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In Brief | Division News
DRS. VALERIE CHOCK AND DAVID STEVENSON PRESENT AT CHOC CHILDREN'S: Valerie Chock, MD, Ms Epi, and David Stevenson, MD, were invited speakers at CHOC Children's 15th Annual Academic Day for Neonatologists in Orange, CA on November 14. Dr. Chock spoke about NIRS in the NICU and Dr. Stevenson spoke about predicting and preventing prematurity.
DR. GARY DARMSTADT AWARDED TWO SEPARATE $2 MILLION GRANTS: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will fund his work on preterm birth in collaboration with the Ottawa Hospital Research Initiative and the Ontario Newborn Screening Initiative. The research will explore the feasibility and validity of using newborn metabolic profiles from cord blood and newborn heel prick blood spots (along with select clinical data) for gestational age dating of newborn infants born in primary health facilities. Dr. Stevenson and Karl Sylvester, MD, are co-PIs. The other grant from the United Arab Emirates provides additional funding to support a forthcoming Lancet Series on the Gender Equality, Norms and Health. This initiative, also co-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, focuses on building the evidence on how transforming gender norms can improve health outcomes and wellbeing for women, men, girls, and boys.
PREMATURITY RESEARCH CENTER PUBLISHES SIGNIFICANT IMMUNOLOGICAL FINDINGS
Our March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center has had several high-impact articles published this fall, including two with important findings on the immune system during pregnancy that made the covers of Clinical Chemistry and Science Immunology. The Clinical Chemistry paper showed that during pregnancy there is a simultaneous up-regulation of antiinflammatory genes with an increased abundance of antimicrobial genes. The work in Science Immunology indicated predictable patterns of immunological events during normal, full-term pregnancies. Finally, we replicated our findings showing differences in the vaginal microbiome of women who delivered at term versus those who delivered preterm in a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Taken together, these findings add greater precision and nuance to the biological story of pregnancy and timing of birth.
DRS. BONIFACIO AND WUSTHOFF STUDY PRACTICES AND OPINIONS REGARDING COOLING IN NEONATAL HYPOXIC-ISCHEMIC ENCEPHALOPATHY: Sonia Bonifacio, MD, (senior author) and Courtney Wusthoff, MD, (first author) published a paper in the Journal of Perinatology regarding standards of care for therapeutic hypothermia in the state of California. Investigators surveyed neonatologists and neurologists across the state. Physicians’ thoughts on current practices and opinions helped inform the recently enacted California Children’s Services Program Requirements for Providing Neonatal Therapeutic Hypothermia. Other members of the Division involved in this work include Alexis Davis, MD, MS Epi, Krisa Van Meurs, MD, and Valerie Chock, MD, MS Epi, and Henry Lee, MD, MS Epi.