A photo of Stephanie Merhar.

Attending Neonatologist, Perinatal Institute, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

Research Director, NICU Follow Up Clinic
Follow Up Principal Investigator, Cincinnati site, NICHD Neonatal Research Network

Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

513-803-5180

Board Certified

"In my practice, I listen carefully to families. I know that I don't have all of the answers and that parents know their child best."

My Biography & Research

Biography

Since I was 12 years old, I knew that I wanted to be a pediatrician. What could be better than being a doctor who gets to work with kids? During my pediatric residency at Cincinnati Children’s, I was drawn to neonatology because it offered me the opportunity to care for acutely ill babies and build long-term relationships with families through the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) follow-up clinic.

As a neonatologist who cares for sick and preterm babies, I have a special interest in babies with brain injury and those exposed to substances such as opioids.

In my practice, I listen carefully to families. I know that I don't have all of the answers and that parents know their child best. In the NICU and our follow-up clinic, we collaborate with families and other care providers, such as neurologists, pulmonologists, therapists, nutritionists and nurses.

The research I do focuses on how the newborn brain can bounce back from insults including brain injury and substance exposure. I am also interested in using MRI as a tool to predict and improve the outcomes of term and preterm babies with brain injury. I am honored every time someone is interested in the research my team is doing.

Additional Languages

French

Clinical Interests

Infants with perinatal brain injury; neonatal follow up.

Research Interests

Follow-up outcomes; advanced neuroimaging to predict outcomes in infants with brain injury.

Academic Affiliation

Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Clinical Divisions

Newborn Intensive Care NICU, Perinatal, Fetal Care, Neonatology

Research Divisions

Neonatology



Blog Posts

$8M Grant Funds Long-Term Opioid Exposure Study

Perinatal

$8M Grant Funds Long-Term Opioid Exposure Study

Stephanie L. Merhar, MD, MS10/6/2021

My Locations

My Education

MD: University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 2005.

Residency: Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 2005-2008.

Fellowship: Neonatology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 2008-2011.

Certification: Pediatrics, 2008.

My Publications

Perinatal Risk and Protective Factors in the Development of Diffuse White Matter Abnormality on Term-Equivalent Age Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Infants Born Very Preterm. Parikh, NA; Sharma, P; He, L; Li, H; Altaye, M; Priyanka Illapani, VS; Arnsperger, A; Beiersdorfer, T; Bridgewater, K; Cahill, T; et al. Journal of Pediatrics. 2021; 233:58-65.e3.

Venovenous versus venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation among infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy: is there a difference in outcome?. Agarwal, P; Rintoul, N; Zaniletti, I; Keene, S; Mietzsch, U; Massaro, AN; Billimoria, Z; Dirnberger, D; Hamrick, S; Seabrook, RB; et al. Journal of Perinatology. 2021.

Associations Between Early Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination, and General Movements Assessment in Infants Born Very Preterm. Harpster, K; Merhar, S; Priyanka Illapani, VS; Peyton, C; Kline-Fath, B; Parikh, NA. Journal of Pediatrics. 2021; 232:80-86.e2.

Umbilical Cord Milking vs Delayed Cord Clamping and Associations with In-Hospital Outcomes among Extremely Premature Infants. Kumbhat, N; Eggleston, B; Davis, AS; DeMauro, SB; Van Meurs, KP; Foglia, EE; Lakshminrusimha, S; Walsh, MC; Watterberg, KL; Wyckoff, MH; et al. Journal of Pediatrics. 2021; 232:87-94.e4.

Neurodevelopmental outcome of preterm infants enrolled in myo-inositol randomized controlled trial. Adams-Chapman, I; Watterberg, KL; Nolen, TL; Hirsch, S; Cole, CA; Cotten, CM; Oh, W; Poindexter, BB; Zaterka-Baxter, KM; Das, A; et al. Journal of Perinatology. 2021.

Limitations of Conventional Magnetic Resonance Imaging as a Predictor of Death or Disability Following Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy in the Late Hypothermia Trial. Laptook, AR; Shankaran, S; Barnes, P; Rollins, N; Do, BT; Parikh, NA; Hamrick, S; Hintz, SR; Tyson, JE; Bell, EF; et al. Journal of Pediatrics. 2021; 230:106-111.e6.

Phenobarbital and Clonidine as Secondary Medications for Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome. Merhar, SL; Ounpraseuth, S; Devlin, LA; Poindexter, BB; Young, LW; Berkey, SD; Crowley, M; Czynski, AJ; Kiefer, AS; Whalen, BL; et al. Pediatrics. 2021; 147.

Extremely preterm children demonstrate hyperconnectivity during verb generation: A multimodal approach. Barnes-Davis, ME; Merhar, SL; Holland, SK; Parikh, NA; Kadis, DS. NeuroImage: Clinical. 2021; 30.

Site-Level Variation in the Characteristics and Care of Infants With Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal. Young, LW; Hu, Z; Annett, RD; Das, A; Fuller, JF; Higgins, RD; Lester, BM; Merhar, SL; Simon, AE; Ounpraseuth, S; et al. Pediatrics. 2021; 147.

Factors that Influence Longitudinal Growth from Birth to 18 Months of Age in Infants with Gastroschisis. Nair, N; Merhar, S; Wessel, J; Hall, E; Kingma, PS. American Journal of Perinatology. 2020; 37:1438-1445.