Overview of the neonatal research network: History, contributions, challenges, and future

Kristi L. Watterberg, Waldemar A. Carlo, Luc P. Brion, C. Michael Cotten, Rosemary D. Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Neonatal Research Network (NRN) has been a leader in neonatal research since 1986. In this chapter we review its history and achievements in (1) continuing observation of populations, treatments, short and longer-term outcomes, and trends over time; (2) “negative studies” (trials with non-significant primary outcomes) and trials stopped for futility or adverse events, which have influenced practice and subsequent trial design; and, (3) landmark trials that have changed neonatal care. Its consistent framework has enabled the NRN to be a pioneer in conducting longer-term, school-age follow-up. Leveraging its established infrastructure, the NRN has also partnered with other NIH institutes, governmental agencies, and industry to more effectively advance neonatal care. As current examples of its evolution with changing times, the Network has instituted a process to open specific network trials to external institutions and is adding a parent and participant component to future endeavors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number151634
JournalSeminars in Perinatology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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