Innovation & Research

From the first weeks of pregnancy through the birth of your baby, our specialists offer years of innovation and extraordinary care. Our Stanford Medicine physicians are researchers and professors in the School of Medicine’s Neonatal and Developmental Medicine, Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Obstetric divisions. Through their advancements in their fields, they are able to provide state-of-the-art care to promote the health of pregnant women and their babies.

Advancing Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetric and Neonatal Care

Our Stanford Medicine physician-scientists in the divisions of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and Obstetrics at the School of Medicine have an outstanding record of excellence in clinical investigation, patient-oriented research, and translational medicine. Through collaboration across specialties, we are focused on discovering ways to address the full range of disorders that may occur in the mother and fetus during pregnancy and gestation. Numerous innovative clinical trials in obstetrics and neonatology are currently underway with support from the National Institutes of Health. Since 1991, the Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine at Stanford University has participated in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and Development (NICHD) Cooperative Multicenter Network of Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs), known as the Neonatal Research Network (NRN). The NRN is comprised of 18 academic research centers—representing over 40 NICUs. Stanford Children’s Health partnership with Stanford University is critical to the success of clinical trials, which advances leading-edge treatments and outstanding care for our patients. Learn more about our NRN research.

Network research draws upon innovations within the ECMO Program, Fetal and Pregnancy Health Program, and Neuro NICU, all of which are critical to improving the care of infants.

Improving Patient Safety through Simulation Training for Labor and Delivery Teams

Just as pilots train on flight simulators to practice their skills, learn new ones and make flying safer, the OB Simulation Program provides labor and delivery teams with a safe way to practice emergency situations without danger to patients. Using live actors and mannequins, OB Sim staff create realistic scenarios designed to teach obstetric teams the technical, behavioral and communication skills necessary for optimal performance when faced with a real life emergency situation. 

The training team at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has over ten years’ experience with hundreds of courses conducted. Recipients of the Kaiser Innovation in Education award, we are known as the national and international leader in multi-disciplinary “in-situ” obstetric simulation at the point of care. Our Stanford Health Care faculty includes obstetric simulation experts, advanced practice nurse educators, obstetricians, and obstetric anesthesiologists — all of whom practice at a busy, high acuity center.

Stanford University School of Medicine is the birthplace of the world’s first simulated delivery room at the Center for Advanced Pediatric and Perinatal Education (CAPE), launched in 2002. The healthcare professionals at CAPE draw upon aviation research to conduct studies and operate our NeoSim, CounselSim, ECMOSim, and OB-NeoSim training programs, all of which involve simulation and debriefing.

For more information about our OB Simulation Training opportunities or to schedule a training for your team call (650) 497-8284 or download the OB Simulation Program brochure.

A Birthplace of Modern Neonatology

As global leaders in neonatology—the study and practice of caring for newborns—our physician-scientists have advanced their field in the United States for more than half a century. They have developed care methodologies that have become common practice. Instead of focusing exclusively on repair of disorders, they work to prevent many conditions from happening. Innovations include the creation of the first Premature Research Center, the development of the first apnea monitor, development and use of radiant-warmed transport incubators, design of novel phototherapy and imaging devices, and optical imaging of infection and gene expression in vivo. Learn more about our breakthrough innovations.

Neonatology Quality Care Initiatives

The School of Medicine also serves as the coordinating center for the California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative, which collects data on over 90 percent of the NICUs in the state. By linking CPQCC databases to vital records collected by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, we have even more opportunities to assess prenatal, neonatal, and post-natal care delivery. We incorporate all California perinatal databases with the Vermont Oxford Network existing databases that include information on very low birth weight infants (≤ 1500 grams) and infants over 1500 grams who are admitted to a NICU at one of its nearly 1000 participating centers around the world.

Learn more about our commitment to quality care improvement.

Life Course Care of the High-Risk Infant

We are committed to ensuring the ongoing care of our newborns through our partnership in the CPQCC with California Children’s Services (CCS) to administer the statewide High-Risk Infant Follow-Up (HRIF) Quality Care Initiative. The CCS HRIF Program follows high-risk newborns through their third birthday. The Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine includes a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics section where a dedicated research team conducts several studies that assess the neurodevelopmental outcomes of children born preterm. 

View a complete list of DBP studies and learn more about enrollment criteria.