Neonatal gastrointestinal function (particularly gastric function and necrotising enterocolitis), neonatal cardiology and clinical trials.
Gastrointestinal function in preterm infants
i) Gastric emptying
Using a novel ultrasonic technique Andrew investigated the effect of feed type on gastric emptying rates. While in Melbourne he investigated the effect of breast milk fortifier on gastric emptying.
ii) Gastro-oesophageal reflux
He also investigated the relationship between delayed gastric emptying and gastro-oesophageal reflux using techniques developed within the department. I also supervised a project investigating methods of detecting reflux and the effect of body position on the severity of reflux.
Andrew has collaborated with Professor Janice Marshall in the Department of Physiology at Birmingham University over a number of years and developed a unique animal model for necrotising enterocolitis and devised a research protocol and grant applications in order to investigate the role of inflammatory mediators (particularly platelet-activating factor) in the aetiology of the disease. He co-supervised 2 PhD students who were involved in both in-vivo and in-vitro work using this model.
In a recent collaboration with a team from Bristol University he have also been investigating faecal volatile organic compounds as a biomarker for NEC. This work successfully secured funding through an Action Medical Research project grant and Professor Ewer led the DOVE study, a multicentre trial which successfully recruited over 1300 preterm babies. Final analysis of the data is expected in summer 2015.
In collaboration with the Cardiology Unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Andrew has supervised four Research Fellows in Neonatal Cardiology. They have investigated postnatal outcomes for babies diagnosed with congenital heart disease and developed the technique of tissue Doppler assessment of neonatal myocardial function.
Recently, in collaboration with the Clinical Trials Unit at Birmingham University he secured HTA funding and undertook a multicentre trial examining the use of pulse oximetry as a screening procedure to detect congenital heart disease in newborn babies.
Andrew is PI on a number of national clinical trials and is actively involved in supporting local Obstetric and Fetal Medicine trials from a neonatal perspective.