Research Supported by NIH-funding and other private sources, the Department of Neonatology is improving outcomes and guiding best practices both within and beyond our network. Our team engages in basic, clinical and translational areas of investigation that include human milk, breastfeeding medicine/lactation, and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Connecticut Human Milk Research Center The Connecticut Human Milk Research Center investigates cutting-edge clinical epidemiologic research questions related to human milk use and clinical/growth outcomes (including the development of NEC). Finding a Way to Reduce Brain Injury In Pre-term Infants Connecticut Children’s is among a select group of children’s hospitals in the U.S. participating in a Phase III international clinical trial aimed at reducing the risk of death or severe brain injury associated with the use of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in extremely pre-term infants. Neonatology Chief, James Moore, MD, PhD, is actively involved in setting national practice and credentialing standards as a regional PI for Phase III of the Safeguarding the Brain of our Smallest Children (SAFEBoosC III) Trial. The goal is to see if monitoring, combined with the use of treatment guidelines, can improve the chances of brain injury survival and neurodevelopmental impairment in pre-term infants. Seeking to Prevent NEC Through Novel Microbiome Research Connecticut Children’s is one of the few hospitals in the nation looking at how microbial metabolites can more directly influence intestinal barrier function and inflammation associated with NEC in premature infants. Adam Matson, MD, MS, a neonatologist studying the immunologic processes that regulate intestinal health in preemies and full-term infants, is working toward a deeper understanding of the relationship between NEC and a child’s microbiome. Through his work, he has identified populations of bacteria in the neonatal gut associated with the development of NEC and is determining how these microbes work to disrupt the protective intestinal barrier. He is also investigating how end products produced by beneficial bacteria can optimize intestinal health and prevent this catastrophic disease of prematurity.