Since research space is limited at the Memorial Health Care campus, the neonatal division and its fellows have collaborated with faculty of varied pediatric departments at the UMass Memorial Health Care - UMass campus for research projects. In the past, a neonatal fellow worked with Dr. I.T. Cohen, pediatric surgeon, in his small animal research lab evaluating the etiology of NEC and the development of a NEC piglet model. They also followed-up growth in post-NEC NICU graduates. Dr. Cohen's interest areas are growth, nutrition, hyperalimentation, and NEC. There is a pediatric nutritionist available to the pediatric surgery division and consults in the NICU.
Neonatal fellows have also collaborated with the pharmacology and pediatric neurology departments to study the pharmacokinetics of phenobarbital and dilantin, the pediatric endocrine department to study the effect of betadyne skin applications in prematures on thyroid function, and the UMMS Virology Department and the Massachusetts State Lab to study the effect of CMV immune globulin on the prevention of transmission of acquired CMV in the NICU.
A recent fellow collaborated with Dr. Alan Michelson in the pediatric hematology lab to study platelet function in term and preterm infants by using monoclonal antibodies and flow cytometry. Dr. Rajasekhar worked in the lab for three years. Dr. Michelson's laboratory space is approximately 1,500 sq. ft. in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts. Major items of equipment currently located in the laboratory include:
- two (2) Coulter Profile flow cytometers
- platelet lumiaggregometer
- automated centrifuges
- Coulter counter
- gel electrophoresis equipment
- 3 IBM-style personal computers (one 486 and two 386)
- 2 Hewlett Packard laser printers
- fume hood and dark room
The fellow will be exposed to the large critical mass of platelet researchers in Dr. Michelson's laboratory, including a cardiologist, a vascular surgeon, a vascular surgery fellow, and three full time technicians.
UMMS and Memorial Health Care recently merged into UMass Memorial Health care which will enhance collaboration in research between the two institutions. Both hospitals are committed to building a new research center.