For the past 40 years Neonatal research at UCH and UCL has focused on the diagnosis and pathophysiology of perinatal brain injury, and more recently it has been in the international forefront of the evaluation of neuroprotective interventions and the application of magnetic resonance techniques for biomarker discovery and validation.
Since 2003 Professor Nicola Robertson has led the group to major advances in the understanding of therapeutic hypothermia and novel neuroprotective strategies following perinatal hypoxic ischaemia.
Professor Neil Marlow's arrival in 2008 helped to grow, in particular, work on preterm brain injury and developmental outcomes making UCL a leading centre for work on longitudinal cohort studies, such as EPICure, and developing the investigation of the preterm brain with imaging and novel neuropsychological strategies.
Our aim is to optimize and refine neuroprotection of the term infant using a translational pre-clinical model of perinatal asphyxia. Our team includes neonatologists, physicists and scientists. We also focus on magnetic resonance, EEG and NIRS biomarkers which can be used interchangeably in clinical studies.
We are a unique team of neonatologists, neuroscientists, clinical neurophysiologists and statistical scientists who are working together to discover how newborn infants process touch, pressure and pain.
Our aim is to develop a panel of new magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy biomarkers for term infants with acute brain injury and preterm infants. Magnetic resonance biomarkers are study endpoint in the TOBY xe study.
The Neonatal Brain Research Group (NBRG), based at Cork University Maternity Hospital and the IFWH at UCL are working on a Wellcome trust funded project to develop clinically robust automated seizure detection software for sick new born babies, the Algorithm for Neonatal Seizure Recognition (ANSeR).
UCH Neonatal Service contributes to clinical trials and studies, which are multicentre - recent studies have included the HTA funded PIPS and two UCL-based FP7 funded studies: NEMO and EVERREST. New studies are currently under consideration.
Long term outcomes for babies born very prematurely or following perinatal asphyxia are improving. We are investigating these long-term effects from epidemiological and neuroscience perspectives grounded on national and local cohort studies.
Globally, newborn brain injury is the third leading cause of childhood mortality. With partners in Uganda, the UK and Australia we are investigating the aetiology of, and outcomes from newborn brain injury to help prevent future newborn deaths and longterm disability.