As a neonatologist, I am regularly involved in the medical care of infants needing intensive medical care at birth. Newborns are particularly vulnerable to infections. Infection and prematurity are leading causes of mortality and long-term health problems. My lab focuses on understanding the development of the immune system in humans before and at birth, and how to use this knowledge to prevent diseases in this age group.
We also work on understanding why some human individuals are more susceptible to infections or auto-immune/inflammatory conditions compared to others, in the general population and across development. To do so, we employ a combination of translational research approaches (population-based clinical studies, epidemiology, but lab-based human immunology and molecular biology, but also clinical trials/interventional studies. We also have ongoing collaboration nationally and internationally (US/Europe) to understand risk factors for neonatal infections, genetics of BPD, HIV, vaccine development, microbiome and human immunology traits.