Neonatology-Perinatology Research

The types of research conducted in the Division of Neonatology spans the clinical translational spectrum from bench to bedside to population health. Matching the diversity of research questions that are investigated is the diversity of funding received to support these projects including the National Institute of Health, state initiatives, foundation, industry, and philanthropy. Current areas of focus include:

  • Fetal origins of disease
  • Infant nutrition and metabolism
  • Health disparities
  • Global health
  • Quality improvement
  • Education and simulation

Ongoing Research Projects

  • A Quality Improvement Initiative to Reduce the Incidence of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD); Golden Hour Quality Initiative & Oxygen Saturation Monitoring Initiative (PI: Lauren Blatt, MD)
  • Effect of continuous heart rate availability on provider perceptions and neonatal resuscitation performance (PI: Catherine Chang, MD)
  • Delivering Serious News in the NICU – Communication Training for the NICU Provider (PI: Emily Echevarria, MD)
  • Improving Communication with Families from Underserved Populations Using Simulation-Based Training (PI: Dina Elachi, MD)
  • Racial/ethnic disparities in parents’ readiness for discharge in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) (PI: Ericalyn Kasdorf, MD)
  • A Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Effectiveness of Displaying Patient Pictographs in an Electronic Health Record to Prevent Wrong-Patient Electronic Orders (PI: James Kim, MD)
  • Metabolic mechanisms induced by enteral DHA and ARA supplementation in preterm infants (PI: Camilia Martin, MD MS)
  • Transgenerational Effect of Maternal High Fat Diet on Small RNA Expression in Mouse Germ Cells (PI: Liana Senaldi, MD)  
  • Khdc3 in the Inheritance of Obesity and Metabolic Disease: You Are What Your Grandmother Ate (PI: Matthew Smith-Raska, MD, PhD)
  • Reducing Unplanned Extubations in a Level IV NICU (PI: Priyanka Tiwari, MD)
  • Quality improvement project to improve follow up in Neonatal Neurodevelopment Clinic (PI: Mary Vernov, MD)
  • Reducing early neonatal mortality in Tanzania-low resource setting (PI: Jeffrey Perlman, MB, ChB)

Helping Babies Breath (HBB)

Jeffrey Perlman, M.B., Ch.B., leads robust global health programs in Tanzania and the Eastern Cape of South Africa, targeting the reduction of early neonatal mortality.  He introduced the Helping Babies Breathe program in Tanzania in 2009. A pilot implementation of the program resulted in a 47 percent reduction in early neonatal mortality. HBB was subsequently introduced nationally in Tanzania, and is now embedded in national medical and nursing school curricula. 

Other Global Health Initiatives

Weill Cornell Medicine global health researchers have reduced early neonatal mortality by 48 percent with maternal and neonatal antibiotics, antenatal steroids and avoidance of hypothermia. Methods to identify and manage newborn infants at risk for bilirubin encephalopathy and kernicterus secondary to unrecognized severe jaundice are also being tested.

FAQs for Parents

How do I know the research study is safe for my baby?
  •  All research studies are carefully designed so that they do not put you or your baby at risk. If there are risks, we will make sure you are informed and understand them completely.
  • All research at WCM-NYP is supervised by a special university panel called the Institutional Review Board (IRB), which makes certain that the study is safe, important, and ethical from start to finish.
 What are my rights as a parent?
  •  You are free to decide if you want your baby to take part in any study. Even if you agree at first, you may always change your mind later.
  •  You should never feel pressure to participate in a research study and not participating will not change your standard of care.
How do I get more information about the study once my baby is participating?
  •  You will be given study-related information from brochures, consent forms and/or information sheets, which will have the contact information for study staff if you have additional questions.
 What is a research study?
  • Research studies are done to learn the safest and most effective treatments for newborns in the NICU. These treatments can improve patient outcomes and enhance patient care.
Why is research important in the NICU?
  • Past research benefits your baby today. Research in the NICU maybe performed for different reasons, including:
  •  To compare new tests and treatments with existing tests and treatments, to see which is safer or better. 
  • To learn more about how newborn babies grow and develop. 
  • Our NICU staff provides the best care for your baby, regardless of your decision to participate in research.
 Where can I find more information about clinical research in general?
 How do I know if my baby is eligible to participate in a research study?
  • Each study has their own set of eligibility criteria.
  • During your baby’s stay in the hospital, the study team may approach you to talk to you about current research studies, let you know what you’re eligible for, and ask if you would like your baby to participate.
  • If you’re curious about studies, email us for more information.
What types of research studies are there in the NICU?
  • We do sample and data biorepositories where we collect samples over time, observational studies where babies are followed to look at outcomes, and interventional studies where something about the baby’s care is changed to see the effects of that change.
How do I get the results when the study is completed?
  •  Some studies may not have results to share, so ask the study team during the consent process.
 How do I decline to be in a research study?
  •  You don’t have to consent when there’s a consent form and information will be provided to you for all studies. You can also email to decline participation at any time.
  • For more information please contact the NICU Research Team at
  • Your quality of care will not change, whether or not you decide to participate in research.

Pediatrics Weill Cornell Medicine Appointments & Referrals: (646) 962-KIDS (646) 962-5437 Chair's Office: Weill Cornell Medicine 525 E 68th St.
Box 225
New York, NY 10065 (646) 962-5437