Published April 6, 2022
Mausma Bawa, MD, a trainee in the neonatal-perinatal medicine fellowship, has been selected as one of three early-stage investigators — in collaboration with the Society for Pediatric Research (SPR) Junior Section — to present at the 125th annual meeting of the Japan Pediatric Society April 15-17 in Fukushima, Japan.
“As neonatologists in the delivery room, our ultimate goal is to optimize care to the most vulnerable tiny humans. Despite major advances in neonatology, there are gaps in understanding the transition from fetal to neonatal life,” Bawa says. “Under the excellent mentorship of Dr. Chandrasekharan, my research aims to improve the understanding of physiologic changes that happen at birth.”
She cares for critically ill neonates at Oishei Children’s Hospital.
“Under the guidance of amazing, experienced attending neonatology faculty, I have acquired a strong sense of clinical judgment, confidence and leadership skills required to be a competent neonatologist,” Bawa says. “In addition, I have also had the opportunity to take part in teaching residents and medical students rotating in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU).”
The research project is titled “Effect of Carbon Dioxide Levels Post Extensive Neonatal Resuscitation on Cerebral and Myocardial Hemodynamics and Oxygenation.” Bawa is first author and Chandrasekharan is senior author.
“Our study, using a model of extensive neonatal resuscitation, has shown that fluctuations in carbon dioxide levels during this period affects the blood flow to the brain and heart,” Bawa says. “Since babies who are born depressed most often do not breathe on their own and require assistance with mechanical ventilation, our research shows the importance of maintaining adequate carbon dioxide levels during this crucial period.”
“While there is a lot of research underway for an optimal oxygen range in newborns, the importance of regulating carbon dioxide levels needs more studies,” Bawa adds.
Chandrasekharan is currently leading the lab that was influential in developing a (calfactant) surfactant treatment. These therapies were first proven to be safe and effective by utilizing in vivo models. More recently, recommendations for dosages of medications used during neonatal resuscitation resulted from the work conducted at the lab.
“I am extremely excited to be presenting at such a prestigious international conference, with due credit to the hard work our team puts in under the leadership of Dr. Chandrasekharan,” Bawa says. “It makes me humbled and privileged to share the research work in the field of neonatology done at our laboratory in Buffalo.”
“Congratulations to Dr. Bawa and Dr. Chandrasekharan,” says Allison Brashear, MD, UB’s vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “Their collaboration in the lab and in the NICU highlights the real-world training the physicians in our fellowship programs receive, which benefits our entire community.”
Bawa completed a pediatric residency and fellowship in neonatology in India before her current fellowship, which she expects to complete in June before heading to Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School for an accelerated two-year pediatric residency training.
She received the ESPR Trainee Diversity in Research award at the Eastern Society for Pediatric Research 2022, which took place virtually in March.
Bawa is the recipient of the prestigious Fellows Clinical Research Award for the years 2021 and 2022 — sponsored by the SPR Junior Members Section — which will be presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in Denver this month. Two of her research abstracts will be presented on oral platforms — one of which is in the esteemed neonatal/infant resuscitation session.
“Mausma is an example of a hardworking, sincere fellow and an amazing human being,” Chandrasekharan says. “She is a role model for our neonatology fellows, and she hands down deserves these awards.”
Other co-authors of the research project from the Department of Pediatrics are: