The Translational Pediatric Nutrition laboratory led by Dr. Douglas Burrin works on basic and translational projects designed to establish how nutritional support, enteral versus parenteral, effects gut and liver function and susceptibility to disease in early neonatal infant development. The Burrin Lab has pioneered the use of neonatal piglets to develop unique models to address clinically-relevant problems in pediatric nutrition and gastroenterology including necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), parenteral nutrition-associated liver disease (PNALD) and neonatal obstructive cholestasis (biliary atresia).
Clinical and nutritional challenges of preterm infants. Clinicians are faced with important questions about the fundamental choices of how and what to feed hospitalized preterm infants compared to term infants. These choices include intravenous parenteral nutrition (i.e., TPN) or enteral nutrition composed of breast milk or infant formula. The combination of immature intestinal digestive and immune function increases the risk for NEC in preterm infants. NEC is a devastating intestinal disease, which can lead to surgical resection of the intestine and short bowel syndrome (SBS). Prolonged parenteral nutrition resulting from GI disease (SBS) or other clinical morbidities increases the risk for PNALD.