CORK EXPERTS: from I.N.F.A.N.T. will speak at ‘Brain Monitoring and Neuroprotection in the Newborn’ Conference

29 September 2017
By Elaine Murphy

Global Leaders in Perinatal Brain Monitoring & Neuroprotection to Convene in Ireland to Share Research & Collaboration.

The world’s leading experts in neonatal brain development, monitoring and protection will convene in Killarney from 5 to 7 October 2017 to share innovative research at the Brain Monitoring and Neuroprotection in the Newborn Conference.

Professor Terrie Inder, Department Chair at Brigham and Womens Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Professor Linda S de Vries, Professor in Neonatal Neurology and Consultant Neonatologist at University Medical Centre Utrecht, The Netherlands, and Prof Geraldine Boylan, Director, INFANT Research Centre and Professor of Neonatal Physiology at UCC
Pic: Diane Cusack

Hosted by INFANT, a world leading Science Foundation Research Centre led by University College Cork , this biennial conference brings together world leading researchers who have a common goal – improving the neurological and developmental health outcomes of premature and sick newborns.

“Our conference this year focuses on better outcomes for newborns, particularly premature birth, those babies that suffered birth asphyxia or neonatal illnesses. By bringing together this international faculty of world class physicians and scientists, sharing our experience and research in the neonatal field, we are better able to identify conditions, predispositions and ultimately treatment earlier for optimal outcomes for neonates,” said Prof. Geraldine Boylan, Director of the SFI INFANT Research Centre, Professor of Neonatal Physiology at UCC and conference host and co-chair.

Pioneering research in the area of birth asphyxia using ‘therapeutic cooling’ is now proven to prevent further brain damage and deliver better outcomes for babies. The latest research, which will be presented at this year’s conference by Prof Marianne Thoresen, Norway, Prof Lina Chalak, USA and Dr Deirdre Murray, UCC will focus on whether or not babies, usually classified as mild on the birth asphyxia (HIE) scale, would benefit from hypothermic neuroprotection (brain cooling) to prevent later developmental issues and learning difficulties.

A world leading researcher in long-term outcomes of prematurity, Prof Neil Marlow University College London will be presenting the risk factors for poor outcomes in very premature infants.

Visiting from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Prof. Robert Clancy will discuss his research on why it is important to monitor the newborn brain following heart surgery.

Internationally recognized as a leader of discovery and innovation in perinatal healthcare, INFANT is undertaking collaborative research and partnering with a diverse array of national and international stakeholders in industry and academia. These relationships across private and public sector organisations, as well as academic and medical, ensure that it is a world class research centre.

“We are particularly excited about developments in artificial intelligence, which offers limitless opportunities to support our work in the area of neonatal research, monitoring and neuroprotection for babies. We are already employing some AI techniques, through our use of algorithms on baby brainwaves to predict seizures, and we are engaging with the tech sector more and more, to really unleash the opportunities for machine learning in neonatal care,” said Prof. Geraldine Boylan.

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