Newborn Brain Society

Congratulations to the Winners of the NBS Early Career Grant

The Newborn Brain Society’s QI and Research Committee has announced the awardees for the first Early Career Award.

Initiated in 2022 to support investigators with a focus on the fetal and neonatal brain, the awardees will receive $10,000 each for their projects that will begin in January 2023.

Dr. Triplett is awarded for her project “Biomarkers for Epilepsy Prediction in Very Preterm Infants with Intraventricular Hemorrhage” and Dr. van der Aa is awarded for his project on “Obstructive fetal ventriculomegaly: How does it effect brain development and can we improve outcome?”

We look forward to their presentations upon completion.

Regina Triplett, MD, MS

Clinical Instructor in Pediatric Neurology and Epilepsy
Developmental Neuroscience Post-Doctoral Research Scholar
Division of Pediatric and Developmental Neurology
Department of Neurology
Washington University in St. Louis
Saint Louis, MO, USA

Dr. Regina Triplett is a Clinical Instructor in Pediatric Neurology and Epilepsy and a Post-Doctoral Research Scholar at Washington University in St. Louis. She earned her medical degree and a Master of Science in Clinical Research from the University of Pittsburgh, and then completed her clinical residency and fellowship at Washington University. Her clinical work focuses on diagnosing and treating infants and children with epilepsy. As a Post-Doctoral Researcher, she works in the Washington University Neonatal Development Research (WUNDER) laboratory, led by Dr. Christopher Smyser and Dr. Cynthia Rogers, to study relationships between MRI measures of brain structure and function in infants and later developmental outcomes, focusing on the effects of early life exposures including preterm brain injury, systemic inflammation, and poverty. With early career support, Dr. Triplett is beginning to develop her independent research program focused on using multi-modal tools including EEG and MRI to study the early development of seizure networks and determine the risk of epilepsy and co-occurring neurodevelopmental conditions in infants and children. She hopes to use these findings to evaluate and ultimately deliver interventions to improve neurologic and developmental outcomes for infants and children with or at high risk of epilepsy.

Niek van der Aa, MD

Department of Neonatology
Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital
University Medical Centre Utrecht
The Netherlands

Fetal ventriculomegaly is the most common central nervous system abnormality occurring in 1% of all fetuses. In the subgroup of obstructive ventriculomegaly, the increased intraventricular pressure may induce further brain injury. In preterm born infants with post-hemorrhagic ventricular dilatation early treatment, aiming at reducing intraventricular pressure, has shown to reduce brain injury and lower the odds for death or severe neurodevelopmental impairment. However, the effect of timing of interventions has not yet been studied in fetal obstructive ventriculomegaly, though different treatment strategies are being used around the world.

In this international retrospective, multicenter study, Dr. Niek van der Aa will study how different international approaches affect brain development and outcome following fetal ventriculomegaly. This will be done with the team of Dr. Chau and Dr. Miller at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. Dr. van der Aa was trained as a pediatrician at the Wilhelmina children’s Hospital in Utrecht, the Netherlands and will soon finish his fellowship in neonatology. He has a special interest in neonatal neurology and has spent time as a clinical research at the department of neonatology at Johns Hopkins Hospital Baltimore and at The Centre for the Developing Brain in London.