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Cynthia Bearer, MD

Cynthia Bearer, MD

  • Specialty: Neonatology
  • Languages Spoken: English

Biography: Cynthia Bearer, MD


  • Division Chief, Neonatology, UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital
  • Division Chief, Neonatology, UH Cleveland Medical Center
  • Professor, CWRU School of Medicine
  • William and Lois Briggs Chair in Neonatology, UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital

Certifications & Memberships

  • Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine - American Board of Pediatrics
  • Pediatrics - American Board of Pediatrics


Fellowship | Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine - St Louis Children's Hospital (1986 - 1987)

Fellowship | Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine - Boston Children's Hospital (1984 - 1986)

Residency | Pediatrics
Pediatrics - Johns Hopkins Hospital (1983 - 1984)

Other Education
Case Western Reserve University School Of Medicine (1972 - 1977)

Medical Education
Johns Hopkins University School Of Medicine (1983)

Smith College (1972)


Cynthia F. Bearer, MD, PhD, is the Chief of the Division of Neonatology at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, the William & Lois Briggs Professor of Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University and Editor-in-Chief of Pediatric Research, the official journal of the American Society of Pediatrics, the European Society for Paediatric Research and the Society for Pediatric Research.

Dr. Bearer completed a BA with honors in mathematics from Smith College; a PhD in biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University; and an MD from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She became an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University in 1994 where she was promoted to Professor of Pediatrics with tenure. In 2008 she moved to University of Maryland School of Medicine to become the Mary Gray Cobey Professor of Neonatology. In 2009 she became Chief, Division of Neonatology and in 2012 Associate Chair for Research. In 2019 she returned to Case Western Reserve University and UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital as the Division Chief of Neonatology, and the William & Lois Briggs Professor of Pediatrics.

In addition to her administrative responsibilities, she is actively involved in research, education and service. She has published extensively on fetal and pediatric environmental health. Her research has received funding from National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. EPA. She has established fatty acid ethyl esters as a biomarker for both in utero exposure to ethanol, and ethanol impact on neurocognitive outcomes. She holds a patent on this technology. Her laboratory is studying the impact of environmental and endogenous solvents on the development of the brain using both cellular and animal models. She is currently funded by the NIH/NICHD to study the impact of bilirubin and hypoxic ischemic injury on membrane microdomains. She is a frequently invited speaker nationally and internationally.

Dr. Bearer has published extensively in the scientific literature: 10 book chapters, and more than 100 peer reviewed articles. She is Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Pediatric Research. She is a member of the American Pediatrics Society, the European Society for Paediatric Research, and the Society for Pediatric Research. She has served on the Committee to Evaluate Children’s Health of the National Academy of Science. She is past President of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Study Group. She has served on the Scientific Advisory Board for the U.S. EPA. She is a past Chair of the Board for the Children’s Environmental Health Network. She is a Smith College Medalist. She has been recognized as “Best Doctors in America” since 2017. She is the 2019 recipient of the Children’s Environmental Health Network’s Child Health Advocate Science Award.

Research & Publications

Research Interests

Fetal and pediatric environmental health

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Industry Relationships

University Hospitals is committed to transparency in our interactions with industry partners, such as pharmaceutical, biotech, or medical device companies. At UH, we disclose practitioner and their family members’ ownership and intellectual property rights that are or in the process of being commercialized. In addition, we disclose payments to employed practitioners of $5,000 or more from companies with which the practitioners interact as part of their professional activities. These practitioner-industry relationships assist in developing new drugs, devices and therapies and in providing medical education aimed at improving quality of care and enhancing clinical outcomes. At the same time, UH understands that these relationships may create a conflict of interest. In providing this information, UH desires to assist patients in talking with their practitioners about industry relationships and how those relationships may impact their medical care.

UH practitioners seek advance approval for certain new industry relationships. In addition, practitioners report their industry relationships and activities, as well as those of their immediate family members, to the UH Office of Outside Interests annually. We review these reports and implement management plans, as appropriate, to address conflicts of interest that may arise in connection with medical research, clinical care and purchasing decisions.

View UH’s policy (PDF) on practitioner-industry relationships.

As of December 31, 2016, Cynthia Bearer did not disclose any Outside Relationships with Industry.