Patient-Oriented and Translational Research
Stanford has a long history of bridging the gap between basic science and clinical research. Cutting-edge experimentations in our laboratories lead to identification of practical applications for the bedside, which include the validation of diagnostic biomarkers and novel, non-invasive devices and interventions. Clinical Research in the Division has been supported by our longstanding participation in national Network Trials and Spectrum Child Health.
Reducing healthcare disparities through access, clinical research participation and health care literacy is key to our research mission.
Areas of Investigation
- Clinical Trials: We've been participants in hundreds of clinical trials that have led to advances in neonatal care. Since 1991, we have maintained a leadership role within the NICHD Neonatal Research Network (NRN).
- Therapeutics: Neonates have historically been an underrepresented population in terms of therapeutic research and have lagged behind in the development of innovative personalized therapies specific to their unique needs. Over 90 percent of the drugs prescribed to neonates are “off-label," meaning no FDA-approved indications exist. While there have been recent national initiatives to support therapeutic research in children, such as the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA), only a tiny fraction included information on neonates. A focused, concerted effort is needed to safely use medicines in this vulnerable population. Through our participation in the NRN and Pediatric Trials Network, we are leaders in the development of new therapies for neonates. With the application of pharmacometrics, we are better able to understand the individual drug dose needs of each neonate based on his or her patient-specific characteristics.
- Clinical neuroscience: Protection of the developing newborn brain is an essential goal and focus in our NICU. In 2013 we unveiled our Neuro NICU which has six beds and manages the care of infants who are at risk for brain injury. Research in clinical neuroscience has led to creation of a therapeutic hypothermia program, brain magnetic resonance imaging protocols, and enhanced neuromonitoring with amplitude-integrated electroencephalography (aEEG) as well as near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS).
- Clinical hemodynamics: Hemodynamic monitoring in babies is used to assess the circulation of blood and ensure adequate blood flow to vital organs. There are many different monitoring devices that help us to determine how best to tailor therapy for individual babies. In clinical practice, Stanford neonatologists are now using innovative hemodynamic monitoring technologies developed here and tested in an evidence-based manner.
- Developmental care: We work to understand the physiology of the NICU care experience, particularly the language environment and kangaroo care, and its impacts on infant health and neurodevelopment.
- Neodesign: Founded in 2016, the NeoDesign's mission is to advance neonatal care by facilitating interaction between innovators in design, development, translation and commercialization of technology.
- Global Neonatal Health: We are expanding our resources and efforts to improve the care of mothers and babies worldwide.