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Neonatal Salivary Transcriptomics

Title Neonatal Salivary Transcriptomics
Therapeutic Area Developmental Disabilities (Floating), Blood Stream Infection
Principal Investigator Jill Maron, MD, MPH
Gender Both
Contact Jill Maron, MD, MPH
617 636-1468


The ability to monitor the health status of premature neonates for research purposes has long been limited by these infants' fragile medical conditions and small blood volumes. Advancements in salivary technology suggests that transcriptomic and proteomic salivary analysis is an innovative, highly informative, and noninvasive means to monitor this patient population, and correlate medical and neurodevelopmental outcomes with specific gene expression profiles. The purpose of this study is to use normally obtained and routinely discarded neonatal salivary samples to noninvasively generate transcriptomic and proteomic profiles of premature neonates. Saliva will be collected serially from infants born greater to or equal to 24 weeks' gestation who are admitted to the Tufts Medical Center NICU or MIU. Our research is focused on two areas of neonatal physiology and pathology . The first area of interest involves monitoring infants during the learning process of oral feeding. Our second area of interest involves feeding intolerance and gastrointestinal disease (i.e. necrotizing enterocolitis) and infection. Healthy term neonates will serve as comparative controls. Both short and long term medical and neurological (up to 24 months corrected age) outcomes, will be correlated with the distinct gene expression profiles in order to better understand neonatal physiology, pathology and overall health status.

Study Details

Inclusion Criteria

  • Born between 24 and 42 weeks gestation

Exclusion Criteria

  • None

Study Requirements

Participation in this study involves only collection of saliva during hospitalization at Tufts Medical Center.