The world’s leading neonatologists who want to learn more about the newborn brain will be meeting this November in Orange County at NeoBrain: An Interactive Educational Forum, marking the first time CHOC is organizing such a conference.
The Nov. 2-4, 2023 gathering will be held after the 21st Annual Academic Day for Neonatologists on Nov. 1 at the Westin Anaheim, says neonatologist Dr. Terrie Inder, director of the Center for Neonatal Research at CHOC.
Dr. Inder, an expert on the newborn brain who joined CHOC in summer 2022, organized similar conferences under different names during her previous high-level positions at the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and at the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
“There aren’t many forums like this,” says Dr. Inder, conference coordinator of NeoBrain, which is sponsored and supported by CHOC and is expected to attract 250 neonatologists and other experts from around the world. “We want to keep it relatively small.”
The three mornings will mostly be lectures with afternoons reserved for workshops, says Dr. Inder, who will be presenting on preterm encephalopathy and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
“NeoBrain is really meant to give people the skills they need anywhere around the world to be able to understand, manage, and treat babies’ brains,” Dr. Inder says.
Several CHOC clinicians will speak or serve on group panels at NeoBrain.
Pediatric neurologist Dr. Simon Kayyal, an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UCI Health, will discuss neonatal seizures.
“The emphasis of the forum is on empowering our audience members with the knowledge to push the field of neonatal neurology forward,” Dr. Kayyal explains. “The field has developed rapidly over the last several years, and it’s important that we bring together experts from across the world that have contributed to this rapid growth with the current and future leaders within neonatal neurology.
“By the end of the conference, our audience members should feel they have the knowledge to advance the field at their home institutions.”
CHOC neonatal neurosurgeon Dr. Joffre Olaya will speak on hydrocephalus and other topics.
Opening NeoBrain will be Dr. Joseph Volpe, a mentor of Dr. Inder who has worked with her on several research projects and who is considered thefounder of neonatal neurology with his seminal book, Neurology of the Newborn.
Dr. Volpe, neurologist-in-chief emeritus and Bronson Crothers professor of neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard School of Medicine, will speak on “Neonatal Neurology – The Past, Present and Future.”
Other notable speakers at NeoBrain include Dr. Linda De Vries of UMC Utrecht, Leiden University, in London, a world authority on the imaging of newborn brains; Dr. Peter Anderson, an expert on outcomes who is professor of pediatric neuropsychology at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University in Australia; and Dr. Donna Ferriero, professor of neurology and a pediatric neurologist at the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, San Francisco.
The Annual Academic Day for Neonatologists will provide local and regional academic and clinical neonatologists, neonatal-perinatal fellows, critical care specialists and pediatricians with new strategies for improving the health outcomes of neonatal babies.
CHOC Hospital was named one of the nation’s best children’s hospitals for neonatology by U.S. News & World Report in its 2023-24 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings.