Research Opportunities

2015 Astrid smiling at bench

Scholarly training of OHSU Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship trainees to become physician-scientists is central to the training program. Discovery is integral to this training, and research can be accomplished with mentors within and outside of the OHSU Division of Neonatology. OHSU offers a rich array of basic, translational, clinical, and health services research, more than a dozen shared resources that support this research, as well as nationally-recognized centers of excellence, including the Knight Cancer Institute, the Knight Cardiovascular Institute, and the Oregon National Primate Research Institute

The research interests of the program's faculty are diverse and can be classed into six areas – basic science research, translational sciences, clinical investigation, simulation medicine, epidemiology and health policy, and quality improvement science. The interests of the Division's faculty are described below. 

Fellow scholars meet with the Program Director and Division faculty to delineate research interests within the first several months of fellowship. Significant effort is dedicated to this process to maximize opportunity for a successful investigative career. This is followed by the choice of a research mentor and project, with scholarly activities to commence within the first year of fellowship. As part of their career development, fellows may choose to pursue an advanced degree, including a Masters of Public Health and Clinical Research.

In the past five years, 75% of the fellowship graduates have taken academic positions.

2015 Astrid at bench

Pratt Foundation Fellowship

The Pratt Foundation Fellowship is a generous gift to the OHSU Division of Neonatology in support of the scholarly training of OHSU Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine fellows. $50,000 per year is available for OHSU NPM fellow research; fellows and their mentors must apply for this grant mechanism, and are expected to use this source to fund and propel their investigations forward. This award represents a significant achievement in a young investigator career. 

Research Presentations

Critical to an early investigator's academic career is support for presentation of their work at regional, national and international meetings. OHSU NPM Fellowship Program scholars may draw on Department of Pediatrics support for such meeting presentations, as well as a Division of Neonatology funds through a generous gift in support of trainee presentations. 

Primate Center

Primate Center

As one of the eight National Primate Research Centers in the United States, our mandate as a Center is to provide Nonhuman Primate (NHP) resources for the very best scientific programs, both within the Oregon Health & Science University community and beyond.

Learn more

Research Team

Howard Cohen

Howard Cohen

Dr. Howard Cohen is an Affiliate Associate Professor. He completed his Pediatric and Neonatology training at the University of Chicago. Following that, he has held a variety of clinical and administrative positions and academic positions during his extensive career. He also participated in two post graduate programs at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Illinois focused on patient safety. He is the Medical Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Salem Hospital in the capitol city of Oregon.

Dr. Cohen's main research interests are related to patient safety in the NICU and more broadly across organizations. He is particularly interested in newborn resuscitation and stabilization and the use of video and simulation to improve reliability of technical and teamwork aspects of resuscitation. He is also very interested in quality improvement in the NICU, particularly related to using the tools and methods, involving families in work, and understanding how NICUs are able to make successful, sustained improvements. To that end, Dr. Cohen has served on the faculty of a multitude of Vermont Oxford Network Quality Collaboratives, and is nationally recognized for his contributions to increasing reliability of care and family integrated care.

Dmitry Dukhovny

Dmitry Dukhovny

Dr. Dukhovny is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and directs the Division's Health Services research. He attended medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine, completed his pediatric residency at the Boston Combined Residency in Pediatrics (Boston Children's Hospital/Boston Medical Center) and received his neonatal-perinatal medicine training in the Harvard Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Program. Dr. Dukhovny is a leading young researcher in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine cost-effectiveness analysis, particularly alongside clinical trials. He is also involved in quality improvement (QI) work, including education and collaborative QI. He helped to co-found and now co-leads the regional QI collaborative amongst the 11 NICUs in Oregon and Southern Washington, specifically around antibiotic stewardship in the NICU. He is currently on faculty for the Vermont Oxford Network (VON) for the "Choosing Antibiotics Wisely" initiative and is the VON Fellow Liaison (a role focused on educational opportunities surrounding QI for neonatal trainees). In addition to the national curriculum development through VON, Dr. Dukhovny, together with a multidisciplinary team) has helped to initiate a longitudinal QI/Patient Safety curriculum for OHSU fellows. His research seeks to analyze neonatal treatments to maximize the efficiency with which scarce resources are used to improve the health of newborns and critically ill neonates. Dr. Dukhovny's work provides economic evaluations alongside neonatal clinical trials, and uses computer modeling to determine best practice where evidence is currently lacking or where empirical studies are infeasible. His current project includes a population based analysis of maternal and child outcomes of births and costs as it relates to the maternal fertility status (fertile, sub-fertile, and assisted reproductive technologies) on births in Massachusetts (co-investigator;2R01HD067270-06). He has and continues to serve as a mentor for several neonatal fellows. 

Ladawna Gievers

Dr. Gievers is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics. She attended medical school at Marshall University and completed residency and fellowship at Oregon Health and Science University and joined the faculty in July 2017. Her research interests include adding to the literature as it pertains to pediatric bioethical issues. She has completed the bioethics certificate program at Mercy Children's in Kansas City and now serves on the institutional ethics committee. Her fellowship projects included looking at blood pressure in neonates, including describing the characteristics of hypertension in preterm neonates and evaluating the relationship between blood pressure and lung function. In addition, she led the implementation of the Kaiser Sepsis Risk Calculator for early onset sepsis at OHSU, including the evaluation and cost analysis.

Trang Huynh

Trang Huynh

Dr. Huynh is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and is the medical director for the OHSU Neonatology Telemedicine network.  She completed her pediatric residency at DuPont Hospital for Children at Philadelphia, and her neonatal-perinatal medicine fellowship at Columbia University.  Dr. Huynh's laboratory focuses on Neonatal Simulation, with a specific interest in the efficacy of simulation delivered via telemedicine, as well as a new research interest in simulation for parents. Dr. Huynh has used simulation-based neonatal resuscitation education with pediatric residents, neonatal fellows, NICU nursing staff, well baby and labor and delivery room medical staff to improve skills, confidence, and team communication.  Her research has been on the use of deliberate practice in the mastery and retention of neonatal resuscitation skills as well as manikin studies to assess the most effective ways of delivering CPR in the neonate.  As director of the OHSU Neonatal Telemedicine Program, Dr. Huynh is extending her research interests to studying the efficacy of telesimulation for remote but critical access care hospitals in Oregon to help improve patient care.  Additionally, Neonatal ICU patients are often discharged to home with higher than background risk for a need for resuscitation at home, and yet parents receive either no or minimal CPR instruction.  Dr. Huynh's lab aims to improve the preparation for these parents for home resuscitation by studying the efficacy of simulation as an improvement for home CPR skill acquisition, using lessons learned from Simulation Medicine.

Brian Jordan

Brian Jordan

Dr. Jordan is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, and is a Primary Investigator and co-founder of the OHSU Sex Development Program. He attended medical school and graduate school at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, where he completed a PhD in Human Genetics as well as his MD. He completed his training in the combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Program, served Chief Resident in Pediatrics, and completing his fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine –all at the University of Michigan. He is triple boarded in Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, and Neonatology. Dr. Jordan has two main areas of academic interest –1) Lung Function in ELBW premature infants and 2) Infants with Disorders of Sex Development. In infant lung function, he is interested in expanding our understanding how lung function changes over time in premature infants with a special interest in pulmonary function testing. In collaboration with Dr. Cindy McEvoy, he has been working on studies to evaluate the duration of the effect of "rescue" antenatal steroids on lung function in premature infants. In a related project, Dr. Jordan's group is studying the trajectory of lung function during the neonatal period among ELBW premature infants. In addition, continuing his earlier work on sex determination, he has cofounded the OHSU Sex Development Program along with collaborators in Pediatric Endocrinology (Dr. Kara Connelly) and Pediatric Urology (Dr. Casey Seideman) which now conducts OHSU's first clinic for disorders of sexual differentiation. This program is now one of 11 members of the nationwide Disorders of Sex Development Translational Research Network consortium.

Amanda Kim

Amanda Kim

Dr. Kim provides neonatal medical direction for the OHSU Fetal Therapy Program. She attended medical school at the University of Washington, and completed her pediatric and neonatal-perinatal medicine training at OHSU. Dr. Kim's research is focusing on the impact expecting a baby with congenital anomalies has on a couple as well as socioeconomic risk factors for stress and depression in these parents. Identifying these risk factors may help us best support these families during a very difficult time. Dr. Kim eventually aims to standardize the manner in which neonatologists carry out prenatal consults based on evidence and best practices, such that all neonatologists can have validated, reliable tools to effectively communicate with families before and during their NICU stay. 

Wannasiri (Awe) Lapcharoensap, M.D.

Wannasiri Lapcharoensap

Dr. Lapcharoensap is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics. She attended medical school at the University of California, San Diego and completed Pediatrics residency at Loma Linda University Medical Center. She recently finished her Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine fellowship at Stanford University where she was a research fellow at the California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative (CPQCC). Research interests include hospital variation of care, neonatal epidemiology and outcomes, effectiveness of quality improvement, and neonatal resuscitation. Current projects include utilizing neonatal simulation training to improve delivery room resuscitation, studying hospital variation in the incidence and cost of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and participation in a regional quality improvement collaborative focused on antibiotic stewardship.

Kelvin MacDonald

Kelvin MacDonald

Dr. MacDonald is an Associate Professor Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology and former neonatal-pediatric Respiratory Therapist. Dr. MacDonald's laboratory splits its time between maternal programming of neonatal and childhood lung disease and Cystic Fibrosis. The labs works closely on several projects with Dr. McEvoy's laboratory and clinical trials team.  Using a mouse model of maternal obesity, Dr. MacDonald has shown that offspring of obese mothers receiving high fat diets have simplified air spaces and are far more likely to have reactive airways. The research will include defining the structural, functional, biochemical, and genetic elements of the lung in such offspring. The MacDonald lab is also pursuing two projects involving the influence of constant positive airway pressure on lung development. The research includes a clinical component which is currently underway in the NICU in conjunction with Drs. McEvoy and a NIH R01-funded study on rhesus monkey neonates at ONPRC. The goal of the research is to study the effect of CPAP on lung structure, function, and growth in premature non-human primates. Most recently, they developed a model of esophageal pH monitoring while undergoing nCPAP treatment. Stay tuned for more.

Cindy McEvoy

McEvoy

Dr. McEvoy is a physician scientist with a long-term research goal to advance the understanding and treatment of the fetal origins of neonatal and infant lung disease. She is accomplishing this goal by conducting clinical and translational projects that incorporate the use of newborn and infant pulmonary function tests (PFTs). She has conducted a number of randomized clinical trials examining the impact of different regimes of antenatal and postnatal steroids on newborn pulmonary function and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). She recently completed a randomized trial demonstrating that daily supplemental vitamin C given to pregnant smokers improved their newborn's PFTs and decreased the incidence of wheezing through one year of age. This improvement was influenced by nicotine receptor polymorphisms. With her current R01 funding ( www.vcsip.org ), she is collaborating with Indiana University to measure forced expiratory flows in infants born to pregnant smokers randomized to vitamin C versus placebo and with the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) to investigate the mechanism of action of vitamin C in the face of in-utero smoke exposure. She is also the PI of a cohort included in the ECHO (Environmental Children's Health Outcomes) collaborative of over 50,000 children investigating the effect of a variety of environmental factors on childhood health outcomes including asthma. She is also a PI of an ongoing NIH supported randomized controlled trial at the Oregon National Primate Research Center studying the effects of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) on lung growth and function in primates delivered moderately premature. Dr. McEvoy is also interested in the impact of late preterm delivery, extended duration of CPAP on PFTs in the NICU, and the impact of maternal obesity on infant respiratory disease and PFTs. She is collaborating with Dr. Kelvin MacDonald to investigate the effect of maternal diet and obesity on PFTs in a murine model and working with Dr. Peta Grigsby in a primate model of antenatal Ureaplasma colonization. These projects reach across many campuses in the Pacific Northwest including the Oregon National Primate Research Center, the Kaiser Research Center, and Obstetric clinics in both Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. Dr. McEvoy is also a member of an International Collaborative Study Group conducting an individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis on repeat dosing of antenatal steroids and recently served on a NIH task force on the primary prevention of BPD.

Astrid Platteau

Dr. Astrid S. Platteau is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics. She completed medical school In Venezuela and came to US in 2007. She worked as a Post-Doctoral research fellow at the University of Miami where she develop an interest in lung development and chronic lung disease while working with mice and rats. She completed her residency of Pediatric at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida and her Neonatology Fellowship at Oregon Health and Science University. She worked with Dr MacDonald during fellowship developing a mouse model to show the effect of high fat diet in lung development. 

Currently Dr Platteau is working in quality care improvement projects at Salem Hospital as part of the Vermont Oxford Network Collaborative, specifically improving the care of Very Low Birth Babies during their first 72 hours of life.

Sage Saxton

Sage Sxton, Ph.D.

Dr. Saxton is a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Neonatology, a Clinical Psychologist, and the Director of the Oregon Health Science University (OHSU) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Follow-Up Program. She provides consultation to the NICU and Mother Baby Unit (MBU) at OHSU and works to improve Family Centered Care and the NICU experience both locally and nationally. She serves as LEND Training Director and provides training to both pre-and postdoctoral students and residents in psychology. 

Dr. Saxton's research interests include developmental and educational outcomes for children born prematurely, outcomes for children receiving cochlear implants, children's adjustment to traumatic loss, and the provision of hospital based parental support. Dr. Saxton has worked in a variety of community, university, school, and hospital based clinics providing services to children and families.

Robert L. Schelonka

Robert Schelonka

Dr Schelonka holds the Credit Union for Kids Endowed Professorship in Pediatrics, and is the Division Chief for Neonatology at OHSU. He received his MD at Case Western Reserve University (Case) in Cleveland, OH, and completed his pediatric residency and neonatology fellowship at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, TX. He completed his military obligation as a neonatologist and Head of Neonatology and Pediatrics at the US Naval Hospital in Okinawa, Japan. Upon returning to the United States in 2000, Dr. Schelonka joined the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). In 2009, Dr. Schelonka accepted the position of Head of the Division of Neonatology at the Oregon Health and Sciences University where he is actively growing the academic and clinical programs.

Under his leadership the Division of Neonatology has assumed medical direction and coverage for two additional regional, level III nurseries. In addition, he co-founded the Oregon Perinatal and Neonatal Network to improve perinatal and neonatal care throughout Oregon and in Southwest Washington by real-time telehealth consultation, coordination of care, research and education. He has been invited to give keynote addresses at the Southern and Western Societies for Pediatric Research and been an invited speaker at the Pediatrics Academic Societies annual meeting. He has served on grant review committees for the Thrasher Foundation and the American Heart Association. He is often invited to be an international speaker and teacher, having served in such diverse places as Japan, Guam, Canada, Chile, El Salvador, Peru, Argentina, Austria and Saudi Arabia. He has served as an ad hoc reviewer for more than a dozen journals and is Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed, open access journal, Research and Reports in Neonatology.

Dr. Schelonka’s research focuses on the developing immune system and the newborn infant’s unusually high predilection to infection. This work has resulted in more than 80 peerreviewed publications, state-of the art-reviews, commentaries and chapters. His research group currently utilizes a non-human primate model of intra-amniotic infection to better understand thefetal origins of later lung disease and central nervous system injury leading to developmental disability. A unique resource in this research is the Primate NICU at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC). He has served as (site) principal investigator for a number of clinical trials examining the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of neonatal infectious diseases.

Dr Schelonka continues to find his greatest satisfaction at the bedside, taking care of patients, and teaching the next generation of neonatologists the art and science of medicine.

Brian Scottoline

Brian Scottoline

Dr. Scottoline is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and is Program Director for the OHSU Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Training Program, as well the neonatal medical director for the OHSU Pediatric and Neonatal Doernbecher Transport Team (PANDA). He is the medical director for the Doernbecher NICU congenital diaphragmatic hernia and ECMO program, for neonatal congenital heart disease, and neonatal neurologic intensive care. He obtained his MD and PhD in Biochemistry at Stanford University, and completed his pediatric residency training at Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. His received his neonatal-perinatal medicine training in the Harvard Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Training Program. Dr. Scottoline's research efforts are in numerous areas, each of which represents a continuing problem in neonatal–perinatal medicine.  In terms of translational research, his research group, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and groups at University of California, Berkeley, and the University of North Carolina, is validating for clinical use a novel biochemical method to assess lean muscle mass accrual in neonates, well infants, and children. The method provides a simple, non-invasive method to assess lean growth in children, potentially providing a simple tool for not only evaluating nutrition worldwide where growth stunting is prevalent, but also a tool for evaluating improved interventions for extra-uterine growth restriction in the NICU. His group, in collaboration with a group at Oregon State University, has received funding from the BMGF to study the fate of immunoglobulins (Igs) in the neonatal gut using a combination of proteomic, peptidomic, and biochemical approaches. Surprisingly, there is very little data regarding the fate of enteral immunoglubulins;it has long been assumed that Igs, in particular breast milk IgA and IgG, provide passive immunity in the gut, without evidence that these proteins survive the proteolytic environment of the infant gut. In related studies, he is studying, with the same group at OSU, the digestion of breast milk proteins, using similar proteomic, peptidomic, and biochemical methods. Finally, he is interested in investigating biochemical means for evaluating myelination and rates of myelination in neonates;this work is in early phases of development.  In terms of clinical research, he is and investigating PFTs as a potential tool for evaluating congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) severity, is working together with several members of the Divisions of Neonatology and Pediatric Cardiology to develop functional and biomarker methods for identifying and managing neonates with pulmonary hypertension, has been involved in investigating CPAP as a means to improve lung function, and is validating a technology for rapid, low-barrier means to obtain high quality aEEG/cEEG studies with easy, remote monitoring and analysis for neonates and children.

Jamie Warren

warren-ohsu

Dr. Jamie Warren is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Neonatology and serves as the Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Pediatrics. She completed her Pediatric residency and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine fellowship at Oregon Health &Science University (OHSU). She also obtained her Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Global Health from OHSU. Jamie's research interests are in quality and process improvement, education, and clinical research; she also is very interested in teaching students, residents, fellows, and colleagues the processes of quality improvement. Jamie is on the OHSU School of Medicine team working on implementing and evaluating the use of Entrustable Professional Activities in the assessment of medical students, which is part of a larger pilot program sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges. She is also the site principal investigator at OHSU for the multicenter National Institutes of Health-funded VentFirst trial, which is evaluating the utility of assisted ventilation of extremely preterm infants during delayed cord clamping. Finally, global neonatal health and outcomes have and will always be of great interest to Jamie. She is always on the lookout for opportunities to collaborate with others to improve the outcomes of neonates worldwide.

Recent Publications from Neonatology Fellows

  • Hua N, Yieh L, Dukhovny D, Armsby L. Important considerations in the management of newborns with cyanosis. NeoReviews. 2017; 18(4):e258-264.

  • MacDonald KD, Moran AR, Scherman AJ, McEvoy CT, Platteau AS.  Maternal high fat diet in mice leads to innate airway hyperresponsiveness in adult offspring.  Physiol Rep. 2017;5:5.

  • Yieh L, Warren JB. Does umbilical cord milking result in higher measures of systemic blood flow in preterm infants? Evidence-Based Neonatology 2015. Retrieved from https://ebneo.org/2015/12/does-umbilical-cord-milking-result-in-higher-measures-of-systemic-blood-flow-in-preterm-infants/.

  • Lam R, Li H, Nock ML.  Assessment of G6PD screening program in premature infants in a NICU.  J Perinatol. 2015;35:1027-1029

  • Gievers L, Kim D, Garcia AM.  Newborn with hypotonia, congenital heart disease, hypoglycemia, and enlarged corneas. Neoreviews 2015;15:e510-513

  • Gilhooly J, Redden HR, Leonard DT.  Competency in endotracheal intubation:  mission impossible?  Pediatrics 2015;135:e1290-1291

  • Morrow DK, Schilling D, McEvoy CT.  Response to bronchodilatores in very preterm infants with evolving bronchopulmonary dysplasia.  Res Rep Neonatol. 2015;5:113-117.

  • Kim AJH, Warren JB.  Optimal timing of umbilical cord clamping: Is the debate settled? Part 1 of 2: History, rationale, influencing factors, and concerns.  Neoreviews 2015; 16(5): e263-e269.
  • Kim AJH, Warren JB.  Optimal timing of umbilical cord clamping: Is the debate settled? Part 2 of 2: History, rationale, influencing factors, and concerns.  Neoreviews 2015; 16(5): e270-e277.
  • Morrow D, Schelonka R, Krol A, Davies M, Kuang A. Type v aplasia cutis congenita: case report, review of the literature, and proposed treatment algorithm.  Pediatr Dermatol. 2013 Nov-Dec;30(6):e208-13.
  • Knapp J, Platteau A.  Visual Diagnosis: Newborn With Hypoxia, Respiratory Distress, and Unusual Chest Radiograph.   Neoreviews 2013; 14:e153.
  • Leadford AE, Warren JB, Manasyan A, Chomba E, Salas AA, Schelonka R, Carlo WA. Plastic bags for prevention of hypothermia in preterm and low birth weight infants.
    Pediatrics. 2013 Jul;132(1):e128-34.
  • Warren JB, Lambert WE, Fu R, Anderson JM, Edelman AB.  Global neonatal and perinatal mortality: a review and case study for the Loreto Province of Peru.  Research and Reports in Neonatology 2012, 2:103-113.
  • Kair LR, Leonard DT, Anderson JM.  Bronchopulmonary dysplasia.  Pediatr Rev. 2012 Jun;33(6):255-63.
  • Warren JB, Anderson JM.  Visual Diagnosis: Severe Hydrocephalus and Respiratory Distress.  Neoreviews 2011; 12:e416. 
  • Maheshwari A, Corbin LL, Schelonka RL. Neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis.  Research and Reports in Neonatology 2011, 1:39-53.
  • Go HD, Emeis C, Guise JM, Schelonka RL.  Fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality following delivery after previous cesarian.  Clin Perinatol. 2011 Jun;38(2):311-9.
  • Anderson JM, Warren JB.  Using Simulation to Enhance the Acquisition and Retention of Clinical Skills in Neonatology.  Semin Perinatol. 2011 Apr;35(2):59-67.


Contact Us

For more information, please contact the program coordinator at 503 494-1077