Scholarly Activity: Fellowship Research Opportunities

Each fellow in the University of New Mexico Perinatal-Neonatal Fellowship Program will be involved in a Scholarly Activity. This activity must be completed prior to completion of the fellowship in order to be eligible to take the Neonatal Boards. American Board of Pediatrics

Each year the fellows will attend the Neonatal Fellows Fundamentals of Research Seminar Series, which will include topics in statistics, research design, IRB, ethics, preparing abstracts, presentations, manuscripts, writing grants and other topics. A research project/scholarly activity and mentor will be selected during the first year and research will be completed over the three years of fellowship. The Scholarship Oversight Committee will meet with each fellow 1-2 times/year to monitor progress in the research endeavors. The Scholarship Oversight Committee consists of 2 neonatologists and 1 researcher outside of the Division of Neonatology. The University of New Mexico is one of the national CTSC (Clinical and Translational Science Centers) awarded by the NIH to promote translational research.

Neonatal Division Research Mentors

  • Dr. Lauren Jantzie, PhD:  Dr. Jantzie's 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.
  • Dr. Vlad Ianus, MD: Dr. Ianus' 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.
  • Dr. Robin Ohls, MD: Dr. Ohls 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. Kristi Watterberg, MD:  Dr. Watterberg's 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. Dr. Watterberg is the Principal Investigator at The University of New Mexico for the NICHD NRN, which has multiple ongoing observational and interventional studies in the NICU.

Further information about current and on-going research in the Department of Neonatology can be found under each neonatal division researcher on the UNM Neonatal Research page.

      Research and Mentors in Other Divisions and Departments

Links to these researchers can be found at UNM HSC Research website.

  • LeeAnna Cunningham, PhD.: Associate Professor, Neurosciences. Masters in Public Health Degree Program. CNS Stem cells, hypoxic injury.
  • Daniel D. Savage II, Ph.D. Regents’ Professor and Chair, Neurosciences. Research addresses ethanol ingestion during pregnancy and long-term functional consequences in the offspring's brain.
  • Paul McGuire, PhD. Professor, Cell Biology and Physiology. Mechanisms involved in the regulation of abnormal ocular angiogenesis seen in conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity.
  • Tom Resta, PhD. Professor, Cell Biology and Physiology. Mechanisms by which acute and long-term hypoxia influence pulmonary vascular function.
  • Laura Gonzalesc-Bosc, PhD. Cell Biology and Physiology. NFAT and vascular development.
  • Nancy Kanagy, PhD. Associate Professor, Cell Biology and Physiology. Vascular physiology, hypertension and blood pressure control
  • Rebecca Hartley, PhD. Cell Biology and Physiology. Regulation of mRNA stability and translation and how it contributes to cell cycle control in the early embryo and in cancer cells
  • John Connor, PhD. Professor, Neurosciences. Electrical signals in nerve cells of the brain coupled to the biochemistry that produces long lasting changes in neuron excitability
  • Bill Shuttlesworth, PhD. Associate Professor, Neurosciences. Mechanisms of neurodegeneration in rodent brain slice preparations
  • Jeffrey Griffith, PhD. Professor and Chair, Molecular Biology. Structure, organization and genetic polymorphism of the genome, related to the detection and treatment of inherited and acquired diseases
  • Larry Sklar, PhD. Professor of Pathology, Director, Flow Cytometry Core. Adhesive interactions and vascular biology Masters in Public Health Degree Program