New York Medical College


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The consequences of extremely premature birth, congenital malformations or newborn metabolic diseases can be devastating to a family.


Department of Pediatrics, Division of Newborn Medicine

Some of these premature newborns will die, while others will experience a degree of lifelong disability. Yet the majority can and do survive, thrive and reach adulthood unaffected. Indeed, it is this triumph of medicine that trumpets a new life anticipated.

The excitement of newborn medicine lies first in the rapid evolution of new technologies, cutting edge developments in clinical and basic science, and bench-to-bedside correlates of human biology that are matched only by the avalanche of new discoveries that change today’s management of old diseases. Each of these features contributes to the overall intensity of neonatology and its ability to re-invent itself every few years.

The physicians in the Division of Newborn Medicine at New York Medical College, through their clinical and basic science research investigations, are seeking ways to improve care for extremely pre-term babies—some born as early as 23 weeks’ gestation—and other conditions of the newborn. Clinical research projects at the Regional Neonatal Center, a NYS DOH level IV designated program, afford these tiny patients and their families an opportunity to receive new treatments and therapies—such as ECMO, Jet and Oscillatory Ventilation, Body Cooling for asphyxia—not available at community hospitals or even at many other major medical centers. Faculty scientists hold leadership positions in many professional societies and are frequent contributors of important perinatal research in multi-center trials, single institution trials, and in basic research.

Studies can be grouped into the following general categories:

  • neonatal brain development and neurological disorders
  • neonatal cardiovascular and respiratory pathophysiology
  • mediators of neonatal inflammation and infections
  • neonatal nutrition, growth and development of the intestine
  • neonatal endocrine disorders and thyroid diseases
  • studies on the impact of neonatal intensive care on long-term neurological outcomes
  • population based outcomes and public health initiatives


We invite you to explore research opportunities in the Division of Newborn Medicine, listed below by investigator. You can also explore research publications by faculty scientists and clinicians through Pub Med.

Edmund F. La Gamma, M.D., professor of pediatrics and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, recently completed a international trial aimed at determining how much thyroid hormone is needed for optimal development in a premature infant. Using a continuous infusion of thyroid hormone, his research team was able to bring levels to above the median for newborns without interfering with the body’s own production of thyroid hormone. Dr. La Gamma has proposed a five-year study to test the effectiveness of thyroid supplementation at 18 centers across the country. Premature infants would be treated with thyroid hormone to correct the deficiency and examined at two years of age to determine if CP has developed.

Other studies by Dr. LaGamma

  • Phase 3 Study of Thyroid Hormone in Extremely Premature Infants
  • rh-GCSF Effects on White Blood Cells in Pre-Term Neonates
  • rh-GCSF + IVGG as early intevention for NEC
  • Evaluation of Maldistribution of Oxygen Delivery In VLBW Patients
  • Postnatal Bacterial Colonization and Pathogenesis of Neonatal Sepsis
  • Effects of Enteral Protein Type on Protein Turnover in VLBW Patients
  • Stress Mediated Regulation of Adrenal Neurotransmitters


Lance A. Parton, M.D., professor of pediatrics, professor of Ob/Gyn and professor of anesthesiology, investigates the genetic foundations of conditions that contribute to prematurity as well as the complications of prematurity. Specifically, his laboratory has investigated the role of single nucleotide polymorphisms in the development of preterm prolonged rupture of membranes, intrauterine growth retardation, and preeclampsia in collaboration with the Division of Obstetrics and Maternal Fetal Medicine. The complications of preterm infants such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia and patent ductus arteriosus are also active areas of investigation. Susceptibility to respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis as well as variability of responsiveness to albuterol in infants with RSV bronchiolitis has been undertaken in collaboration with the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology. Studies of the genetic foundations for autism were performed in collaboration with the Department of Pediatrics. Clinical areas of investigation include comparative studies of surfactants, high frequency ventilation, and exhaled nitric oxide in ventilated preterm infants, as well as the effects of music therapy on preterm infants, the latter in collaboration with music therapist Laurie Park.

Other studies by Dr. Parton

  • Comparison of the inflammatory response resulting from the administration of Curosurf and Survanta to premature infants requiring mechanical ventilation for respiratory distress syndrome
  • Cytokine production in nasal and tracheal aspirates in infants with Respiratory Syncytial Virus
  • Bronchiolitis and Tumor necrosis factor alpha polymorphism
  • Role of apoptosis in prematurity, intrauterine growth retardation, and cervical shortening 


Sergio G. Golombek, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of pediatrics, is studying the use of inhaled nitric oxide in newborn babies, used for pulmonary hypertension in term and late-term infants, and for prevention of chronic lung disease in preterm infants. His interest in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has been shown his participation in a project to organize and monitor a follow-up program of administration of Palivizumab prophylaxis for RSV for newborn infants at-risk for acquiring RSV disease.

Other studies by Dr. Golombek

  • Phase 3 Study of Thyroid Hormone in Extremely Premature Infants
  • Micafungin vs. Amphotericin B Deoxycholate for the Treatment of Neonatal Candidiasis


Praveen Ballabh, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics, associate professor of cell biology and anatomy, is conducting research to elucidate the pathogenesis of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) in premature newborns. Dr. Ballabh and his colleagues are also evaluating neuro-protective strategies to prevent brain damage and subsequent cerebral palsy in premature infants after the development of IVH. The group has succeeded in developing an animal model of intraventricular hemorrhage in rabbit pups in which the hemorrhage evolves into white matter injury, similar to the preterm survivors of IVH. This model is being used for evaluating treatment avenues for both the prevention of IVH and neuroprotection after IVH

Jordan Kase, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, follows former preterm infants and children at risk for developmental delay due to conditions relating to the newborn period. Children are evaluated until they reach three years of age, and are seen at one of five outpatient sites in White Plains, Valhalla, Middletown, Brewster, and Poughkeepsie. Dr. Kase’s research interest centers upon long-term outcomes of former preterm infants, and specifically late preterm infants.

Muhammad Zia, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, is focused on free radical generation in brain of premature infants with intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH). Oxidative stress resulting from IVH is known to cause brain injury in premature infants. Dr. Zia and his colleagues are unlocking the mechanisms of free radical production after IVH in these infants and are utilizing mechanism-based strategies to prevent brain damage by suppressing oxidative stress. His group is testing neuroprotective strategies to prevent brain damage attributed to excess free radical generation.

Other Research in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Newborn Medicine

Gad Alpan, M.D., M.B.A., Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

  • Peripheral Blood Flow in Human Newborns Utilizing Pmpedance Plethysmography
  • Gastric Tonometry in Sick Newborn

Heather L. Brumberg, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor

  • Breast feeding in the NICU
  • Regional Congenital Anomalies
  • Quality of Birth Certificate Data
  • Youth Knowledge & Behavior Related to Obesity
  • Community Research Promoting Evidence Based Practice

Prabhakar Kocherlakota, M.D., Assistant Professor

  • Studies in neonatal transport, neonatal resuscitation, hearing test, apnea, necrotizing enterocolitis and cytokines

Vanessa Mercado, M.D., Assistant Professor

  • Comparison of the inflammatory response resulting from the administration of Curosurf and Survanta to premature infants requiring mechanical ventilation for respiratory distress syndrome

Bistra Nankova, Ph.D., Associate Professor

  • Dietary factors and responses to stress
  • Environmental factors in the regulation of norepinephrine biosynthesis

Boriana Parvez, M.D., Assistant Professor

  • Short Bowel Syndrome: Incidence, Morbidity, Mortality and Predictive Factors for Survival
  • Coxsackie Virus Infection in Newborn: An Important New Cause of Significant Pulmonary and Neurologic Dysfunction
  • Prostacyclin for refractory PPHN
  • Gut Priming and Neonatal Adaptation to Enteral Nutrition in the Micropremie: The effect of Protein Type on Feeding Advancement and Growth Rate                
  • Prevention of nosocomial and line sepsis
  • Extended use of UVC.


Page updated: March 31, 2014