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Vacancy Announcement: NICHD Director
NIH is seeking exceptional candidates for the position of NICHD Director. The Director provides leadership to a complex organization that conducts and supports biomedical and behavioral research—nationally and internationally—disseminating and communicating the results to further the health of children, adults, families and communities, and people with physical and developmental disabilities.


Screening programs may miss many cases of life-threatening newborn infection
The drug-susceptible form of Staphylococcus aureus, a common bacterium that inhabits the body, may account for a greater number of infections among hospitalized newborns than the antibiotic-resistant form, according to researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Anti-HIV drug for adults is safe, effective in children exposed to nevirapine in the womb
HIV-infected children exposed in the womb to nevirapine, a drug used to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, can safely and effectively transition to efavirenz, a similar drug recommended for older children and adults, according to a study funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the National Institutes of Health.


Two doses of chickenpox vaccine confer long-term protection in children on anti-HIV therapy
Children infected with HIV since birth benefit from two doses of the chickenpox vaccine, particularly when the first dose is given at least three months after the initiation of anti-HIV treatment, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Scan after newborn cooling treatment predicts outcome at age 6 or 7, NIH study shows
Brain scans taken of newborns who received cooling treatment after blood or oxygen deprivation to the brain can predict the extent of a child’s recovery by 6 or 7 years of age, according to a study by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) research network.


Church programs increase HIV testing, treatment in rural Nigeria, NIH study finds
In an effort to boost HIV testing, as well as the use of anti-HIV therapy among pregnant women in rural villages, researchers supported in part by NICHD assessed the effectiveness of a church-based screening program in Southern Nigeria.


NIH-funded researchers identify safe level to treat low blood sugar in newborns
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have shown that treating hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose, in newborns according to current recommendations is safe and appears to prevent brain damage. 


Q&A with NICHD Acting Director Catherine Spong, M.D.
Dr. Cathy Spong became NICHD’s acting director on October 1, 2015. Here she shares her plans for the year and her thoughts on what makes NICHD so unique.


Drug used to treat HIV linked to lower bone mass in newborns
Infants exposed in the womb to a drug used to treat HIV and reduce the transmission of HIV from mother to child, may have lower bone mineral content than those exposed to other anti-HIV drugs, according to a National Institutes of Health study.


NIH study finds racial, ethnic differences in fetal growth
Current standards for ultrasound evaluation of fetal growth may lead to misclassification of up to 15 percent of fetuses of minority mothers as being too small, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other institutions.


Scan may identify best candidates for fetal spina bifida surgery
Fetuses with enlarged ventricles—the fluid-filled cavities inside the brain—may be less likely than their counterparts to benefit from surgery in the womb to treat spina bifida, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health.


Teaching Fathers to Keep Babies Safe
The Safe to Sleep® campaign launches a Fatherhood Initiative with the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity encouraging African American men to share safe sleep messages in their families and communities.


Rates of survival increasing for extremely preterm infants, NIH network finds
Extremely preterm infants, those born before the 28th week of pregnancy, are surviving in greater numbers and escaping serious illness, according to a comprehensive review of births in a National Institutes of Health research network.


NICHD Launches New Data Sharing Resource to Accelerate Scientific Findings, Improve Health
NICHD recently launched the NICHD Data and Specimen Hub (DASH), a centralized resource for researchers to store and access de-identified data from NICHD-funded research studies for secondary research use.


Fetal ECG readings offer no advantage over heart rate monitoring during labor
A new technology that tracks the electrical activity of the fetal heart offers no advantages over conventional technology in preventing birth complications, according to a new study by the National Institutes of Health.


Many new mothers report no physician advice on infant sleep position, breastfeeding
Many new mothers do not receive advice from physicians on aspects of infant care such as sleep position, breastfeeding, immunization and pacifier use, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Exploring Population Dynamics
NICHD’s Population Dynamics Branch supports research on a range of topics, including the factors that make populations rise and fall, such as fertility and mortality. We checked in with branch chief Rebecca Clark to learn more about the branch’s work.


“Safe to Sleep” expert offers advice on reducing sudden infant death
In the U.S., more than 3,500 infants die each year from sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, and from what experts describe as “other sleep-related causes of infant death.” Sparing families this incomprehensible tragedy has been a long-term goal of the National Institutes of Health.


Addressing Infants’ Critical Care Needs: A Q&A with Dr. Tonse Raju
In this Q&A, Dr. Tonse Raju discusses the unique needs of newborns in intensive care and how NICHD is encouraging small businesses to help bring to market medical devices that serve the specialized needs of these infants.


Federal report shows drop in preterm birth rate
The number of American infants born before the 37th week of pregnancy dropped slightly in 2013, as did the percentage of children with asthma under the age of 17. The percentage of teens who experienced a major depressive episode increased. These and other findings are described in America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2015.
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