Research Highlights

Research has always played a critical role in improving the lives of children, and in the Division of Neonatology, we recognize that we can only improve how we care for premature and critically ill newborns by making strides in research. We also understand the respect and care that one must have for a newborn baby, and his family, when asking to participate in research.

At Cincinnati Children’s, research in the Division of Neonatology takes many forms, including clinical research that involves patients and patient care, quality-improvement research, where we work to improve our process of care delivery, and basic science research, where we seek to understand the biology of development and disease.

Cincinnati Children’s is one of the 16 special centers that make up the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development Neonatal Network, a group of neonatal centers that have been selected to evaluate treatments for premature babies. Internationally recognized for significant findings that have led to advances in the clinical care of newborns, the Neonatal Network is an important part of our clinical research.

The Division of Neonatology is part of the Section of Neonatology, Perinatal and Pulmonary Biology. For more information about our faculty research interests, activities and grant information, please visit our research pages.

Early Identification of Premature Babies at High-Risk for Disabilities

Learn more about our latest clinical study to help improve our understanding of brain development and developmental disabilities in premature babies. We look to develop innovative methods at birth for early identification or prediction of learning disabilities and cerebral palsy/movement problems. Learn more.


Through research, we have made tremendous strides in improving the lives of newborns, especially for those born prematurely. One of our success stories has been with surfactant. Babies born early have lungs that are immature. Prior to the discovery of surfactant, many babies were unable to survive because their lungs were too immature to support them.

Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s worked to understand what they could do to help premature babies, and through basic science research, made critical discoveries about surfactant and how it functions in the lungs of newborns. Surfactant helps to hold the lung open, and helps a baby establish stable breathing outside of the mother. We now give premature babies surfactant, introducing it through a breathing tube into their lungs, which has helped countless premature babies survive and grow.