In order to improve clinical care for preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), much more research is needed to examine long-term effects of neonatal early exposure to stressful events and treatments on brain development and later outcomes, particularly in those born very preterm; this work is necessary so that we can understand the etiology of neurodevelopmental problems which occur at high rates in these vulnerable children. My research program involves novel translational studies to advance the health and care of children born preterm. Precisely, I am leading studies to address the impact of early-life adversity such as stress, pain, inflammation, treatments and maternal separation, on the developing brain of very preterm infants. It is essential to first determine the mechanisms underlying the effects of early-stress exposure, such as pain-related changes, and to test novel mitigating treatments. Indeed, identifying brain-protective interventions with which to manage neonatal procedural pain are essential and is a major focus of my research.
Is near infrared spectroscopy valid for the detection of procedural pain in postoperative cardiac surgery intensive care unit adults?
Journal of Near Infrared Spectroscopy
Internalizing behaviours in school-age children born very preterm are predicted by neonatal pain and morphine exposure
European Journal of Pain (United Kingdom)
Neonatal pain and comt Val158Met genotype in relation to serotonin transporter (SLC6A4) promoter methylation in very preterm children at school age
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Cerebral near-infrared spectroscopy as a measure of nociceptive evoked activity in critically ill infants
Pain Research and Management
Toward a new approach for the detection of pain in adult patients undergoing cardiac surgery: Near-infrared spectroscopy—A pilot study
Heart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Developing synergy to enhance the impact of nursing intervention research on patient health
Canadian Journal of Nursing Research
Controlling bias in complex nursing intervention studies: A checklist
Canadian Journal of Nursing Research
System interactions during early-life development
Using animal models to gain basic knowledge to better inform clinical studies in preterm infants, my lab examines the interactions between the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems during the critical period of early-life development, to prevent changes to the brain due to exposure to early-life stressors, and thereby improve outcomes.
Immune response to early repetitive pain and oral sucrose in the developing immature brain
Immune response to early repetitive pain and oral sucrose in the developing immature brain using a mice model that closely mimics NICU care. Here we are examining short and long-term effects of repeated exposure to pain and/or sucrose during the first week of life in mouse pups, through measures of pro/anti-inflammatory cytokines in serum and brain, as well as oxydative stress markers.
Identifying novel brain-protective interventions
Identifying novel brain-protective interventions with which to manage neonatal procedural pain is also a focus of the research conducted in the lab. One such intervention is oral melatonin.Grants
“Determining the long-term metabolic effects of neonatal sucrose treatment (Pilot study).” Principal Investigator: Devlin A. & Soma K; Role: Co-Investigator; Agency: BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute - Healthy Starts Catalyst Grant; Period: 04/2017 – 05/2019
Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program Career Enhancement Program award (April 2014-2016)
Canadian Institute Health Research (CIHR) Postdoctoral Fellowship (May 2013-April 2016)
Fonds Recherche Quebec – Sante (FRQ-S) Postdoctoral Fellowship (May 2013-April 2015)Honours & Awards
Distinction Award - Outstanding graduate student for excellence in medical research, Charles James Patton and Elizabeth Ross Patton Memorial Prize, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University (2007)
Dr. Manon Ranger is a new investigator at BC Children's Hospital and UBC studying new ways to reduce the impact of pain and early life stress on preterm babies.