WHO WE ARE

Get to know some of the leading academicians in the world of neonatal hemodynamics.

Dr. Amish Jain
Founder and Current Chair
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Dr. Dany Weisz
Current Education Lead
Dr. Afif EL-Khuffash
Current Research Lead
Dr. Luc Mertens
Dr. Prakesh S Shah
Dr. Patrick J McNamara
Dr. Joseph Ting
Dr. Philip Levy
Dr. Poorva Deshpande
Early Career Rep
Dr. Ashraf Kharrat
Early Career Rep
Dr. Regan Giesinger
Early Career Rep

Dr. Amish Jain

Dr. Amish Jain works as a staff neonatologist and clinician scientist at the Sinai Health System/Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute and as an Associate Professor in Pediatrics at the University of Toronto. He completed his medical school in India, pediatric residency in the UK, and both his neonatal-perinatal fellowship and his PhD in cardiovascular physiology at the University of Toronto. He is also the site Director of the Targeted Neonatal Echocardiography Program in the NICU at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Dr. Jain’s specific research interests are in the field of critical care, neonatal cardio-pulmonary physiology and functional echocardiography, particularly in the assessment and management of pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular function in neonates.

Dr. Dany Weisz

Dr. Dany Weisz is a neonatal intensivist and director of the Targeted Neonatal Echocardiography program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Canada. He completed medical school at the University of Western Ontario, and residency in general pediatrics at the University of Ottawa. He completed his clinical fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine and Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, both at the University of Toronto. Dr. Weisz’s specific research interests include the epidemiology and management of patent ductus arteriosus, transitional hemodynamics and its association with early neonatal morbidity, and non-invasive cardiac output monitoring in extremely preterm infants.

Dr. Luc Mertens

Dr. Luc Mertens is currently the Echocardiography Section Head at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and a Professor of Paediatric at the University of Toronto. Dr. Mertens obtained his medical degree and a doctoral degree in Medical Sciences (Physiology and Molecular Biology) at the University of Leuven, Belgium. He trained in Paediatric and Paediatric Cardiology at the University Hospitals Leuven and at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN (USA). He worked as a pediatric cardiologist at the University Hospitals in Leuven between 1998 and 2008. His clinical expertise is in paediatric echocardiography. His research interests focus on studying cardiac function in children.

Dr. Prakesh S Shah

Dr. Prakesh S Shah is a Professor in Department of Paediatric and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto, Canada. He holds an Applied Research Chair from CIHR in Reproductive and Child Health Services Research. Currently, he is the director of the Canadian Neonatal Network (CNN) and the International Network for Evaluation of Outcomes of Neonates (iNeo) whereby he oversees a project of benchmarking outcomes of very low birth weight neonates in eleven countries with population-based neonatal networks with a final aim of improving quality of care across 240 NICUs participating in the network. His areas of interest include patient and disease oriented research in neonatal-perinatal medicine, health services and epidemiological research in maternal-newborn care, knowledge synthesis and quality improvement. He has evaluated and produced policy documents on interventions and programs for primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of preterm birth for provincial and national agencies.

Dr. Prakesh S Shah has been a long-standing collaborator in hemodynamic research in Toronto, where he has significant contributions to research methodology.
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Dr. Patrick J McNamara

Dr. Patrick J McNamara graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 1987, received his MRCPCH in Paediatric in 1997 and Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training in Neonatal Medicine in 2002. He is currently a Staff Neonatologist and Director of the Division of Neonatology at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, and Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, University of Iowa. He is the current chair of the Pan-American Hemodynamic Collaborative and Paediatric Academic Society Neonatal Hemodynamics Advisory. His clinical and research interests include myocardial performance in the settings of a hemodynamically significant ductus arteriosus, pulmonary hypertension and targeted neonatal echocardiography.

Dr. Afif EL-Khuffash

Prof EL-Khuffash is a Consultant Neonatologist at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, and a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. His primary clinical and research area is the assessment of heart function in term and preterm neonates. He is the lead for neonatal echocardiography and heart function assessment in the neonatal intensive care unit in the Rotunda Hospital. Prof EL-Khuffash graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in 2002 and enrolled in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland paediatric specialist training scheme in 2005. He completed a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in University College, Dublin in 2008, a fellowship in neonatal cardiology at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, and his neonatal specialty training in Toronto, Canada (2009-2011). He obtained a diploma in clinical epidemiology during his time in Toronto. Following this, he was appointed as a consultant Neonatologist and Assistant Professor of Paediatric at the University of Toronto in January of 2011.

Recently, Prof EL-Khuffash has assumed a leadership role at the European level in devising training guidelines for echocardiography by the Neonatologist. He is the lead author/editor of the Hemodynamic Module in the NOTE project, offering a new international online Masters level educational programme in neonatal medicine as collaboration between the European Society for Neonatology (ESN) and the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Southampton.He is the recipient of several national and international research awards, with international peer reviewed publications and keynote presentations and the lead for cardiovascular research, supervising several post graduate PhD candidates.

He is the recipient of several national and international research awards, with international peer reviewed publications and keynote presentations and the lead for cardiovascular research, supervising several post graduate PhD candidates.
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Dr. Poorva Deshpande

Dr. Poorva Deshpande is a Staff Neonatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. She completed her medical school in India, pediatric residency in the UK, and both her neonatal-perinatal fellowship her targeted neonatal echocardiography training at the University of Toronto. She has an interest in cerebral hemodynamics of preterm infants. She joined the Clinician-Scientist development program at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto while pursuing her Masters degree in Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto. Dr. Deshpande is developing her research interests in the field of cerebral hemodynamics of intraventricular hemorrhage, combined multimodal brain and hemodynamic monitoring, and neuromonitoring in preterm infants using near infrared spectroscopy and amplitude integrated EEG.

Dr. Ashraf Kharrat

Dr. Ashraf Kharrat is a staff neonatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, ON and an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics at the University of Toronto. She completed her medical school at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, AB in 2012, her pediatrics residency at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, ON in 2015 and her neonatal-perinatal fellowship at the University of Toronto in Toronto, ON in 2018. She is currently enrolled in the Master of Science in Healthcare Quality program at Queen’s University. She is also training in targeted neonatal echocardiography, and is developing a clinical and academic interest in cardiopulmonary physiology and undertaking research in neonatal hemodynamics in sepsis and septic shock.

Dr. Joseph Ting

Dr. Joseph Ting is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Neonatology, Department of Paediatric, University of British Columbia and Staff Neonatologist at BC Women’s Hospital. He completed his Residency in Pediatrics at Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong, in 2006 and obtained his Postgraduate Diploma in Infectious Diseases and Master of Public Health (Medical Statistics) from the University of Hong Kong in 2007 and 2009, respectively. In 2010-2013 he received his fellowship training in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine in Vancouver, six months of which was spent at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto to receive further training in Targeted Neonatal Echocardiography (TNE).

His main research interests fall into two aspects: (i) neonatal infections; and (ii) small-for-gestational age infants.
He is interested in conducting (i) population studies to understand their associations with predictive variables and neonatal outcomes; and (ii) TNE studies to describe their haemodynamic changes to develop supportive strategies to these vulnerable infants.
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Dr. Michael Castaldo

Dr. Michael Castaldo is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Neonatology, Department of Paediatric, University of British Columbia and Staff Neonatologist at BC Women’s Hospital. He completed his Residency in Paediatric at Cohen Children’s Medical Centre in New York, in 2013 and obtained his Fellowship Training in Neonatology with the University of Toronto. His interest in TNE derived from an appreciation of how the technology offers a non-invasive assessment of cardiovascular health and illustrates the underlying pathophysiology otherwise unseen. Michael was trained in TNE at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. His goal is to evaluate and demonstrate the presumed benefits of TNE as it relates to clarification of cardiovascular physiology, earlier identification of disease states, more focused cardiovascular decision-making and avoidance of treatment in certain situations.

Dr. Philip Levy

Dr. Philip Levy is an Assistant Professor of Paediatric at Harvard Medical School and a staff neonatologist at Boston Children’s Hospital. His patient-oriented and translational research initiatives focus on cardiac mechanics in congenital and acquired cardiopulmonary diseases in the neonatal and pediatric population. His professional activities span the realm of clinical service, research and teaching, all devoted to discovering, implementing and teaching evidence-based clinical care of seriously ill newborns. Dr. Levy’s work is part of a larger international collaborative that was established to examine emerging measures of cardiac function and pulmonary hemodynamics in large preterm birth cohorts to define physiological and pathological patterns of postnatal cardiac adaptation. Philip and his collaborators have introduced novel approaches for non-invasive quantitative cardiac focused imaging that yield sensitive and specific methods of assessment and management of neonatal and paediatric cardiopulmonary diseases. The major objective of his research is to extend the capacity for ultrasound as a tool to enhance the understanding of newborn cardio-pulmonary disease and explore its contribution in quantitative cardiac phenotyping. Read more

Dr. Regan Giesinger

Regan Giesinger is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Neonatology at the University of Iowa where she is the Director of the Neonatal Hemodynamics Clinical and Training programs. She is also Secretary of the Pan-American Hemodynamics Collaborative and member of the US Hemodynamics Collaborative. Her areas of academic focus are the hemodynamics of critically ill neonates, particularly among neonates with perinatal hypoxic ischemic insult.


Mount Sinai Hospital (MSH)

Toronto, Canada

The Newton Glassman Charitable Foundation Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital is one of the largest tertiary care newborn centres in Canada, catering to a large number of high-risk and premature neonates. The Targeted Neonatal Echocardiography (TNE) program was established in 2011 and follows a consultative service model, where a request for consultation is initiated by the attending clinician on an as-needed basis and involves a comprehensive hemodynamic appraisal of the patient, including a TNE. Specific therapeutic recommendations derived from the clinical integration and interpretation of hemodynamic findings are then provided. Since its inception, this program has grown exponentially. On average, close to 500 neonatal hemodynamic consults are performed annually, including a high proportion of complex cardiopulmonary hemodynamic cases. Read more

The Hospital for Sick Children (HSC)

Toronto, Canada

The TNE program at SickKids is an integrated program involving the Neonatology and Cardiology Divisions. The pediatric echocardiography laboratory at SickKids offers hands-on training in pediatric echocardiography to all TNE trainees before transitioning into the TNE program. Trainees are involved in scanning, reporting and discussing management of hemodynamic problems in the NICU. The program offers hemodynamic rounds and research opportunities. Current research is focused on the development of novel techniques for assessing hemodynamics and cardiac function in newborns.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (SBK)

Toronto, Canada

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is a tertiary perinatal centre caring for over 150 extremely low birthweight infants annually. Targeted neonatal echocardiography (TNE) is seamlessly integrated within neonatal intensive care for critically ill infants, utilizing state-of-the art ultrasound equipment. This consultative service is provided by a faculty TNE expert and dedicated sonographer and performs approximately 450 TNEs annually.

The Rotunda Hospital

Dublin, Ireland

The Rotunda Hospital is a tertiary maternity hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit catering for over 9000 deliveries per year and admits about 130 very low birth weight infants per annum. The centre provides an established link with a tertiary children’s hospital (Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin). The Rotunda Hospital NICU had 40 beds ranging from Level III to Level I (special care). The Rotunda runs the largest Maternal-Fetal Medicine service in the country with a very busy congenital anomaly and fetal cardiology service. The Neonatologist Performed Echocardiography (NPE)/TNE clinical program in the Rotunda Hospital currently follows a consultative model. The team comprises of a senior clinician (AEK) and two research fellows. We perform between 200 to 300 consults per year. Those include all common NICU pathologies such as pulmonary hypertension, PDA, sepsis and septic shock, neonatal encephalopathy, central line placement amongst others. We also, in collaboration with our Paediatric Cardiology colleagues, provide a screening service for congenital heart disease when clinically suspected. Read more

BC Womens Hospital

Vancouver, Canada

The neonatal intensive care unit at BC Women’s Hospital in Vancouver is the largest in the province. The NICU has 60 bed and cares for over 1,700 babies per year. Currently, there are two TNE trained neonatologists in our unit. We operate around 200 TNEs per year, with specific database and storage facilities built up in the hospital server. There has been an increasing demand lately for clinical, training and research needs to improve patient outcomes.

Boston Childrens Hospital

Boston, USA

The Developmental Hemodynamics program is based in the Division of Newborn Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital (BCH). It is a collaborative model of patient-oriented and translational research initiatives within the Division of Neonatology and the Department of Cardiology at Boston Children’s Hospital. The program takes full advantage of BCH's rich clinical, scientific, and higher education resources. The clinical arm of the Developmental Hemodynamics Service is structured to (a) provide expert consultant care for critically ill newborns that do not have structural heart disease; (b) enhance the neonatologist participation in the multidisciplinary approach to the neonatal patients with pulmonary hypertension; and (c) provide neonatal consultative care in the cardiac intensive care unit with support from the neonatal cardiac care consortium (NC3).

The research arm of the program is coordinated by Dr. Levy. His team is utilizing non-invasive cardiopulmonary imaging modalities to study multitude of neonatal disease mechanisms and their relationships to cardiovascular and cerebral hemodynamics. There are several ongoing projects and the program is supported by a team of complementary experts in cardiology, hematology, neonatology, brain imaging and bioengineering.
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University of Iowa Stead Family Childrens Hospital

Iowa, USA

The NICU at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital is a leading institution in the care of extremely preterm and acutely ill neonates with a history of excellence in the implementation of modern intensive care strategies. The 90 bed NICU has a broad patient population including extremely preterm infants, neonates with congenital anomalies (diaphragmatic hernia, etc) and is the quaternary referral and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) center for acutely unwell patients throughout the state. There are approximately 1000 admissions to the NICU annually, of whom 20% are < 28 weeks gestation, and 275 acutely ill out born infants per year. The Neonatal Hemodynamics Program accepts consults from neonatologists with clinical questions about systemic and pulmonary blood flow, myocardial performance and shunts. There are an average of 60-70 consultations performed per month over a broad range of gestations beginning at 22+0 weeks.


Dr. Neidin Bussmann

Dr. Bussmann is currently pursuing her PhD studies in Dublin, working on a randomised controlled trial on target PDA treatment.

Dr. Aisling Smith

Dr. Smith is currently pursuing her PhD studies in Dublin, investigating cardiac function in newborns with Down syndrome.

Dr. Lyudmyla Zakharchenko

Dr. Zakharchenko is an MD student investigating myocardial performance and pulmonary hypertension in infants with Down syndrome undergoing surgery.

Dr. Anne McHugh

Dr. McHugh is currently pursuing her PhD studies in Dublin, focusing on the role of maternal hyperoxygenation therapy in infants at risk of pulmonary hypertension.

Michelle Baczynski

Michelle Baczynski currently works as a respiratory therapist in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Sinai Health System, Toronto. Michelle's area of research interests include cardiopulmonary physiology, acute and chronic respiratory illness and related long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes.

Dr. Amish Jain

Supervisor

Dr. Ashraf Kharrat

Dr. Ashraf Kharrat is a staff neonatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital and is currently training in targeted neonatal echocardiography. She is currently undertaking research in neonatal hemodynamics in sepsis and septic shock.

Dr. Amish Jain

Supervisor

Dr. Sebastien Joye

Dr. Sebastien Joye is a neonatologist from Lausanne, Switzerland who is undertaking clinical and academic training in neonatal hemodynamics and TNE in Toronto for two years. His current academic work is focused on evaluating the impact of TNE on clinical outcomes of critically ill neonates in tertiary NICUs in Toronto.

Dr. Amish Jain

Supervisor

Dr. Faith Zhu

Dr. Faith Zhu is a fellow in the neonatal-perinatal medicine fellowship program at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include neonatal hemodynamics and echocardiography. Her current projects are focused on the hemodynamics of neonatal sepsis and pulmonary hypertension crisis in preterm infants.

Dr. Amish Jain

Supervisor

Dr. Bonny Jasani

Dr. Bonny Jasani hails from Mumbai, India and is a fellow in the neonatal-perinatal medicine fellowship program at the University of Toronto. He recently completed one year of TNE training in Toronto. His current area of research is use of acetaminophen in treatment of PDA in preterm infants.

Dr. Dany Weisz

Supervisor

Dr. Ajay Anvekar

Dr. Ajay Anvekar is originally from India, completed his specialization in neonatology from Australia, and is currently pursuing a TNE fellowship at the University of Toronto. His current research focuses on the role of left atrial function in preterm infants undergoing PDA ligation.

Dr. Dany Weisz

Supervisor

Dr. Stephanie Boyd

Dr. Stephanie is a neonatologist from Australia, who is currently training in TNE in Toronto and working as a Junior Staff Neonatologist at The Hospital for Sick Children.

Dr. Luc Mertens

Supervisor

Dr. Adrianne Bischoff

Dr. Bischoff did her Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine training at the University of Toronto after completion of her Pediatric training in Brazil. She is presently engaged in research in the field of acute pulmonary hypertension and will be joining the University of Iowa program in July 2019.

Patrick J McNamara

Supervisor