Overview

My research program aims at investigating how early-life adversity (e.g. stress, pain, inflammation, clinical treatments) affects the developing brain of very preterm infants, using an animal model that closely captures critical aspects of what preterm infants are like and what they may experience in the NICU. The use of preclinical models allows mechanistic studies on how exposure to early-life adversity alters the normal trajectory of brain development. This research, in turn, better informs clinical studies in preterm infants and the development of novel treatments to mitigate adverse effects from these exposures.

This work is motivated by my clinical nursing background as a paediatric clinical nurse specialist in acute pain, and builds upon my doctoral training in infant brain reactivity to pain (McGill University/Harvard University/Boston Children’s Hospital) and postdoctoral fellowship in pediatrics/neuroscience at UBC, as well as my recent work as a research scientist at Columbia University in the division of Developmental Neuroscience.

Publications

Hippocampus, amygdala, and thalamus volumes in very preterm children at 8 years: Neonatal pain and genetic variation
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00051
2019

Adverse behavioral changes in adult mice following neonatal repeated exposure to pain and sucrose
Frontiers in Psychology
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02394
2019

Is near infrared spectroscopy valid for the detection of procedural pain in postoperative cardiac surgery intensive care unit adults?
Journal of Near Infrared Spectroscopy
DOI: 10.1177/0967033517730369
2017

Repeated exposure to sucrose for procedural pain in mouse pups leads to long-term widespread brain alterations
Pain
DOI: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000961
2017

Neonatal Invasive Procedures Predict Pain Intensity at School Age in Children Born Very Preterm
Clinical Journal of Pain
DOI: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000353
2016

How do babies feel pain?
eLife
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.07552
2015

Neonatal Pain and Infection Relate to Smaller Cerebellum in Very Preterm Children at School Age
Journal of Pediatrics
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.04.055
2015

Early repetitive pain in preterm infants in relation to the developing brain
Pain management
DOI: 10.2217/pmt.13.61
2014

Innovating in Pain Assessment of the Critically Ill: Exploring Cerebral Near-Infrared Spectroscopy as a Bedside Approach
Pain Management Nursing
DOI: 10.1016/j.pmn.2012.03.005
2014

Internalizing behaviours in school-age children born very preterm are predicted by neonatal pain and morphine exposure
European Journal of Pain (United Kingdom)
DOI: 10.1002/j.1532-2149.2013.00431.x
2014

Neonatal pain and comt Val158Met genotype in relation to serotonin transporter (SLC6A4) promoter methylation in very preterm children at school age
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00409
2014

A multidimensional approach to pain assessment in critically ill infants during a painful procedure
Clinical Journal of Pain
DOI: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e31826dfb13
2013

Neonatal Pain-Related Stress Predicts Cortical Thickness at Age 7 Years in Children Born Very Preterm
PLoS ONE
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076702
2013

Maternal Touch and Talk for Invasive Procedures in Infants and Toddlers in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Journal of Pediatric Nursing
DOI: 10.1016/j.pedn.2010.12.016
2012

Cerebral near-infrared spectroscopy as a measure of nociceptive evoked activity in critically ill infants
Pain Research and Management
2011

Toward a new approach for the detection of pain in adult patients undergoing cardiac surgery: Near-infrared spectroscopy—A pilot study
Heart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
DOI: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2009.10.018
2010

Incidence of self-limiting back pain in children following caudal blockade: An exploratory study
Paediatric Anaesthesia
DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-9592.2010.03365.x
2010

Developing synergy to enhance the impact of nursing intervention research on patient health
Canadian Journal of Nursing Research
2009

Interventions used in Emergency Departments (ED) for pain management of simple fractures in children
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007538
2009

An acute pain service improves postoperative pain management for children undergoing selective dorsal rhizotomy
Paediatric Anaesthesia
DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-9592.2009.03184.x
2009

Controlling bias in complex nursing intervention studies: A checklist
Canadian Journal of Nursing Research
2009

Theoretical, Psychometric, and Pragmatic Issues in Pain Measurement
Pain Management Nursing
DOI: 10.1016/j.pmn.2007.12.001
2008

Temperament and Pain Response: A Review of the Literature
Pain Management Nursing
DOI: 10.1016/j.pmn.2007.09.005
2008

Current Controversies Regarding Pain Assessment in Neonates
Seminars in Perinatology
DOI: 10.1053/j.semperi.2007.07.003
2007

Horner's syndrome following thoracic epidural analgesia in children: A report of two cases
Acute Pain
DOI: 10.1016/j.acpain.2006.05.001
2006

Continuous axillary block for paediatric trauma patients who failed with PCA therapy
Acute Pain
DOI: 10.1016/j.acpain.2006.09.001
2006

Research

Discovering the Immune Signature of Neonatal Pain and Sucrose Exposure: A Translational Mouse Model

Discovering the Immune Signature of Neonatal Pain and Sucrose Exposure: A Translational Mouse Model

Neurobiological Mechanisms of Environmental Stressor Effects on the Immature Brain

Neurobiological Mechanisms of Environmental Stressor Effects on the Immature Brain

Exploring the Neurobiological Mechanisms of Neonatal Sucrose Treatment Using a Translational Mouse Model

Exploring the Neurobiological Mechanisms of Neonatal Sucrose Treatment Using a Translational Mouse Model

Research Group Members

Miranda Amundsen, Clinical Trainee
Fermin Hoq, Volunteer
Rujun Kang, Research Assistant/Lab Technician Level 4
Tracy Leung, Trainee
Kudrat Mundi
Scott Ramsay, Graduate Student