Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship
Fellowship Tracks

What is a fellowship track?

We define a ‘track’ as a consolidation of resources and opportunities in an area of scholarly focus. Each of our tracks are supported by a dedicated cadre of outstanding faculty from the University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Hospital Division of Neonatology. These recognized experts provide fellows with mentorship in their chosen field of scholarly inquiry. Additional faculty mentors, and resources, are available at the University of Washington and/or Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Track opportunities include graduate-level courses, the potential for elective clinical rotations and matriculation in various certificate programs. Selected fellows may also have the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree, with prior arrangements with the Fellowship Director and the Neonatal Division Head.

What tracks are available?

Our fellowship tracks align with 5 major areas of interest and expertise within the University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Hospital Division of Neonatology. Our tracks cover a diverse range of scholarly inquiry and provide a variety of options for fellows to choose form. Each track has a record of successful scholarship and productivity involving fellows. Neonatology fellows are given the option of choosing from any of the established tracks, or pursuing scholarly activity outside of a defined track in their individual area of interest. Our current fellowship tracks include the following:

Neonatal Neuroscience

Track Director: Sandra Juul MD, PhD
Faculty mentors: Nina Natarajan MD (Division of Neurology), Dennis E. Mayock, MD, Kendell German MD, Janessa Law MD, Mihai Puia-Dumitrescu MD MPH, Ulrike Mietzsch MD

Overview: The Division of Neonatology at the University of Washington is an internationally recognized center of excellence in neonatal neuroscience scholarship. Under the direction of Sunny Juul, and other division faculty, fellows have the ability to participate in ground breaking research focused on neonatal neuroprotection. Funded basic science and translational research projects include the use of therapeutic hypothermia, erythropoietin, and other therapeutic measures in the treatment hypoxic ischemic injury and prematurity-associated brain injury. Additionally, fellows can be involved in the development of novel translational models of neonatal neurologic injury, and/or clinical projects examining the neurodevelopmental outcomes of high risk infants. Fellows are also welcome to join the BRAIN Team; a research and education-focused group aimed at improving neurodevelopmental outcomes through neuroprotection-focused research and clinical application. 

Current projects:

Bench/Translational

  • Development of neuroprotective strategies for encephalopathy of prematurity using ferret models
  • Fatty acid intake and lipid-based mediators of developmental brain injury
  • Effects of premature birth on the hallmarks of aging
  • Mechanisms of susceptibility and resilience to developmental brain injury
  • Biological markers for neonatal brain injury in nonhuman primates

Clinical

  • Therapeutic hypothermia and erythropoietin in the treatment of hypoxic-ischemic injury
  • Effects of Reach Out and Read on home literacy and language development in the NICU and follow-up clinics
  • Curriculum development and NICU follow-up training for Neonatal and Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics fellows
  • Database development to follow neurodevelopmental outcomes of critically ill neonates
  • Evaluation of an IVH prevention bundle
  • NeuroICU guidelines and quality improvement
  • Posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus protocol
  • Transport cooling for HIE 
  • Pharmaco-epidemiologic and drug safety studies in infants 
  • Clinical trials: HEAL, PENUT, AEROFACT 2B
  • In-hospital and neuro-developmental outcomes of premature and critically ill infants (BRAIN program)

Track opportunities:

  • Graduate-level course in neurology, neurobiology and neuropathology
  • Neonatal Neurology rotation elective at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital

Neonatal Global Health

Track Director:Maneesh Batra MD, MPH
Faculty mentors:Anna Hedstrom MD, Cyril Engmann MD, Krystle Perez, MD

Overview: Neonatal global health has been an area of interest within the UW Division of Neonatology for over a decade. With close alignment, and collaboration, with the University of Washington School of Public Health and the Department of Global Health, neonatal fellows can participate in meaningful scholarly activity in Neonatal Global Health, and forged viable career paths in this burgeoning area. Recent alignment of Division Faculty with PATH, an international, nonprofit global health organization based in Seattle, with 1200+ employees in more than 30 offices around the world, allows new opportunities for neonatal fellows to get involved with neonatal global health.

Current projects:

  • Neonatal respiratory care in low resource areas
  • Neonatal health metrics
  • Maternal and child health and nutrition

Track opportunities:

  • Graduate-level course in public health, epidemiology and global health
  • Neonatal Global Health rotation elective abroad*
  • Global Health Training Certificate for Residents & Fellows, Department of Global Health
  • Elective rotation at PATH
  • Master’s degree in Public Health

Neonatal Education and Simulation-based Training

Track Director:Rachel Umoren MD, MS,
Faculty mentors: Tom Strandjord MD, Megan Gray MD, Taylor Sawyer DO, MEd, Sarah J. Handley MD, Zeenia Billimoria MD

Overview: Educational scholarship is a well-recognized area of academic focus for neonatologists on a clinician-educator career path. The use of simulation methodology to facilitate educational research has seen an exponential rise over the past few years. The Neonatal Education and Simulation-based Training Track provides an opportunity for Fellows with an interest in pursuing a career as a clinician educator to gain a strong foundation with educational research. This track is well suited for fellows with an interest in pursuing leadership positions in graduate medical education, including training program directorship. To support educational scholarship, and simulation-based research, the Division of Neonatology has established the Neonatal Education and Simulation-based Training (NEST) Program.

Current projects:

  • Procedural skills training and competency assessment
  • Neonatal resuscitation training
  • Neonatal airway management
  • Virtual reality teamwork training
  • Prenatal counseling milestones and training 
  • Transport and telemedicine systems simulations
  • National Neonatology Curriculum
  • E-learning
  • Disaster training in the virtual environment
  • Patient safety curriculum

Track opportunities:

Neonatal Quality Improvement and Patient Safety

Track Director: Elizabeth Jacobson MD
Faculty Mentors: Davia Loren MD, Linda Wallen MDRachel Umoren MD, MS, Christina Long, DO,
Toby Cohen MD, Michael Neufeld MD MPH

Overview: Involvement in quality improvement is a requirement for maintenance of certification by the American Board of Pediatrics, and is also a recognized area of scholarly activity. The Neonatal Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Track allows fellows to learn the intricacies of conducting quality improvement research. Through involvement with the Vermont Oxford Network (VON) and the Children’s Hospital Neonatal Consortium (CHNC) fellows will learn the power of utilizing a neonatal database for quality improvement efforts.

Current Projects:

  • Optimizing teamwork in the NICU & Delivery Room
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia prevention
  • Probiotic use for the prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Gastroschisis care
  • Temperature management in the golden hour
  • Regional QI Educational Collaborative

Track Opportunities:

  • Seattle Fellow’s College courses in quality improvement
  • Participation in the UW Perinatal Continuous Quality Improvement Team
  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement coursework
  • Participation in Vermont Oxford Network Annual Quality Congress
  • Certificate Program in Patient Safety and Quality, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital

Neonatal Bioethics

Track Director: Elliott Weiss, MD, MSME
Faculty Mentors: Benjamin Wilfond MD (Division of Pulmonology), J. Craig Jackson, MD, MHA

Overview: The Division of Neonatology, in conjunction with the University of Washington Department of Bioethics and Humanities and the Seattle Children’s Hospital Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics, has been highly involved in the area of neonatal bioethics. Fellows participating in the Neonatal Bioethics Track will have the opportunity to conduct research in bioethics related to neonatal care and will be able to take advantage of the outstanding bioethical resources at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital. The Trueman Katz Bioethics Fellowship is truly a unique opportunity, allowing fellows to complete a prestigious Ethics fellowship and earn a Masters in Bioethics which will prepare them well for a career in academic neonatal bioethics..

Current Projects:

  • Parental decision-making in the NICU
  • Ethics of research consent and enrollment processes
  • Use of biases and heuristics in medical decision-making
  • Models of shared decision-making 
  • Neuroethics, including ethical implication of neuroimaging in neonates
  • Perinatal consultation

Track Opportunities: