to improve their outcomes.
Through my research, I seek to understand how variables such as race and place of residence manifest as biological events, such as preterm birth. I’ve also focused on the developmental biology of the lung, neonatal chronic lung disease and neonatal epidemiology.
Research like this informs the care we provide at Cincinnati Children’s. We’re one of a handful of Neonatal Research Network Centers established by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Our investigators receive millions of dollars in extramural funding annually to support our basic, translational and clinical research endeavors.
Our division also has an active quality improvement program focused on outcomes in various clinical settings. Efforts range from improving reliability of delivery room thermal stability to reducing central-line-associated bloodstream infections in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
In addition to my clinical and research activities, I’m also co-director of the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s — one of the largest comprehensive clinical and academic programs for newborn care in the United States. I led the dramatic growth of the neonatology clinical program from 12 faculty physicians providing care at two NICUs, to more than 60 physicians providing newborn care at 15 regional hospitals with five NICUs.
In 2013, I co-founded Cradle Cincinnati, a collective impact based within the Perinatal Institute, that aims to eliminate infant mortality in Hamilton County. I’ve also authored more than 75 original research articles and six chapters in the Pediatrics, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and Pulmonology textbooks.