Barbara B. Warner, MD, MS
Professor of Pediatrics
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Washington University in St. Louis (WU)
Clinical interest is in identifying the underlying pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in infants, specifically, evaluating the role of epidermal growth factor (EGF) in NEC prevention. We are studying EGF metabolism using stable isotope infusions and mass spectrometry analysis to identify phenotypic variation in EGF expression. This phenotype will be correlated with results from studies of EGF/EGF receptor genotypes in a population of preterm infants, and ultimately to risk of NEC. We are also evaluating the preterm infant’s intestinal microbial and inflammatory environment, and its contribution to NEC development. Ultimately we would evaluate the impact of exogenous EGF administration to the intestinal milieu. Our work translates basic science research on epidermal growth factor (EGF) to clinical application in preterm infants, ultimately to be used as the basis for clinical trials to prevent NEC.