Brynne A. Sullivan, MD

I am a Neonatologist with a clinical research program focused on developing integrated predictive analytics for early detection and treatment of late-onset sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature infants.

Infants born months before their due date are extremely vulnerable to infection. Despite advances in technology and science that allow for survival of the smallest premature infants, life-threatening infections occur in about 1 in 5 very low birth weight (VLBW, birthweight < 1500g) infants. These illnesses, specifically sepsis and NEC, cause significant morbidity and mortality via systemic inflammation and cardiorespiratory collapse. Early diagnosis and treatment of these sub-acute, potentially catastrophic illnesses can start the course to recovery before serious injury occurs, but the earliest signs often go unrecognized using current technology. Therefore, my research is focused on developing, implementing and testing early warning systems for sepsis and NEC using predictive analytics and the support of a multidisciplinary, multicenter research team.

Our past work has found that patterns predictive of impending illness exist in the data at hand- physiologic data such as heart rate and oxygen saturation from the bedside monitors, clinical data from the electronic health record, and biomarkers of immune activation in the bloodstream. Our goal is to analyze, integrate and display physiomarkers, biomarkers and clinical markers of illness using predictive modeling in order to develop a comprehensive early warning system for sepsis and NEC in the NICU.

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