A neonatal nesearch lab is accessible 24 hours per day, seven days per week in the first floor of the Oak Street research lab area. There are two lab top working areas along each side with a sink. There is an Assco Air Systems hood with gas inlet. The following equipment is located in this area:
Neonatal Research Nurse
A 24 hour per week neonatal research nurse (Mary Naples, RN) was hired on October 1, 1996. She was our research chart abstractor for 25 months as part of the AHCPR grant coordinated by Dr. Doug Richardson at Boston Children's Hospital/Beth Israel and involves seven NICU sites. The grant studied Severity Illness in NICUs by using the SNAP and NTISS scores. All data is available for future studies in collaboration with the SNAP-II Study Group. Fellows can have access to this data for projects. The research nurse is currently involved in the PCVL study, Vitamin C and Nephrocalcinosis study, and Hemangioma and ROP study.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
In the past, the UMass Memorial Health Care under Dr. Weisberger and bioengineer, Dr. Chen, developed a neonatal/small animal pulmonary function laboratory in conjunction with the WPI Bioengineering Department. Biomedical engineering students were able to develop a portable system capable of making biological measurements. The lab equipment (AT&T PC computer with six A to D convertors, monitor, printer, software, and transducers) was purchased by Neonatology from a grant from the UMass Memorial Health Care Neonatal Fund and Mead Johnson ($15,000). Future collaborative projects using WPI graduate engineering students are available. Yearly requests for potential projects are circulated by the Biogengineering Department of WPI.
Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology
The Foundation is located approximately three miles from UMass Memorial Health Care. The foundation has many basic scientists involved in extensive research. The facilities are of the highest quality. Many staff physicians at UMass Memorial Health Care are on the board at the foundation. If the research interests of the fellow are similar to those being conducted at the foundation, a collaborative effort could be arranged. This Foundation is currently merging with the University of Massachusetts Medical School. This will provide an opportunity for more studies that combine clinical researchers with bench researchers.
Tufts Veterinary School
Tufts is located in Grafton, Massachusetts about eight to ten miles from UMass Memorial Health Care. Both are large and small animal facilities are available with the full time veterinary staff. Members of their faculty have rounded in our nursery in the past and have interest in collaborative projects. Fellows can utilize these facilities if they collaborate with a Tufts' faculty.
UMass Memorial Health Care is a member in Premier Research which is a network of the nation's finest teaching and research medical centers providing high quality clinical research services to pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnical companies worldwide. This network provides sponsors direct access to the extensive clinical trial resources at these medical centers for the purpose of conducting multi-site studies. Premier Hospitals have conducted over $60 million in clinical trials involving 600 experienced physician investigators and 300 on-site clinical research coordinators. Multi-center studies involving newborns/pregnancies would provide our NICU/Division of Reproductive Medicine an opportunity to be involved as a member in these clinical trials. These studies would be a source of projects for our fellows and faculty.
The Vermont-Oxford Data Network
The UMass Memorial Health Care NICU has been a member of the Vermont-Oxford Data Network since 1991 and the coordinator is Dr. Francis J. Bednarek. This network is comprised of around 250 NICU centers in the USA and abroad. It provides an opportunity to be involved in a large NICU database and participate in multicenter clinical trials. Recently completed trials are the antepartum maternal steroid experience (This data was presented at the NIH Consensus Symposium on Antepartum Steroids), an Exosurf vs. Survanta Trial (This data was presented as an abstract at Seattle, WA, May, 1994 in poster presentation and published in Pediatrics.), and data collection on < 23 week gestation neonates. The data for these studies is collected prospectively on formal, printed, uniform data sheets. The data is transferred confidentially to Vermont monthly where it is collated yearly and each NICU is given an individual report and a compared report to 250 centers. More extensive data comparisons are available for a purchase price. The individual NICU receives a computer disk of its data that can be used for research purposes. The data can also be used for quality assurance purposes. A neonatal research nurse is responsible for collecting this data.