The Division of Newborn Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine is comprised of basic and clinical sciences investigators, clinician educators, neonatal-perinatal fellows, outstanding nurses, and exceptional administrative staff. The research within the Division can be divided into several areas: regulation of newborn brain development and injury, the impact of the human microbiome on neonatal and long term disease risk, genetic contribution to neonatal and infant respiratory disease, and clinical investigations that focus on improving clinical quality, patient safety, and innovative clinical educational strategies. The Division currently maintains approximately $3 million in direct cost extramural funding from a variety of sources, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Using multidimensional educational strategies including simulation, problem based learning, manuscript review, peer and mentored learning, and multidisciplinary conferences, the Division supports a fellowship program of 12 fellows, active participation in the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Pediatric Residency program, medical student teaching, summer programs for medical, college and high school students.
The clinical services of the Division are anchored in the 75-bed level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Louis Children's Hospital (SLCH) that provides care to newborn infants born at Barnes-Jewish Hospital as well as those transported by the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Transport Team from all over the United States and abroad. The delivery services at Barnes-Jewish Hospital (~4,000 annual deliveries), Missouri Baptist Medical Center (MBMC, ~4,000 annual deliveries and 15 minutes west of the Washington University Medical Center) and Progress West Hospital (PWH, ~1,000 annual deliveries and approximately 30 minutes west of the medical center) support a 20-bed level III special care nursery and a 30-bed normal nursery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, a 20 bed level III special care nursery 30 bed normal nursery at MBMC, and a 15 bed normal nursery at PWH. These neonatal services are coordinated with the Division of Maternal-Fetal medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine, a full range of pediatric medical and surgical subspecialty services including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and active lung and heart transplant programs, primary care pediatricians, an active Fetal Care Center, and an infant follow-up clinic at SLCH.
These services have resulted in several important clinical observations, including the description, diagnosis and successful treatment by lung transplantation of infants with genetic disruption of surfactant metabolism (for example, surfactant protein-B or ABCA3 deficiency), an atlas for normal and abnormal development of the human infant brain based on MRI imaging of premature and term newborns, innovative evaluation and treatment of neonatal seizures through an active Neonatal Neurocritical Care Service in collaboration with Pediatric Neurology, and description of neonatal enteric microbiome signatures associated with increased risk for both neonatal morbidities (for example, necrotizing enterocolitis and bronchopulmonary dysplasia) and adverse, long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes.
The Division also hosts a newborn symposium every 2 years focused on a rapidly evolving area of newborn medicine.
Improve the health status of pregnant women and newborn infants by fostering the development of outstanding investigators and educators and by providing excellent clinical services for newborn infants and their families.