About preterm studies

Our research aims to give all babies a healthy start for life, but some babies, for example those born early, very small, very large or to mothers with gestational diabetes, face greater challenges.

Clinical researchers at the Liggins Institute are investigating ways to improve clinical care for small and preterm infants during the vulnerable neonatal period and improve their long-term health outcomes. Clinical research includes involvement in large, multi-centre international and local randomised controlled trials.

If your baby has been admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), you may be invited to take part in one of these studies.

Neonatal clinical research team

The neonatal clinical research team comprises neonatal paediatricians, neonatal nurse practitioners, neonatal nurses, dietitians, clinical research fellows and PhD students.

Principal research investigators:

Prof Jane Harding
Prof Frank Bloomfield
Dr Jane Alsweiler

What we investigate

Current and past neonatal clinical trials have looked at things like:

  • Treatment and long-term implications of hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose concentrations) in preterm newborns
  • Definition, diagnosis and management of neonatal hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose concentrations) in the newborn
  • Use of continuous glucose monitoring for management of hypo- and hyperglycaemia in the newborn
  • Relationships between blood glucose concentration and cerebral function
    Novel approaches to optimise ventilation practices and reduce chronic lung disease in extremely preterm babies
  • Long-term consequences of fetal anaemia and intra-uterine transfusion
  • Childhood outcomes following repeat antenatal glucocorticoids
  • Neonatal outcomes following hyperemesis gravidarum
  • Growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes following optimisation of protein intake in extremely low birth-weight babies.

Families whose babies have been through neonatal intensive care units are frequently invited to participate in follow-up studies of perinatal care.