Neonatology

Faculty

Carol Clericuzio, MD

Carol Clericuzio, MDCarol Clericuzio, MD is a visiting Professor of Pediatrics, an emerita Professor of Pediatrics at University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and former Chief of the Division of Clinical Genetics/Dysmorphology. She received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Cornell University, Masters in Organic Chemistry from Stanford, MD from Albany Medical College and fellowship training in Dysmorphology/Clinical Genetics at UNM HSC. She is board certified in Clinical Genetics and Pediatrics and has a great interest in many genetic and teratogenic syndromes, including overgrowth disorders, skeletal dysplasias, Prader-Willi syndrome, Noonan syndrome, cancer predisposition syndromes and fetal alcohol syndrome. Dr. Clericuzio has received a number of teaching awards during her career and has joined the Division of Neonatology to provide clinical and didactic teaching for the fellowship program.

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Tara DuPont, MD

Tara DuPont, MDDr. DuPont is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Neonatology at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. She received her Medical Degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center of Houston in 2005. She completed her Pediatric residency and fellowship in Neonatology at UT Southwestern in Dallas, TX. Dr. DuPont joined the UNM Neonatology faculty in September of 2011. Dr. DuPont is actively involved in the neonatal resuscitation program. Her research interests include breast milk, perinatal acidosis, and resuscitation of the newborn.


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Janell Fuller, MD

Janell Fuller, MD Dr. Janell Fuller, Professor, received her medical degree from Finch University of Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School in 1998.  She then completed her residency training in Pediatrics and Fellowship in Neonatology at the University of Chicago Hospitals.   She joined the Neonatology division at the University of New Mexico in August of 2004.  Dr. Fuller was the Medical Director of the Special Care Nurseries, and is currently the Medical Director of the Neonatal Practitioner Program, and the New Mexico Newborn Transport Program.  She was Deputy Director of the Division of Neonatology, and recently assumed the position of Division Chief of Neonatology as of July 2011.  She is the Follow-up Investigator for the NICHD Neonatal Research Network  as well as the New Mexico Principal Investigator for a multicenter NIH study, “Gene Targets for Intraventricular Hemorrhage”.  She is a member of the Curriculum Committee for the Pediatric Residents at the UNM Medical School as well as a member of the promotions committee.


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Carmen Herrera, MD

Dr. Carmen Militza Herrera received her MD degree from the University of Chile Medical School. She completed her residency in Pediatrics at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, St. Louis University, in 1997, and her fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at the U. of Miami in 2000. Subsequently, she was a faculty member at Duke University and the U. of Washington. As director of the Neonatal Pulmonary Research Laboratories at Duke and UW, Dr. Herrera’s NIH-supported research was focused on optimizing neonatal respiratory management and ventilator weaning strategies in extremely premature infants. After gaining experience in private practice, she joined the Division of Neonatology at UNM in 2015. Her academic interests include innovative, evidence-based, neonatal integrative medicine research, specifically interventions that have the potential to reduce neonatal and parental stress in the NICU, and the promotion of resilience and wellbeing among medical professionals. Pursuing these goals, she established the UNM Pediatric Integrative Medicine in Residency Program, based on a validated online curriculum developed by the U. of Arizona, and is one of the founding members of the UNM Physician Wellness Consortium. In addition, Dr. Herrera is the Principal Investigator at New Mexico for the Pediatric Resident Burnout, Resilience, and Wellness Study Consortium, a national multicenter network of pediatric residency programs that seeks to define key factors in burnout and resilience in pediatric residents and the relationship to performance. Dr. Herrera is board certified in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine and Pediatrics, and is in the process of completing a fellowship in Integrative Medicine through the U. of Arizona.

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Vlad Ianus, MD

Vlad Ianus, MD Dr. Vlad Ianus received his MD degree from Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania. He then obtained a Masters degree in Health Policy, Planning and Financing from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and London School of Economics and Political Studies. He completed his residency in Pediatrics at Monmouth Medical Center (Long Branch, New Jersey) in 2003, and did a fellowship in Neonatology at Brown University/Women & Infants' Hospital of Rhode Island. He joined the Neonatology Division at UNM Children's Hospital as an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics in February 2007. His research interests relate to the role of intermittent hypoxia on cardiovascular morbidities observed in the very low birth weight infants in both human and animal models. He coordinates the Neonatal Hot Topics for the Neonatology Division and the group of neonatal respiratory therapists.



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Lauren Jantzie, PhD

Dr. Jantzie, Assistant Professor, received her PhD in Neurochemistry from the University of Alberta in 2008. She then completed two postdoctoral fellowships with Drs. Frances Jensen and Shenandoah Robinson in the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Boston Children’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School. Dr. Jantzie joined the faculty at UNM in November 2013. Her lab investigates the pathophysiology of encephalopathy of prematurity, and pediatric brain injury common to infants and toddlers. Dr. Jantzie is dedicated to understanding disease processes in the developing brain as a means to identifying new therapeutic strategies and treatment targets for perinatal brain injury. Her lab studies neural substrates of cognition and executive function, inhibitory circuit formation, the role of an abnormal intrauterine environment on brain development, mechanisms of neurorepair and microglial activation and polarization. Using a diverse array of clinically relevant techniques such as MRI, cognitive assessment, and biomarker discovery, combined with traditional molecular and cellular biology, the Jantzie lab is on the front lines of translational pediatric neuroscience.


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Jean Lowe, PhD

neo Dr. Jean Lowe received her Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico in 1985 in the area of Learning Disability and Psychology.  Dr. Lowe is one of the co-founders of the Developmental Care Program that provides both inpatient and outpatient services to high-risk neonates in the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery.  She is certified in a variety of evaluation tools and continues to be the divisions gold standard evaluator for the Neonatal Research Network.  Dr. Lowe has published numerous articles related to the developmental outcome of infants born extremely preterm with and without interventricular hemorrhage.  More recently her research has expanded to look at the relationship of prematurity to the development of early executive function including neuro-imaging techniques in her research studies.  Dr. Lowe’s research also focuses on maternal child interactions and how this is related to early development.  Dr Lowe is a collaborator on numerous studies through the Division of Neonatology, Department of Neuroscience and Mind Research Network focusing on normally developing children, preterm infants and toddlers and children alcohol exposed.


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Jessie Maxwell, MD

 Jessie Maxwell, MDDr. Maxwell, Assistant Professor, received her medical degree from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. She completed her residency training in Pediatrics at MetroHealth Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio. She also completed her Chief Resident year at MetroHealth Medical Center. Dr. Maxwell completed fellowship here at the University of New Mexico in 2016. Her research interest is in investigating the relationship between chorioamnionitis and brain injury associated with preterm birth.

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Rebecca Moran, MD

Rebecca Moran, MD Dr. Rebecca Moran received her medical degree from the University of Louisville in 1998. She completed her residency and fellowship in Neonatology at the University of New Mexico. Her area of interest was bioethics and she received a Master's Degree in Biomedical Ethics during her Neonatal Fellowship. Dr. Moran spent two years at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee as a neonatologist and a member of the Palliative Care Division. She returned to UNM in 2006 as the Medical Director of the Neonatal Palliative Care Service and the Special Delivery Service. Her area of expertise is in counseling families with a fetal anomaly. She is board certified in Pediatrics, Neonatology and Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

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Robin Ohls, MD

Robin Ohls, MD Dr. Robin Ohls is a Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Director of the Clinical Translational Science Center (CTSC) at the University of New Mexico. She completed her undergraduate degree in Human Biology at Stanford University in 1983, and completed medical school, pediatric and neonatal training at the University of Utah in 1993. Following training in developmental hematology at the University of Utah, Dr. Ohls began her career in research focused on fetal and neonatal hematology. She has been on faculty at the University of New Mexico since 1995.

Dr. Ohls has been active in clinical/translational research for over 20 years. She is the PI of an NIH-funded multicenter study evaluating long term neurodevelopmental effects of erythropoietin and darbepoetin (the BRITE Study: Brain imaging and developmental follow up of infants treated with erythropoietin). In addition, she is performing a multicenter study supported by NIH R44 funding evaluating biomarker profiles of neonatal sepsis and recovery. She is co-PI of the NICHD Neonatal Research Network at UNM.

Dr Ohls' basic science research focuses on developmental regulation of erythropoietin gene expression in the human fetus as a model organ system for evaluating the impact of preterm birth on changes in gene expression. She has ongoing collaborations with colleagues at UCSF and the University of Iowa performing genetic research on the developing human ductus, UAB/University of Illinois Chicago performing immunological research on the developing GI system, and the University of Alberta isolating stem cells from human fetal lungs.

Dr. Ohls has mentored trainees at all levels: high school, undergraduate, medical school, residency, and fellowship, and is very active in teaching medical students, residents, and fellows for the School of Medicine. Both in 1994-1995 and in 1996-1997 she received the Outstanding Clinical Teacher Award for the Department of Pediatrics, and in the 1999-2000 academic year she received a Faculty Teaching Award from UNM School of Medicine.

Dr. Ohls is a well-known speaker in the field of neonatal hematology and has been an invited guest speaker at numerous national and international conferences. Dr. Ohls' service experience in regional and national organizations includes serving on council for the Western Society of Pediatric Research and serving as Secretary/Treasurer of WSPR. She is an active member of the Society of Pediatric Research (SPR). As Pediatric Director for the CTSC she participates on the Consortium Child Health Oversight Committee. She is committed to enhancing collaborative pediatric basic science and translational research, and increasing the numbers of new investigators in child health research.


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Jennifer Rael, MD

Jennifer Rael, MD Dr. Rael is an Associate Professor in the Division of Neonatology at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.  Dr. Rael received her Medical Degree from the UNM School of Medicine in 2000.  She then completed her pediatric residency at the San Antonio Military Pediatric Consortium in 2003.  She practiced as a general Pediatrician in the US Army for four years.  Dr. Rael returned to the University of New Mexico for subspecialty training in neonatal-perinatal medicine, which she completed in 2010.  Dr. Rael is actively involved in education and served as the Director of Education for the Division of Neonatology from 2010 - 2013.  In this role, she developed a procedure and delivery rotation for emergency medicine residents, as well as an NRP provider course for these resident's; she also created the resident NICU manual, guidelines and survival handbook.  In 2012, Dr. Rael became the Medical Director of the NICU and ICN4, and is involved in multiple quality improvement initiatives.  Dr. Rael's other roles for the division include development and maintenance of the division website, as well as the division educational share-point site.  Dr. Rael has been a Neonatal Resuscitation Program provider and  instructor since 2000.  She is one of the divisions regional trainers for the Neonatal Resuscitation Program, in accordance with the AAP/AHA NRP curriculum.


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Beatrice Stefanescu, MD

Beatrice StefanescuDr. Beatrice Stefanescu received her MD degree from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Timisoara, Romania. She completed her residency in Pediatrics at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, NJ in 2001, followed by a fellowship in Neonatology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. During fellowship training, she obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Health and Epidemiology from the Wake Forest University School of Arts and Sciences in Winston-Salem, NC. She joined the Neonatology Division at UNM Children's Hospital as an Associate Professor in Pediatrics in January 2016 and is the Director of NICU Quality Improvement. Beatrice has a long-standing interest in the prevention of neonatal comorbidities employing quality improvement methodology and she leads a multidisciplinary team of clinicians and individuals who are focused on building capacity in the practice for ongoing improvement, and implementing effective processes that enable improvement.

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Kristi Watterberg, MD

Kristi Watterberg Dr. Kristi Watterberg is a Professor of Pediatrics and was Chief of the Division of Neonatology from 2006 - 2011. Dr. Watterberg completed her Pediatric and Neonatology training at UNM in 1985 and served on the UNM faculty until 1988. Subsequently, she was a faculty member at the Hershey Medical Center at Penn State University, returning to UNM in 2000. Her primary research interests are adrenal function in the fetus and newborn infant and the pathogenesis and prevention of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Pursuing this interest, Dr. Watterberg has conducted both observational and interventional studies exploring the relationships between prenatal and postnatal inflammation, adrenal function and the development of BPD. In 2001, she received funding from NICHD for a multicenter trial entitled, "Prophylaxis of early adrenal insufficiency to prevent BPD". The short-term results of this study were published in Pediatrics (114:1649, 2004), and showed that for infants exposed to prenatal inflammation (chorioamnionitis), early treatment with low-dose hydrocortisone increased survival and decreased BPD. The two-year follow-up of these infants showed that hydrocortisone treatment was associated with some neurodevelopmental benefits (Pediatrics 2007; 120: 40 - 48). Dr. Watterberg is the Principal Investigator at New Mexico for the NICHD Neonatal Research Network, which has multiple ongoing observational and interventional studies in the NICU. Our team, including Dr. Ohls and Dr. Lowe, successfully competed for a 5 year renewal of this grant both in 2011 and 2016.  She is also PI for an NHLBI grant to evaluate adrenal function and cardiovascular risk factors at age 6 after extremely preterm birth.  She is Chair of the Committee on Fetus and Newborn of the American Academy of Pediatrics. In addition, Dr. Watterberg serves on NIH peer review panels and is a member of the American Pediatric Society.


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Research Information
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Professors Emeritus

Dale Alverson, MDDale Alverson, MD

Dr. Alverson is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, OB/Gyn, Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center, and Regents’ Professor on faculty at the University of New Mexico (UNM), School of Medicine. He is a graduate (cum laude) of University of Michigan Medical School, completed pediatric residency at University of Colorado, and neonatology Fellowship at UNM and has been on faculty at UNM since 1982 and served as Neonatology Division Chief from 1988-1997.

Since 1995, he has been the Medical Director of the Center for Telehealth and Cybermedicine Research at UNM. In that role, he has been involved in the planning, implementation, research and evaluation of Telemedicine systems for New Mexico. The UNM Center for Telehealth was given the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) President’s Institutional Award for its efforts in advancing telehealth locally, nationally, and internationally. He is also Chief Medical Informatics Officer of LCF Research assisting in their efforts to address the development and meaningful use of health information exchange, adoption of electronic health records, and integration with telemedicine. He has been involved in several ongoing international collaborative telehealth initiatives including Ecuador, India, Nepal, Ukraine, Africa and Korea.

He is the Chairman of the Board of the New Mexico Telehealth Alliance, a 501c3 broadly representative of stakeholders and advocates for telehealth in New Mexico. He is also the founder, prior Chairman, and an active member of the Four Corners Telehealth Consortium; Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, working collaboratively to address interstate cross jurisdictional issues related to Telehealth. Nationally, he is Past President of ATA and a member of their College of Fellows, and also has been on the Boards of the Center for Telehealth and e-Health Law, and Advanced Initiatives in Medical Simulation. He has presented widely on Telemedicine and e-Health, as well as published many related articles and chapters in books.

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Lu-Ann Papile, MDLuAnn Papile, MD

Dr. Lu-Ann Papile received her MD from the Medical College of Pennsylvania and completed her pediatric and neonatology training at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. Additional training included a Research Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco Cardiovascular Research Institute and a Congressional Fellowship in the United States Congress with Colorado representative Patricia Schroeder.

As a member of the University of New Mexico faculty (1975-2015), her positions included Medical Director of Newborn Services, Director of the Neonatal/Perinatal fellowship program, Associate Director of the General Clinical Research Center and Medical Director of the Developmental Care Program in neonatology. Before returning to UNM in 2015 she was Professor of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine (2011-2015), where she was Director of the Neonatal Neurodevelopmental Follow-Up Program and the Indiana site Follow-up Principal Investigator for NICHD Neonatal Research Network. Prior to moving to Indiana she was Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine (2007-2011) where she created and subsequently directed the Developmental Care and Follow-up Program in neonatology.

Dr. Papile is an experienced clinical investigator and is an author or co-author of over 100 peer reviewed publications, as well as editorials, policy statements and book chapters. She is an Associate Editor of the Yearbook of Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine and the Pediatric Editor of Guidelines for Perinatal Care, 8th Edition. She has received several national awards including the Landmark Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Perinatal Pediatrics, the Legends in Neonatology Award from Pediatrix and the Alumnae Achievement Award from the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Papile has held numerous national leadership positions including serving on the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Perinatal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Fetus and Newborn and the American Board of Pediatrics Sub-board of Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine. She is immediate past Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Fetus and Newborn. Currently she serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee Forum Management Committee for which she is president-elect. She is also a member of the AAP initiative for the verification of neonatal levels of care. 

Dr. Papile’s research endeavors have focused on clinical studies related to perinatal brain injury and the neurodevelopmental outcome of very low birth weight infants. In 1978 she published a landmark paper that delineated the prevalence and spectrum of periventricular, intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) among very low birth weight infants. She has been the recipient of several national research awards from the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Science Foundation. In addition, she has been awarded grants from both private and public entities to conduct clinical research. Currently she is the New Mexico site Principal Investigator for an NICHD multi-center study focused on burnout among caregivers in the NICU.

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Ronald Poland, MDRon Poland, MD

Dr. Ronald Poland (UNM faculty 2000 - 2010). Dr. Poland first retired from his position as Chairman of Pediatrics at the Penn State University College of Medicine in 1999, but returned to clinical medicine at UNM in 2000, once again retiring in 2010. He has published landmark papers on bilirubin, including, "Physiologic jaundice: The enterohepatic circulation of bilirubin. New Engl J Med 284:1-6, 1971", a paper which continues to be cited today. He is recognized nationally and internationally for his research, and is a member of the American Pediatric Society. 

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Renate Savich, MD
Renate Savich, MD

Dr. Renate Savich (1988 - 2014).  Dr. Savich received her Undergraduate Degree in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University in 1978 and her Medical Degree from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL in 1982. She completed her Pediatric Residency at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago in 1985. Dr. Savich completed her Neonatal Fellowship in 1988 at the University of California, San Francisco.  Dr. Savich served various roles for the division throughout her esteemed career, including Chief of the Division of Neonatology, Medical Director of the Newborn Intensive Care Units, Medical Director of the Neonatal Practitioners, Neonatal fellowship director, and was Co-Founder of the Pediatric ECMO program in 1991.  Dr. Savich is nationally known for her work as the Chairperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Perinatal Pediatrics. 

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