Premature babies are vulnerable and prone to poor postnatal growth. Fortified mothers’ milk is the best feed for tiny babies, and fortification of human milk is standard practice in NICUs across the globe. However, there is lack of consensus regarding the best fortification strategy. Our research focuses on refining fortification practices and improving growth outcomes of premature infants. Early growth in small babies plays an important role in long term neurodevelopment. Individualized fortification of human milk after daily analysis of milk macronutrient content can improve nutrient intake and weight gain in premature infants. However, use of commercial milk analyzers is not feasible in most settings. We have recently developed and validated a bedside color-based tool, that can help in estimation of human milk calorie content. This tool, along with existing clinical and laboratory parameter will help in improving clinical outcomes of tiny babies. Our vision is to develop a smartphone camera-based app which can estimate the calorie content of human milk with a simple click of the camera. This study would improve the feeding practices for preterm infants globally and would be crucial in improving nutrition and growth outcomes for these tiny and sick babies.


COVID-19 Disease in Under-5 Children: Current Status and Strategies for Prevention including Vaccination
Anish Pillai and Anuja Nayak and Deepika Tiwari and Pratichi Kadam Pillai and Aakash Pandita and Sachin Sakharkar and Haribalakrishna Balasubramanian and Nandkishor Kabra
DOI: 10.3390/vaccines11030693

Liquid gold: do we need to fraction fresh colostrum for oral immunotherapy in premature infants?
International Breastfeeding Journal
Anish Pillai and Isha Jhaveri and Sachin Sakharkar and Nandkishor Kabra
DOI: 10.1186/s13006-022-00471-y

Providing Positive End Expiratory Pressure during Neonatal Resuscitation: A Meta-analysis
American Journal of Perinatology
I Bellos and Anish Pillai and Aakash Pandita
DOI: 10.1055/a-1933-7235

Urinary beta-2 microglobulin as an early predictive biomarker of acute kidney injury in neonates with perinatal asphyxia
European Journal of Pediatrics
Abdullah and Kadam, P. and Yachha, M. and Srivastava, G. and Pillai, A. and Pandita, A.
DOI: 10.1007/s00431-021-04205-w

Effect of Early Parent Participation Program on Physiological Stability in Preterm Infants: A Randomized Controlled Trial
American Journal of Perinatology
Pillai, A. and Pournami, F. and Prabhakar, J. and Nair, P.M.C. and Jain, N.
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1726126

Comment on “Erythropoietin Improves Poor Outcomes in Preterm Infants with Intraventricular Hemorrhage”
CNS Drugs
Anita Chevle and Anish Pillai and Nandkishor Kabra
DOI: 10.1007/s40263-021-00857-2

Corrected fortification approach improves the protein and energy content of preterm human milk compared with standard fixed-dose fortification
Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition
Anish Pillai and Susan Gail Albersheim and Kaitlin Berris and Arianne Y Albert and Horacio Osiovich and Rajavel Elango
DOI: 10.1136/archdischild-2019-317503

Use of high-dose early parenteral lipid in very preterm infants
The Journal of Pediatrics
Khushboo Kanwal and Anish Pillai and Nandkishor Kabra
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.01.063

Aerosolized Surfactant: What Is the Cost of Avoiding Intubation?
DOI: 10.1542/peds.2020-047985a
PubMed: 33637644

Perinatal COVID-19: review of current evidence and practical approach towards prevention and management
European Journal of Pediatrics
Vardhelli, V. and Pandita, A. and Pillai, A. and Badatya, S.K.
DOI: 10.1007/s00431-020-03866-3

Aerosolized surfactant: What is the cost of avoiding intubation?
Choubey, R. and Pillai, A. and Kabra, N.
DOI: 10.1542/PEDS.2020-047985A

Does probiotic bacteremia in premature infants impact clinically relevant outcomes? A case report and updated review of literature
Clinical Nutrition ESPEN
Anish Pillai and Jason Tan and Vanessa Paquette and Julia Panczuk
DOI: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2020.05.020

Pathogenesis and Management of Indirect Hyperbilirubinemia in Preterm Neonates Less Than 35 Weeks: Moving Toward a Standardized Approach
Anish Pillai and Aakash Pandita and Horacio Osiovich and Deepak Manhas
DOI: 10.1542/neo.21-5-e298

Infant of diabetic mother: what one needs to know?
Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Kallem, V.R. and Pandita, A. and Pillai, A.
DOI: 10.1080/14767058.2018.1494710

Leucocyte adhesion defect presenting as fulminant sepsis in a new born.
BMJ case reports
DOI: 10.1136/bcr-2018-227065
PubMed: 31471353

High-dose parenteral amino acid intake in very low birthweight infants
Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
DOI: 10.1097/mco.0000000000000560

High-dose parenteral amino acid intake in very low birthweight infants: What is the current evidence?
Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Pillai, A. and Albersheim, S. and Elango, R.
DOI: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000560

Is kangaroo mother care effective in alleviating vaccination associated pain in early infantile period? A RCT
Early Human Development
Aakash Pandita and Astha Panghal and Girish Gupta and Anup Verma and Anish Pillai and Anita Singh and Kirti Naranje
DOI: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2018.10.001

Evaluation of A Concentrated Preterm Formula as a Liquid Human Milk Fortifier in Preterm Babies at Increased Risk of Feed Intolerance
Anish Pillai and Susan Albersheim and Julie Matheson and Vikki Lalari and Sylvia Wei and Sheila M Innis and Rajavel Elango
DOI: 10.3390/nu10101433

Hypertension in the Neonatal Period: An Update
Current Hypertension Reviews
DOI: 10.2174/1573402112666161129155224

Potentially Good Practices that are Associated with Better Neurodevelomental Outcomes
Journal of Neonatology
Naveen Jain and Sourabh Dutta and Femitha P and Anish Pillai and Jino Joseph and Jyothi Prabhakar and Nihaz Naha
DOI: 10.1177/0973217920150110

Perinatal Care
Journal of Neonatology
Ranjan Kumar Pejaver and Vidyalekshmi R and Femitha P and Anish Pillai
DOI: 10.1177/0973217920150104


Current Projects
1. Human milk calorie guide: A novel color-based tool to estimate calorie content for guiding fortification in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
2. Corrected fortification strategy to promote growth in very low birth weight infants
3. Calorie-Cam: Using a Smart Phone App to Estimate Calorie Content of Human Milk


2019: Research grant (co-investigator) by the British Columbia Children’s Hospital Research Institute for ‘Development and Validation of Human Milk Calorie Guide’ project, Value $40,000; Grant Number GR014633

2014: Research Scholarship Award by Society for Continuing Medical Education and Research, Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences, Thiruvananthapuram, India; Value $2000 (Rs 1 lac only)

Honours & Awards

2019: Laura McRae award for best Subspecialty Trainee at University of British Columbia, Vancouver for 2018-2019

2019: National Research Award at the 31st Annual National Research Competition, for best presentation; May 2019 Vancouver

2019: Best Research Presentation at Celebrate Research Day by Department of Pediatrics, UBC, Vancouver; March 2019

2019: Travel Award for Research Presentation by BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute; Value $500

2019: Travel Award for Evidence Based Practice for Improving Quality (EPIQ) Conference by UBC; Value $1600

2018: Best Clinical Research Platform Presentation at District 8 Perinatal Conference, Midway, Utah, USA; June 2018

2018: Travel Award by American Academy of Pediatrics, Society of Neonatal Perinatal Medicine Council; Value $1000

2012: Gold medal by Department of Pediatrics, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala – best postgraduate resident 2009-2012

2012: Gold Medal in the Postgraduate Pediatric Exit Exam, Kerala University – highest score in university residency exit exam

2011: First prize in All Kerala State Pediatrics Quiz conducted by Indian Academy of Pediatrics