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UW Pediatrics

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Sara Berkelhamer, MD

Associated with Fellowship(s)
Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship
Professional Bio

Clinical Interests:

  • To improve outcomes of infants through optimized education and practice of neonatal resuscitation both at an institutional and global health level.
  • Providing evidenced based care to optimize prevention and management of neonatal lung injury, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and BPD‐associated pulmonary hypertension.
  • Perinatal drug and nicotine exposure

Scholarly Focus: Dr Berkelhamer’s research in pulmonary physiology spans from topics including bronchopulmonary dysplasia, nicotine‐induced developmental dysplasia to neonatal resuscitation. Her work has explored the contribution of mitochondrial oxidative stress to early lung injury, development of pulmonary hypertension and recovery of lung disease. Her interest in neonatal resuscitation bridges both laboratory and clinical work, with involvement in the development, evaluation and implementation of resuscitation and neonatal education in low resource settings. She is a past chair and member of the Helping Babies Survive Planning Group, and an associate editor of the Essential Care for Every Baby and an editor of the Essential Care for Small Babies programs. Current global health efforts include evaluation of remote education processes and tools, the impacts of excessive oral suctioning and the use of continuous heart rate monitoring during resuscitation in low‐resource settings. With respect to perinatal exposures, Dr. Berkelhamer has an interest in the pulmonary and growth phenotypes associated with intrauterine nicotine and is newly involved as a Co-I in a project evaluating impacts of exposure to marijuana alone during gestation.

Research Funding:

2023-2027    Brain and behavior correlates of prenatal cannabis exposure, R01 CA057559, Role: Co-Investigator. $3,880,469

2021-2023    Determinants and health effects of dynamic changes in e-cigarette use before, during, and after pregnancy R21DA05368-01A1, Role: Co-Investigator. $469,000

2021-2023    Mobile Virtual Simulation Training in Essential Newborn Care for Health Care Workers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries R21HD107984, Role: Co-Investigator.

2021‐2023    Impact of Essential Newborn Care Training on Quality Improvement Efforts, Laerdal Foundation Saving Lives at Birth Grant. Role: Principal Investigator, $45,000.

2021‐2023    Education Videos to Enhance Training and Retention of Helping Babies Breathe,  Laerdal Foundation Saving Lives at Birth Grant. $45,000. Co‐I.

Education/Administrative Roles: Member of the AAP’s Global Newborn Advisory group. Member of the International Pediatric Association’s Committee on Newborn Care. AAP Global Health Consultant, Neonatal Resuscitation Program Instructor, Helping Babies Survive/Essential Newborn Care Facilitator. Director of Research, Seattle Children’s BPD Team.