Barbara K Schmidt, MD, MSc
Kristine Sandberg Knisely Professor in Neonatology
Dr. Schmidt’s research focuses on collaborative neonatal randomized trials that have clinically important, long-term outcomes, such as growth and development. She has directed studies such as the “Trial of Indomethacin Prophylaxis in Preterms,” which followed 1,202 extremely low-birth-weight infants from five countries to the end of the second year of life. The results showed that the high rate of mental and motor deficits in these children is not improved by prophylactic treatment with indomethacin. She is also the principal investigator of the “Caffeine for Apnea of Prematurity” trial, which enrolled over 2,000 very low-birth-weight infants in North America, Europe, Israel and Australia. Caffeine has been used for more than 30 years to regulate the breathing of very preterm babies, but without sufficient knowledge of the possible benefits and risks. To date, this trial has shown that caffeine therapy for apnea of prematurity improves the rate of survival without neurodevelopmental disability for up to two years after very preterm birth. It will continue to follow the study participants well into school age.
In addition to her roles in the Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM), she serves as a staff neonatologist in the Division of Neonatology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Since May 2010, Dr. Schmidt has served as a co-principal investigator of the Data Coordinating Center for the Prematurity and Respiratory Outcomes Program (PROP), sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and located at the PSOM. One of the goals of this multi-center collaboration is to identify predictors of respiratory outcomes that may serve as surrogate endpoints in future trials that address prevention and therapy for respiratory diseases in preterm infants. In addition, since April 2011, Dr. Schmidt has served as the clinical center principal investigator for the University of Pennsylvania and CHOP in the reconfigured Neonatal Research Network of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
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