Children's Hospital Colorado

Neonatology Research

A close-up of a baby bottle full of breast milk on a table with the mom holding baby in the background.
Research article

We're conducting a study of marijuana use during pregnancy to determine how long the drug remains in a mother's breast milk.


455+ Multidisciplinary Specialists
15 Pediatric Surgical Specialists
1400+ Neonates Treated per Year

With the expertise to treat virtually any condition affecting newborns, we strive to continually elevate care for the smallest, most vulnerable patients. Our research has been crucial to the development of several therapies used in neonatal intensive care units throughout the country, such as the use of inhaled nitric oxide for pulmonary hypertension and brain cooling for hypoxic brain injury. We continue to innovate, regularly ushering in new discoveries, practices, and techniques from the lab to the bassinet.

What our research means for patients

Our research targets improving outcomes for a variety of neonatal conditions, from the common — such as prematurity or fetal growth restriction — to the rare. Better outcomes mean a better standard of living for our patients. A few of our efforts include:

  • The Perinatal Research Center at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado School of Medicine developed models used all over the world to study glucose metabolism in the fetus and the placenta. These models continue to aid researchers at Children’s Colorado and elsewhere in developing nutrition guidelines to target specific areas of premature infants’ physiology.

  • Our Colorado Fetal Care Center is a national referral site for Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH), pioneering new technologies and postings some of the best outcomes in the world. Our NICU maintains an 81 percent rate of survival to discharge for neonates with CDH, far exceeding the national benchmark of 70 percent.

  • Children’s Colorado’s John Kinsella, MD, played a key role in identifying inhaled nitric oxide as a therapy for pulmonary hypertension in newborns — now a standard treatment all over the world. More than 20 years later, Dr. Kinsella continues to study the therapy, searching for new opportunities to refine and expand its uses.

A national leader in neonatology care

Our Level IV NICU — the highest designation awarded by the American Academy of Pediatrics — is among the first in the nation to be named a Center of Excellence for Neonatal Services by United Resource Networks. Because we see more than 300 infants annually who require surgery while in our NICU, our providers have diverse experience caring for a nearly unlimited array of rare and complex conditions.

Learn more about our Neonatology Program.

Jason Gien, MD, and Alicia Grenolds, CPNP, with Noah and Melissa Lindsay at Children’s Colorado in fall 2017.

Saving "the sickest baby in the hospital"

Until Noah Lindsay, pulmonary AVMs had never been documented in a living CDH patient. Until our unprecedented CDH treatment, they thought he couldn't be saved.