Research and Quality Improvement Experiences

Our fellows actively participate in a research program that is nationally and internationally recognized for its accomplishments.  We collaborate closely with two bench Ph.D. researchers and a third Ph.D. in Public Health. Biostatistical support is available through divisional and institutional resources.  Our bench and translational research programs in neonatal nutrition and maternal/neonatal vitamin D biochemistry have been impacting national standards of care for over two decades. In addition, bench and translational research in neuroprotection (both in the setting of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic injury and that of maternal chorioamnionitis) has also flourished and impacted the well-being of infants.  We also support ongoing investigations in the areas of protein biochemistry and surfactant physiology.  Initiation of and collaboration in multicenter clinical trials continues to be an important component of the neonatology program at MUSC.  The success of these academic programs is reflected in our fellows’ achievements, including numerous presentations and publications, and several awards and grants.


Research Infrastructure at MUSC

There is a rich and diverse research infrastructure at MUSC that allows each fellow the opportunity to pursue an area or areas of research that match his or her interests. Whether a fellow wishes to pursue a career in academic neonatology or private practice, there is much to be learned through the design and implementation of both basic and clinical studies. Through the process, each fellow will become versed at turning a clinical question into a research study, how to conduct research given the regulatory issues that exist today, and how to analyze the data that is generated from such a study. Research infrastructure at MUSC includes the Clinical and Translational Research Center and its associated SUCCESS Center, the Darby Children’s Research Institute, and a variety of quality and research networks, all of which are at the disposal of our fellows.


South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research (SCTR) Institute

Included in SCTR’s programs and services are the SUCCESS Center (designed to assist with both the design and implementation of research studies, including biostatistical support) and the Research Nexus (offering a 10,000 sf outpatient unit). The outpatient research clinic includes five exam rooms, a procedure room, a computer laboratory, as well as specialized research equipment. SCTR also offers an informatics core that features Web Access, Database Storage, File Services, and automated information gathering from hospital systems.


Information Systems

Fellows have access to a wide array of local and external databases for research and quality improvement projects.

  • Perinatal Information Network System (PINS) is a research quality computerized database that includes information from the mother’s record as well as that of the newborn. PINS is a rich database containing over 40 years of information.
  • The Vermont Oxford Network (VON) encompasses over 90% of the VLBWs born in the USA. WE have been a member since 1996.
  • Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Study Group (CDHSG) - “MUSC is a contributing member of the CDHSG, which is a consortium of ~70 centers from around the world dedicated to improving the care of patients with CDH through collaboration and clinical research.  The study group has been functioning for over 20 years and has over 10,000 patients.  As contributing investigators, we obtain an annual benchmarking report compared to the registry as a whole. We also have access to the registry data to run clinical queries or perform research investigations. More information can be found at the CDHSG website.
  • Kidney Intervention during Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Study Group (KIDMO) - MUSC is a proud to be a part of the international, multidisciplinary KIDMO study group with representation from both neonatology and pediatric nephrology.  The KIDMO study group seeks to systematically answer questions regarding the use of renal support therapies during ECMO in neonatal and pediatric patients.”
  • Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) provides information on all patients who undergo ECMO therapy in member institutions. 

The Darby Children's Research Institute (DCRI)

MUSC’s 122,000 sf, 7-story research center opened in February 2005 as the largest and most comprehensive pediatric research facility in the Carolinas.  Its mission is to improve the lives of children, their families, and communities by conducting high quality children’s research; training superior physicians and scientists; and fostering innovation through the sciences of discovery and application.