The Division of Neonatal Biology and Respiratory Diseases of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington was officially created in 1963 with the recruitment of Dr. Tim Oliver. He then recruited Dr. W. Alan Hodson from Johns Hopkins in 1966 as a second faculty member. A third faculty member, Dr. Dick Wennberg, was added in 1969 and a fourth, Dr. David Woodrum, in 1971. Dr. Oliver left Seattle in 1971 to become Chair of Pediatrics at Pittsburgh and Dr. Hodson became head of the Division.
Between 1966 and 1970, research funding for the Division was obtained from the NICHD with a Neonatal Biology Training Grant, an individual research award, and a satellite clinical research center. In 1972, Division members worked together with members of the Department of Medicine to obtain a 5-year Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) Grant in respiratory disease from the NHLBI. This SCOR became an independent pediatric pulmonary SCOR when it was renewed in 1976, with a second 5-year renewal in 1982. In 1987, a Program Project grant entitled “Pathophysiology of Respiratory Disorders of the Newborn” was funded through the NHLBI for a 5-year period ending in 1992. In 1997, Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine officially became its own division under the direction of Dr. Greg Redding
Dr. Christine Gleason was recruited from Johns Hopkins as Division Head of Neonatology in 1997 and she led the division in developmental neuroscience. In 2000, Dr. Sandra Juul was recruited, and her NIH-funded bench research programs focused on neurodevelopment and neonatal neuroprotection, with translation to multicenter clinical trials of erythropoietin (Epo) neuroprotection. The addition of senior scientist Dr. Colin Studholme to the Division in 2011 brought state of the art neuroimaging techniques for fetal and neonatal brain imaging. In 2013, Dr. Juul was awarded a $10.1 million UO1 grant supporting a 5-year multi-center clinical trial investigating Epo as a neuroprotective agent in extremely preterm infants, and in 2016 a second U01 grant was awarded to study the neuroprotective effects of Epo for term infants with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Dr. Juul became division head in January 2015. In addition to neuroscience, research in the Division over the past several years has included global neonatal-perinatal health, medical education, and ethics.
The Division received $600,000 in research funds during the academic year. Division neonatologists staffed 2 level IV NICUs (84 beds) and 3 level III NICUs (81 beds). In addition to staffing the level IV and III NICUs, our APPs and neonatal hospitalists also staffed 5 level II NICUs (~28 beds) with oversight by our neonatologists, for a total of 193 NICU beds.