Approximately 21 to 24 months of training will be devoted to research. Neonatology faculty members are carrying out several research projects. There is excellent collaboration with basic science faculty members in several of these research projects. In addition, there is ample opportunity to devise research projects with other basic science and clinical faculty. Basic science projects that are currently ongoing in the division include studies using an animal model of neonatal pulmonary hypertension to evaluate the pathogenesis of the disorder (the role of various endogenous vasodilators and vasoconstrictors such as nitric oxide, prostaglandins and other arachidonic acid metabolites), studies of vascular endothelium (signal transduction, Ca2+ signaling, free radicals, nitric oxide), and studies of pharmacogenomics, teratogens and their effect on fetal development. Current ongoing clinical projects include the study of institutional ethics, end of life care in the perinatal period, evaluation of neuro-developmental and audiological outcome of healthy term newborns with non-hemolytic hyperbilirubinemia, the effect of body position on breathing patterns and pulmonary mechanics in healthy infants, and studies of inhaled nitric oxide on PPHN.
Fellows receive excellent mentoring at all levels of training. They are required to complete a research project before the end of the third year and to have at least one or more first author publications in a peer reviewed journal. In order for them to complete a successful research project, a faculty mentor along with two additional faculty members, will be assigned to assist and monitor their progress by meeting twice yearly with a Scholarship Oversight Committee. Fellows will also be expected to present their research periodically in formal conferences to the faculty. The senior faculty and others provide guidance in grant writing, paper presentations, and manuscript writing in the Medical College of Wisconsin. Fellows will be expected to take courses in biostatistics and will have the opportunity to take courses in specialized areas of research Interests (e.g. molecular biology).
Fellows are encouraged to submit abstracts to national meetings annually (both basic science and pediatric meetings, such as Pediatric Academic Society Meetings). The Department of Pediatrics pays for the expenses to attend these meetings through the academic development fund assigned to each fellow.