Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program

Research Programs

Angela in lab

A wide variety of opportunities are available to fellows in both basic and clinical research throughout the Department of Pediatrics and the Indiana University School of Medicine. The Department of Pediatrics has consistently been ranked in the top 5-8% for NIH research funding for the last 10 years.  Several of our fellows have successfully competed for selection into the NIH Pediatric Scientist Development Program. Listed below are some of the research opportunities our neonatology fellows have pursued in the past.

Basic Science

The Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research has been a resource for neonatology fellows since its inception in 1989.  The Wells Center retains over 230 investigators, technical personnel and administrative staff to pursue its basic science academic mission.  Both the Director of the Wells Center and the chair of the Department of Pediatrics are neonatologists who, along with other Wells Center investigative faculty, have launched the careers of numerous neonatology fellows pursuing basic science research.  The Wells Center ranks #8 nationally in National Institute of Health funding of pediatrics departments.  In addition to conducting basic science research, the center includes a fully equipped translational research laboratory to facilitate processing and storage of patient samples for human clinical research trails. Research programs conducted in the Wells Center include cardiac developmental biology, hematologic disorders, gene therapy, angiogenesis/vasculogenesis, growth/metabolism, inflammation, neurobiology, stem cell research, and diabetes. 

Personalized Medicine

  • Pharmacogenomics is the study of how an individual’s genetic code affects the way the body responds to drugs. The Brater Scholarship Program was developed at IU to provide researchers access to funding and mentorship in personalized medicine.

Bioethics

  • The Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics advances scholarship and research in clinical ethics. The multidisciplinary faculty have varied research interests that pertain to neonatology such as end of life decision making. The Fairbanks Center offers our fellows the opportunity to obtain a Master Degree in Bioethics. 

Clinical and Translational Research

  • Indiana University is a member of the Children’s Hospital Neonatal Database, a consortium of 30 level IV neonatal care centers assembled to provide a contemporary, national benchmark of short-term outcomes for infants with uncommon neonatal illnesses.  These collective observations in the database are valuable in conducting observational studies and clinical trials, and developing quality improvement initiatives. We are also a member of the Vermont Oxford Network, a community that includes nearly 1,000 centers around the globe that voluntarily submit data about the care and outcomes of high-risk newborn infants with an emphasis on quality improvement research. Our patients participate in the Pediatric Trials Network and is a participating center for the exciting BABY BAC II study which uses umbilical cord progenitor cells to facilitate recovery from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.
  • The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) was established in 2008 to apply findings from scientific research to enhance patient health. The expertise from project development teams within the CTSI are available to fellows for advice on project design, statistics and institutional review board proposals. 
  • At Riley Hospital the neonatology service has partnered with the neurology service to develop a NeuroNICU which offers 24 hour video EEG monitoring and has collected a wealth of data on neonates with neurologic disorders. 
  • Fellows can take advantage of the newborn follow-up program to track outcome and/or choose projects related to newborn follow-up. 
  • There is a strong history our neonatology fellows doing research in neonatal nutrition.  Collaboration with colleagues in Gastroenterology, Pediatric Surgery and a very academic group of dieticians supports continued investigation in nutrition. 
  • Riley Hospital has the only dedicated pediatric sleep clinic in the state of Indiana and performs polysomnograms on NICU patients with respiratory compromise before discharge. There are many unanswered questions related to neonatal polysomnograms that can be studied with mentorship from sleep medicine physicians. 

Education

  • There is a state of the art simulation center which trains medical students, residents and fellows.  Fellows can complete the simulator instructor course to become a simulation educator and design a research project involving simulation. The outreach program uses simulation to train community healthcare personnel and is the largest neonatal outreach program in the country.

Health Service Research

  • In 2001, the Department of Pediatrics established the Children’s Health Service Research. The focus is on health policy research and advocacy, research on the vulnerable child or children with special healthcare needs and use of information technology to improve children’s healthcare. The Children’s Health Service Research partners with Regenstrief Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric informatics research groups in the country.  The support of a renowned informatics center facilitates the ongoing quality improvement research in the department of pediatrics.

Global Health

  • The IU Center for Global Health gives neonatology fellows the opportunity to perform their research throughout the world.  An especially successful program has been the partnership with Kenya.  Indiana University is the founder and U.S. leader of the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH).  AMPATH partners with Moi University School of Medicine in Kenya and in 2009 the Riley Mother Baby Hospital of Kenya opened.  The hospital is able to accommodate 12,000 deliveries per year and has the only NICU in East Africa.  Several IU neonatology fellows have conducted their scholarly activity in Kenya with the aid of mentors in global health.
  • The National Institute of Health has awarded Indiana University with a K-30 grant to develop and implement the Clinical Investigator Training Enhancement (CITE) program. The purpose of this program is to prepare health care professionals for a career in clinical research. Following completion of the program, graduates can embark on a career in clinical research with the skills necessary to successfully compete for grant funding, conduct and analyze research findings, and publish their work in scientific journals. Through this program our neonatology fellows have the opportunity to obtain a Master of Science in Clinical Research at the completion of their fellowship. 

Supplemental Degree Programs

The Morris Green Pediatric Scientist Scholarship Program is an interdisciplinary training program that combines unique strengths of the Department of Pediatrics and Indiana University School of Medicine.  The program was created to identify, support and develop fellows with commitment to a career as a pediatric researcher, physician-scientist and future academic leader. Fellows receive instruction in the ethical conduct of research, grant preparation, research design, research methods and biostatistics appropriate for their area of specialization, and scientific writing. While fellows are participating in the Morris Green Pediatric Scientist Scholarship program, their research time is protected from clinical duties.