Dr. Griffin is interested in the effects of early diet of preterm infants on growth, body composition, metabolic programming, metabolic disease, and developmental outcome. The long-term objective is to identify nutritional interventions, both before and after hospital discharge, that can normalize growth and body composition, optimize development outcomes, and minimize the risks of metabolic syndrome.
Dr. Poulains' research investigates the role of selected surfactant apoproteins in the defenses of the lung against environmental pathogens and toxicants.
Dr. Underwood's research interests are focused on improving nutrition and preventing infections in premature infants. In collaboration with the UC Davis Foods for Health Institute and the UC Davis Functional Glycobiology Program, we are exploring how human milk shapes the composition of the bacteria in the intestine and the developing immune system in premature and term infants. We are conducting clinical trials of probiotics and prebiotics in premature infants and infants with congenital heart disease and gastroschisis. These trials are sponsored by the NIH and the Children’s Miracle Network - more information is available from the NIH's Clinical Trials database. Our goal is to alter the composition of the intestinal bacteria to improve digestion and decrease the risk of a devastating disease of newborns, necrotizing enterocolitis.