Associate Research Professor of Pediatrics
Pediatrics, Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine; IU Center for Global Health
Helping Babies Survive: Reducing neonatal and infant morbidity and mortality
My research career has been translational from inception. My PhD research thesis utilized the rat model to investigate the impact of prenatal methamphetamine exposure on the behavior and brain chemistry (dopaminergic systems) of offspring exposed in utero. Currently, I am the US-based co-PI (Kenya site) for the NIH-NICHD funded Global Network for Women’s and Children’s Health Research, a co-Investigator for the USAID-AMPATH consortium, and have served as the PI on several funded initiatives regarding field testing and evaluation of Helping Babies Survive newborn care curricula. I am a global health researcher, educator, and implementation specialist with expertise in maternal, newborn, and child health. My global health portfolio is strongly grounded within the translational science approach. I am particularly interested in developing and evaluating innovative reciprocal solutions by which to strengthen health systems and improve dissemination of evidence-based interventions through the generation of novel biomedical and digital health solutions, which, in turn, enhance the ability of health workers and families, around the world, to engage in evidence-based maternal and newborn health practices from labor/delivery through the first month postnatal. I invented the biomedical device NeoWarm, which was awarded a US patent in May 2019 & Nigerian patent August 2019. Currently, in conjunction with partners from Purdue University and Moi University (Kenya), and via funding from the Indiana CTSI/IU Center for Global Health (Reciprocal Innovation Demonstration Grant), I am exploring feasibility, acceptability, and safety of this device for use among babies suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome as a result of prenatal exposure to opioids. I also developed the mobile Helping Babies Breathe app (mHBB), and since 2016, have led efforts to evolve this progenitor into the current mobile Helping Babies Survive (mHBS) powered by DHIS2 app, for which I had Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funding to field test in Kenya and Nigeria. I lead the multi-disciplinary NeoInnovate Collaborative Consortium, and have mentored 70+ persons over the course of my career, at all levels of education and training, including a number of undergraduate and graduate students from science, technology, and engineering.