#053 - Dr. Kristi Watterberg MD

#053 - Dr. Kristi Watterberg MD


Studying steroids in neonatology, mentorship and a life of research

Hello Friends 👋

We could not be more excited to have on the show this week the legend herself... Dr. Kristi Watterberg. Dr. Watterberg is a humble neonatologists who has accomplished an incredible amount of work in the field of neonatology. Whether you have read her papers or not, there is no doubt that your practice has been shaped by her work. She recently first authored the study of hydrocortisone prophylaxis on survival of extremely preterm infants without BPD in the New England Journal of Medicine. We covered a variety of topic ranging from steroids, research methodology, mentorship and her work with the Committee of the Fetus and the Newborn. We hope you enjoy this interview.

Bio: Dr. Watterberg is a Professor Emerita of Pediatrics in the Division of Neonatology at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.  She served as Chief of the Division from 2006 – 2011, and Director of the UNM Signature Program in Child Health Research from 2011 – 2016.   Dr. Watterberg has over 30 years’ experience conducting studies exploring newborn adrenal function, its relationship to inflammation and BPD, and long-term outcomes after preterm birth.   She is the New Mexico Principal Investigator for the NICHD Neonatal Research Network (NRN, 2006-2023), which has multiple ongoing observational and interventional studies.  She also was awarded a grant from NIH to study adrenal function at age six in a cohort of NRN children born extremely preterm (R01HL117764; 2013 – 2019). She has mentored fellows, faculty and other learners in research and academic advancement.  Dr. Watterberg has served on NIH peer review panels and is a member of the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society.   She has been an AAP member throughout her career, and has served on the Committee on Fetus and Newborn (COFN) as a member from 2006 – 2012, and as chair (2013 – 2017).

Prophylaxis Against Early Adrenal Insufficiency to Prevent Chronic Lung Disease in Premature Infants
Background.. Many extremely low birth weight infants (<1000 g) show biochemical evidence of adrenal insufficiency in the first week of life, correlating with subsequent development of chronic lung disease (CLD).Methods.. We conducted a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled pilot study to tes…
Prophylaxis of Early Adrenal Insufficiency to Prevent Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia: A Multicenter Trial
Background. Infants developing bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) show decreased cortisol response to adrenocorticotropic hormone. A pilot study of low-dose hydrocortisone therapy for prophylaxis of early adrenal insufficiency showed improved survival without BPD at 36 weeks’ postmenstrual age, partic…
Effect of early low-dose hydrocortisone on survival without bronchopulmonary dysplasia in extremely preterm infants (PREMILOC): a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre, randomised trial
In extremely preterm infants, the rate of survival without bronchopulmonary dysplasiaat 36 weeks of postmenstrual age was significantly increased by prophylactic low-dosehydrocortisone. This strategy, based on a physiological rationale, could lead to substantialimprovements in the management of t…
Trial of Early Neonatal Hydrocortisone: Two-Year Follow-Up
Background: Dexamethasone treatment is associated with an increased risk of cerebral palsy (CP). Early hydrocortisone (HC) treatment may decrease the incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia; however, the long-term effects are still under evaluation. Follow-up of randomized studies concerning early H…
Early Low-Dose Hydrocortisone in Very Preterm Infants: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial
Background: Several reports indicate a decreased cortisol response to adrenocorticotropic hormone in preterm infants developing chronic lung disease and in preterm infants with refractory hypotension. Low-dose hydrocortisone (HC) may allow for beneficial effects. Objective: Our aim was to assess whe…
Effect of Prophylaxis for Early Adrenal Insufficiency Using Low-Dose Hydrocortisone in Very Preterm Infants: An Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis
To assess the effect of prophylaxis for early adrenal insufficiency using low-dosehydrocortisone on survival without bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in very preterminfants using an individual patient data meta-analysis.
Hydrocortisone to Improve Survival without Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia | NEJM
Original Article from The New England Journal of Medicine — Hydrocortisone to Improve Survival without Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia