Neonatal Development

Neonatal Development

The Neonatal Development Collaborative is a cross-campus multidisciplinary collaborative aimed at maximizing the neurodevelopmental, physical, and psychological outcomes of newborns.

Contact us

To contact the Neonatal Development Collaborative, call 717-531-1358 or email

Who we are

The Neonatal Development Collaborative brings together researchers and clinicians from Penn State campuses to focus on the genetic, clinical, psychological, neurological, developmental, and immunological perspectives on newborn care. These areas are linked mechanistically, and research focused in any one area impacts the other. 

What we do

We investigate ways to improve the health of our infants, including improving interactions with parents and reducing adverse stress in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The team of investigators, each with their unique perspectives and areas of expertise, evaluate novel interventions that achieve these aims.

Projects include:

  • Assessing the effects of a program of mother-delivered, cue-based infant massage on stress reactivity in the mother-infant pair
  • Testing how skin conductance in preterm infants provides information about arousal, stress and pain in the NICU
  • Comparing multiple methods of evaluation of stress and pain in the newborn infant, including heart rate variability, stress hormone measurements, biobehavioral observation, and skin conductance

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