Fellows spend approximately two-thirds of their fellowship training actively engaged in research. The majority of this time occurs during the second and third years of fellowship. The goal of this endeavor is to ensure not only that our fellows complete a scholarly activity that allows them to sit for the Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Board Examination, but that each fellow proudly accomplishes something that contributes to the science of neonatology. Our program expects that each fellow will present their research at a national forum and author a manuscript based on their research prior to graduation. We are extremely proud to have been awarded an NIH T-32 training grant for the training of academic neonatologists. This grant funds research activities as well as coursework for three or four of our fellows. Other fellow research funding is available from AAP Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Section awards, industry-sponsored grants, endowments, and the Rainbow Fellowship Research Award in Pediatrics (FRAP).
The Division of Neonatology also has an active clinical research program. We are a founding member of the National Institute of Child Health (NICHD) and Human Development Neonatal Research Network (NRN), and participate in many multi-center clinical trials initiated by the NRN and other investigator groups. In addition, we have a renowned neonatal follow-up program, which has followed NICU survivors into adulthood. Other current active areas of research include apnea, gastroesophageal reflux, long-term pulmonary outcomes and nutrition. In order to support the logistics of the ongoing interventional and observational trials, the division hires several dedicated neonatal research nurses, and has established relationships with statisticians and database managers.
Our fellows use the first half of their first year of fellowship training to explore research ideas. They spend time in the laboratories of potential mentors and discuss ideas with clinical researchers. Fellows may choose mentors within or outside of the Division of Neonatology for their fellowship project.
Presentation at National Conferences
During their first year of fellowship training, the division sends each fellow to the annual Neonatology Conference at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, a sprawling, luxurious Pennsylvania resort and spa. Here, the first year fellows enjoy time relaxing and interacting with faculty members as well as neonatologists from multiple centers in the Midwest and Northeast. In the second and third years of fellowship, there are multiple regional and national conferences for fellows to present their research findings in intimate gatherings of fellows and nationally recognized neonatologists. Prior to graduation each fellow is expected to present their work at a large national meeting such as the annual Pediatric Academic Societies and/or the AAP NCE meetings. Our fellows have presented posters, poster symposia, and platform presentations in front of hundreds at these venues. Funding is available for fellow travel expenses and conference registration fees for such research presentations.