Research in Neonatology


  • Dr. Fairchild:  Physiology of heart rate variability due to sepsis; therapeutic hypothermia for neonatal encephalopathy, neonatal sepsis.
  • Dr. Kattwinkel:  Detecting and diagnosing Apnea using respiratory waveforms
  • Dr. Kaufman:  Fluconazole in preventing invasive Candida infections in ELBW babies; quality improvement (Improving outcomes in extremely low birth week infants from the delivery room to discharge), bacterial infection prevention, capillary leak on ECMO, pathogenesis of fungal infections, gungal susceptibilities with Fluconazole prophylaxis.
  • Dr. Paget-Brown:   Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) and chronic lung disease of infancy, developing biomarkers for early detection of risk for BP;, Apnea of prematurity, natural history and possible interventions
  • Dr. Sinkin: Quality improvement methods addressing variability in approach to care (evaluating human factors, cost effectiveness, and other systematic barriers); Evaluating the feasibility of daily, two-way videoconferencing intervention between parents and providers to maintain and support trusting and productive parent-provider relationships in the NICU.
  • Dr. Swanson: Quality improvement methods in the NICU; Cost-benefit of neonatal therapies, Critical congenital heart disease screening in Virginia
  • Dr. Vergales: Apnea of prematurity, therapeutic hypothermia for neonatal encephalopathy outreach teaching via telemedicine, quality improvement in the delivery room 
  • Dr. Zanelli:  Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic injury, basic mechanisms of cellular injury, role or nitric oxide, mitochondrial function, and electrophysiology on preterm infant development brain injury, therapeutic hypothermia for neonatal encephalopathy and EEG changes at different infant temperatures.

Fellow Research

  • Andrew Bowe: Prediction of extubation success
  • Manisha Patel: Apnea of prematurity
  • Spencer Rodgers: Neonatal sepsis
  • Matthew Harer: Acute kidney injury in the neonate and long term outcomes


The Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the University of Virginia participates in many clinical trials. Institutions and infants participating in clinical research have better overall outcomes. Clinical trials are conducted to study ways to improve care and also to look at other options for providing care to infants in the future. Your infant's participation may help your infant directly or allow us to gather information to use in the future.

Current clinical trials in the NICU include:

IRB-HSR # 10845
Impact of Heart Rate Characteristics Monitoring in Neonates
Changes in heart rate are collected from monitors and analyzed creating a score that correlates with infection. These changes often happen before other symptoms of infection giving us the ability to send cultures and start antibiotics earlier than we would know otherwise. Infants are randomized to the heart rate monitoring group or not to test if knowing this information early improves outcomes.

IRB-HSR # 12245
A Phase 3, Randomized, Double-Blind, Multi-Center Study to Compare the Efficacy and Safety of Micafungin versus Amphotericin B Deoxycholate for the Treatment of Neonatal Candidiasis
The purpose of this study is to learn more about the effectiveness of the medication Micafungin. This study also compares the two medications, Micafungin and Amphotericin B, for the treatment of fungal infections in the newborn infant.

IRB-HSR # 13848
Azithromycin to Prevent Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in Ureaplasma-infected Preterms: This study measures the level of the medication azithromycin in the blood after a single dose. This study also evaluates whether a single dose of azithromycin will effectively eliminate the Ureaplasma bacteria from the lungs of babies who have the infection and decrease lung injury.

IRB-HSR # 13971
Gloving and Handwashing to Prevent Invasive Infections in Necrotizing Enterocolitis
This study evaluates whether wearing gloves in addition to handwashing prevents infection in preterm infants.

IRB-HSR # 13690
Does the APOe4 Genotype have a Salutary Effect in Newborn Brain Injury?
The purpose of this study is to evaluate how different genes affect recovery from brain injury in the newborn infant.