The Section of Neonatology is committed to maintaining the highest quality of neonatal care to critically-ill infants, providing training for qualified pediatricians for careers as independent investigators, teachers and clinicians, and promoting high research productivity to contribute in the creation of new knowledge and patient-oriented research studies to improve clinical care.
The Section of Neonatology runs one of the premier neonatal intensive care units in the United States. Its neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) contains 47 designated tertiary care beds (Level III) and 18 convalescent (Level II) beds. Each year, the NICU admits over 1,000 patients accounting for more than 20,000 bed-days every year. Of the 1,000 infants admitted, 95 percent survive to be discharged home, reflecting a birthweight specific mortality that ranks with the leading neonatal centers in the country. Reflecting both the volume and illness severity of our NICU population is the fact that nearly one-half of one percent of all extremely low birthweight infants (BW <1000 grams) born in the United States are cared for at the University of Chicago.
In a joint operation, the Section of Neonatology and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology serve as the state-designated tertiary referral center for eight community hospitals in Chicago and its suburbs, known as the University Of Chicago Perinatal Center. The center is responsible for more than 18,000 births annually.
The clinical service is performed in the all new Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago, a state-of-the-art facility where critically-ill infants are offered innovative modes of intervention, including:
pre- and post-operative surgical care for pediatric congenital disorders;
ECMO which can be provided for up to three infants at a time with a special group of technicians supplementing NICU nursing staff;
nitric oxide treatment for babies with hypoxic respiratory failure;
oscillator support for babies with severe air leak syndrome;
on demand EEG and the capability for 24-hour EEG monitoring.
Infants who spend time in the NICU receive specialized follow-up care after they are discharged. The Center for Healthy Families provides comprehensive healthcare including those of a general pediatrician, neonatologist, nurse educator, social worker, dietitian, occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech therapist and home health nurse. In a single visit, a family may receive services from one or all of the professionals.
The Section of Neonatology maintains a fully accredited fellowship program designed to prepare pediatricians for careers as investigators, teachers and clinicians in academic neonatology. The fellowship program is a three-year sequence consisting of 12 months of direct patient care responsibilities and 24 months of research training. The clinical training component of the program emphasizes the fundamentals of clinical diagnosis and management of the seriously ill and immature neonate by building the education around developmental physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, pharmacology, psychology, bioethics and the humanities. Research training is embedded in the extensive and exciting environment of research that characterizes the University of Chicago. Research training opportunities are very broad and include clinical investigation, epidemiology, basic laboratory science and bioethics.
The Section also offers clinical or basic science research electives to pediatric residents and medical students as well as research opportunities for undergraduate honors thesis work. Externship in Neonatology (Course Peds 363) is offered to senior medical students to gain experience and expertise in the management of premature and critically-ill infants and expand the knowledge base of student in the diseases within the realm of neonatal medicine. Research in Neonatology (Course Peds 364) is directed to senior medical students who are interested in pursuing clinical or basic science research in neonatal medicine.
The University is characterized by vigorous interaction among departments, sections and investigators. Neonatology research is one in a large array of active research programs within the Department of Pediatrics and throughout the Division of the Biological Sciences Division, as well as throughout the entire research university. Several faculty members have reported on significant epidemiologic trends in neonatal clinical care.
Dr. Kwang-sun Lee emphasizes the economic impact of common neonatal interventions on an international scale and collaborates with faculty at The Center for Population Economics in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago. Dr. Sudhir Sriram explores neonatal mortality trends in term and preterm infants with acquired and congenital anomalies.
Dr. William Meadow, MD, PhD in collaboration with Dr. Jaideep Singh and Dr. John Lantos, Department of Pediatrics and MacLean Center for Clinical Ethics, has been at the forefront of application of neonatal epidemiology to problems of clinical ethics at the threshold of viability. Dr. Meadow also continues his work contrasting descriptive and prescriptive conceptions of the standard of medical care, extending his observations to the field of obstetrics/gynecology by determining the standard of medical care for the use of antenatal corticosteroids in the past 15 years. He also pursues work at the interface of medical epidemiology and ethics describing the ability and limitations of neonatal healthcare workers to inform parents of the likely outcome of sick newborn infants.
Dr. Michael D. Schreiber is engaged in clinical trials to study the benefits and risks of relatively new therapies, such as inhaled nitric oxide, which is used to treat pulmonary hypertension in premature babies.
Research in the laboratory of Dr. Jeremy Marks focuses on the mechanisms of acute and chronic forms of neurodegeneration such as hypoxia-ischemia and Parkinson’s disease, focusing on the mitochondrial mechanisms leading to neuronal death.
Dr. Erika Claud’s research focus is aimed at the investigation of the cellular and molecular mechanism underlying interstitial inflammation in the immature intestine. She does this in tandem with the Digestive Disease Research Core Center which offers services and resources to encourage and facilitate research involving the biology and pathobiology of gastrointestinal epithelial cells. Clinic and Location.
Centerfor Healthy Families
Center for Advanced Medicine
5758 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637 Hours
Monday & Wednesday, 9A – 4P
1st & 3rd Friday, 9A – 4P
2nd & 4th Tuesday, 9A – 4P
(773) 702-0660 (Phone)
(773) 702-0764 (Fax)
Visit the Comer Children's Hospital website for more information about our neonatology clinical care services.