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Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine

Dedicated to providing the highest level of expertise in the care of women with high-risk pregnancies and in diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders of the newborn infant.

The Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine provides comprehensive care for premature and full-term infants with a complex of neonatal problems. The ICN is a major referral center for term infants with respiratory failure and persistent pulmonary hypertension, perinatal asphyxia, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and complex surgical problems, especially those with congenital diaphragmatic hernia where the survival for uncomplicated cases is greater than 90%. Special services offered in our nursery include high frequency ventilation, nitric oxide, hypothermia for perinatal asphyxia, and comprehensive neonatal health care. We also provide long-term neurodevelopmental follow-up for high-risk infants who are discharged from the intensive care nursery. The Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine is a member of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Neonatal Research Network, a consortium of the leading neonatal intensive care units in the country that perform cutting-edge, collaborative clinical research.

The Division benchmarks patient care outcomes with this group of 16 of the leading intensive care nurseries in the country. Our low birth weight mortality and rate of broncho-pulmonary dysplasia and retinopathy of prematurity are consistently among the lowest.

The Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine offers a NICHD sponsored fellowship program for pediatricians interested in advanced training in neonatal basic or clinical research. The Division houses the Jean & George Brumley Jr., Neonatal-Perinatal Research Institute which includes over 80 investigators at Duke interested in developmental biology and problems of the neonate and fetus.


Our expertise includes a continuum of care:

  • Critically ill newborns
  • Premature infants
  • Low birth weight infants
  • Complex surgical conditions
  • Perinatal asphyxia
  • Sepsis and septic shock
  • Newborns with congenital malformations
  • Respiratory failure in newborns
  • Congenital diaphramatic hernia

We offer:

  • High frequency ventilation for respiratory failure
  • Nitric oxide for pulmonary hypertension
  • Total body cooling for perinatal asphyxia
  • ECMO

Our Division provides comprehensive coverage for nurseries at Duke Hospital and Duke Regional Hospital. For detailed descriptions of these nurseries, click here.

Physicians and Staff


Name Areas of Special Interest
Patricia L. Ashley, MD, PhD Convalescent care of chronically ill neonates; acute care of mild to moderately ill newborns
Kamlesh V. Athavale, MD, MBBS Prematurity, care of the critically ill neonate, neonatal ventilation
Eric J. Benner, MD, PhD Optimizing outcomes of critically ill newborns with evidence-based practice; neuroprotein and white matter injury associated with prematurity
Margarita Bidegain, MD, MHS-CL High-risk neonatal care, prenatal, neonatal and pediatric palliative care
C. Michael Cotten, MD, MHS Optimizing care for newborns with evidence-based practice; special interest in infectious disease in low birthweight infants, perinatal asphyxia, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, genome-guided approaches to neonatal diseases
Jeffrey M. Ferranti, MD, MS Medical informatics, computerized patient-safety initiatives, quality improvement metrics, electronic research data exchange, medical-data standards and interoperability, neonatal critical care, CPOE, electronic medical records
Ronald N. Goldberg, MD Care of the low birth-weight infant, perinatal asphyxia, persistent pulmonary hypertension, congenital diaphragmatic hernia
Susan D. Izatt, MD Intensive and transitional care of the ill newborn, neonatal skin, resident education
Deesha D. Mago-Shah, MD
William F. Malcolm, MD Duke Transitional Care Nursery; convalescent and follow-up care of high-risk infants
P. Brian Smith, MD, MHS, MPH Nosocomial infections in preterm neonates, drug safety and efficacy in neonates
David T. Tanaka, MD High-risk neonatal care, financial process analysis
Yui-Lin Tang, MD, MHS High-risk neonatal care, developmental care

Research Faculty

NameAreas of Special Interest
Margarita Bidegain, MD, MHS Palliative care
C. Michael Cotten, MD, MHS Use of cord blood therapy for perinatal asphyxia, use of genomic studies to diagnose and guide neonatal therapy
Erica Davis, PhD Functional interpretation of variation at the DNA level beyond the resolution of genetics arguments; mapping pathogenic alleles back to disease phenotypes
Jeffrey Ferranti, MD, MS Use of medical informatics, computerized patient safety initiatives
Ronald Goldberg, MD Perinatal asphyxia, use of stem cell/cord blood therapy for perinatal asphyxia
Ricki F. Goldstein, MD Neurodevelopmental follow-up of high-risk infants
Mary Hutson, PhD Growth factor signalling and cardiac development
Chay Kuo, MD, PhD Neurodevelopmental research of neural stem cells
William Malcolm, MD Diagnosis and management of gastroesophageal reflux
P. Brian Smith, MD, MPH, MHS Nosocomial infections, neonatal candidiasis, neonatal pharmacology
David Tanaka, MD Health care economics

Neonatal-Perinatal Research Unit Staff

C. Michael Cotten, MD, MHS Medical Director
Kimberley Fisher, PhD, FNP-BC, IBCLC Director of Operations
Joanne Finkle, JD Clinical Research Associate II


Michelle Schott RN, MSN, CNML Nurse Manager of Operations
Emily Patterson                    Patient Services
Megan Traky Senior Business Manager

Clinic Hours and Location

Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center
2301 Erwin Road
Durham, NC 27710
Tel: 919-668-4000

Durham Regional Hospital
3643 Roxboro Road
Durham, NC 27704
Tel: 919-470-4000


Appointments and Contact Information

  • Referrals 24/7: 800-MED-DUKE (800-633-3853) or call the Intensive Care Nursery directly and ask to speak to the fellow or attending on call: 919-681-5551.
  • Urgent calls during business hours: 919-681-5551.