Neonatology Research Group (GReN)

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SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital

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This research group was born out of an eagerness to explore the processes having the greatest impact on early neonatal morbidity and development. The neonatal period is unique, with several differentiating features compared with other age groups. The newborn infant exists in transition from intra- to extra-uterine life. Organs and systems lack full maturity making them especially vulnerable but, conversely, this also confers on them greater plasticity and adaptability.

Our research group investigates how early neonatal disease and exposure can produce immediate effects as well as others that could manifest later on in childhood or adulthood.

We form part of the GReN (Neonatology Research Group), the neonatal branch of BCNatal led by Dr Eduard Gratacós. Some of our researchers have been part of the Maternal and Child Health and Development Network (SAMID) (RD16/0022/0002) since 2018, and recognised as a consolidated research group by the Government of Catalonia (SGR 1734) since 2017.

Research lines

  1. Prematurity and the impact of nutrition, care and the environment on neonatal development (Principal investigator: Isabel Iglesias), focusing mainly on the study of the impact of environmental and nutritional factors on the health of preterm newborn infants. The study of intrauterine growth restriction in animal models (Principal investigator: Marta Camprubí).
  2. Neonatal resuscitation and intensive care (Principal investigator: Martín Iriondo), studying the factors that influence the care of the critical newborn infant during the neonatal period according to their condition (diaphragmatic hernia, heart disease, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, etc.) and neonatal resuscitation.

Scientific objectives

  1. To further the search for biomarkers to optimise short- and long-term outcomes in newborn patients: exploring protein, epigenetic and metabolic markers.
  2. To define the influence of preterm nutritional support on subsequent development (growth and neurodevelopment).
  3. To explore the existence and function of bioactive factors in human milk in the feeding and development of the newborn infant.
  4. To design predictive morbidity-free and without significant neurodevelopmental impairment neonatal survival models for preterm newborn infants (SEN1500 network).
  5. To boost critical care neuromonitoring tools.

Area/Field of expertise

The group focuses its interest on the short-, medium- and long-term effects of disorders that originate or with onset in the neonatal stage, and the treatments used with a view to optimising the health of neonates and their families.

Most members of the group are involved in both clinical and research activities, prioritising questions or topics arising from patient care, converting these into research projects that, in turn, revert back to enhance the care of the newborn child. Our group includes professionals with postgraduate training in basic research disciplines as well as laboratory personnel to facilitate research in animal models and the application of innovative technologies. Acquiring cutting-edge scientific knowledge furthers the development of our own projects as well as other projects in collaboration with other related basic science teams.

The group contributes to the validation of minimally-invasive neonatal metabolism monitors and is exploring possible epigenetic markers using methylation arrays and direct bisulfite-cloning sequencing and pyrosequencing. We study metabolic phenotypes using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays in multiplex techniques or metabolomics analysis to facilitate the optimisation of results from small volume samples.

Group members

Last Publications

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Projects

Project name:
TinyBrains_Bio-photonic imaging of the infant brain, the missing link between the cellular brain damage and the neurovascular unit during acute illness
Leader
Marta Camprubi Camprubi, Joan Sánchez de Toledo
Funding entities:
European Commission
Code
101017113
Starting - finishing date:
2021 - 2024
Project name:
Validación prospectiva mediante un estudio multicéntrico estatal (REDSAMID) de modelos predictivos de mortalidad neonatal en prematuros
Leader
Martin Iriondo Sanz
Funding entities:
Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Code
PI20/00295
Starting - finishing date:
2021 - 2023
Project name:
Consecuencias en la infancia del fallo perinatal de crecimiento en Recién Nacidos Muy Prematuros: estudio clínico y metabolómico
Leader
Isabel Iglesias Platas
Funding entities:
Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Code
PI20/00294
Starting - finishing date:
2021 - 2023
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Theses

  • Análisis del crecimiento postnatal de los recién nacidos muy prematuros y su modulación nutricional
    Author
    Izquierdo Renau, Montserrat
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    03/12/2020
  • Valoración del papel del daño oxidativo en la hipoxia isquemia en un modelo animal
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
    02/07/2019
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