Neonatal Fellowship Research Opportunities

There are outstanding research opportunities within the UPMC Newborn Medicine Program, the Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and the University of Pittsburgh and its affiliated programs, as well as surrounding institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University.

The research experience begins with mentor selection, a process guided by the neonatal faculty. Mentors make a commitment to fellow education and career development and help provide a structured research experience leading to scientific independence. Fellows are encouraged to seek out mentors and areas of investigation that are of most interest to them. During the first year of the program, neonatology faculty members actively participate in helping fellows define these interests.

Active Faculty Research Interests 

Within the Newborn Division, there are several active research programs.

  • Jon Watchko, MD, is an established investigator in the developmental aspects of respiratory muscle fatigue, gene therapy to improve muscle function, and the pathogenesis of kernicterus. His research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.
  • Beverly Brozanski, MD, is interested in neonatal outcomes research, neonatal infectious diseases, and in the prevention of chronic lung disease.
  • Toby Yanowitz, MD, directs several clinical studies on brain blood flow in premature infants and how it relates to brain injury and how it is modulated in response to common treatments. She also directs clinical research in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) evaluating the effect of chorioamnionitis on hemodynamic function in premature infants, including cardiac function (by echocardiography) and brain oxygen delivery (by Near Infrared Spectroscopy). Fellows have worked with her on many projects that utilize these non-invasive tools to assess hemodynamics in newborns.

The Newborn Medicine Division has Infant Nutrition, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Physiology laboratories housed at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, Magee-Womens Research Institute, and the John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. These laboratories are supported by animal facilities, core facilities, and operating rooms. The division has three research associates who are molecular and cellular biologists. They are active participants in the fellows’ research training. There are also research nurses employed by the division to assist in clinical research projects. Fellows are expected to initially participate in established research projects and then to develop their own project under the guidance of their mentor. It is anticipated that several publications will result from their work.