Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Pediatrics

Neonatology Research

The physicians in the Division of Neonatology, headed by Aaron Hamvas, MD, are internationally recognized leaders in the delivery of cutting-edge therapies such as nitric oxide, high-frequency ventilation, and selective head cooling for brain injury. All are board-certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

ECMO Program

The ECMO program (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a highly sophisticated mechanical heart/lung support system) is widely recognized for its excellence. ECMO provides an important safety net for infants with pulmonary hypertension and other serious conditions because it allows the heart and lung to rest during the time needed for recovery. There are fewer than 100 such programs nationally.

Pulmonary Hypertension Program

The Pulmonary Hypertension Program, under the direction of Nicolas Porta, MD is a collaborative effort between neonatology, pulmonology, cardiology and hematology. This multi-divisional program provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment of children of all ages with pulmonary hypertension. Special expertise is provided for infants with pulmonary hypertension accompanying severe chronic lung disease. Services are provided both in the hospital, and in a dedicated outpatient clinic. Other leaders include Steven Lestrud, MD (Pulmonary Medicine); Nina Gotteiner, MD (Cardiology); David Wax, MD (Cardiology); and Robert Liem, MD (Hemotology/Oncology).

Selective Head Cooling Program

The division was the first in the region to offer a brain protection program, and continues to operate one of the largest selective head cooling programs in the region for infants with hypoxic brain injury.

Developmental Care

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago was the one of the first hospitals in Chicago to have a full-time developmental care specialist dedicated to the NICU, a position supported by the Founder's Board. "Developmental care involves modifying a newborn's environment, and learning to read and respond to an infant's behavioral cues to determine his or her current capacities and needs," according to Sue Horner, RN, currently the NICU developmental specialist at Lurie Children's. Developmental care is based on the premise that important brain development occurs prior to birth (and continues until age three), and that our practices can positively affect an infant's outcome.

For more specifics on the research activities being conducted in the Division of Neonatology, please visit the division page on the Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute website.