Pia Wintermark, MD, Pediatrician and Neonatologist

Director, Neobrainlab

Hospital information

Awards and distinctions 
  • 2017      Prize - The Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH) Talks 2016 “Resource for parents of babies who need hypothermia or cooling treatment after birth”
  • 2016      Fonds de la Recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS) Clinical Research Scholar Career Award, Junior 2 “Neonatal encephalopathy: Understand, treat and improve
  • 2012      Young Investigator Award, Neonatal Update 2012, Imperial College London
  • 2012      Fonds de la Recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS) Clinical Research Scholar Career Award, Junior 1 “How to identify early the newborns at risk to develop brain injury despite hypothermia treatment
  • 2008      NEST (NICU Excellence in Service and Teaching) Award, Children’s Hospital Boston
  • 2008      William Randolph Hearst Fund Award
  • 2008      Thrasher Research Fund Early Career Award
  • 2008      Fellowship Award of the Swiss Society of Neonatology / Milupa Fellowship Award
Academic appointments 
  • Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, McGill University;
  • Clinician-Scientist, The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre;
  • Associate Member, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University;
  • Associate Member, Integrated Program in Neurosciences, McGill University
  • Clinical Research Scholar Junior 2, Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS)
  • Coordinator of the Resident Research Program for the Residency Training Program in the Department of Pediatrics, Montreal Children’s Hospital, McGill University

Other appointments 

Neurodevelopmental network (NeuroDevNet), Member - Society of Neonatologists of Quebec, Member - Quebec Bio-Imaging network (QBIN), Member - Society for Neuroscience (SFN), Member - FRQS Vision Health Research Network, Member - Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN), Member - Society for Pediatric Research (SPR), Member - Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS), Fellow

Education

University 

Certificate of first propedeutic exam of Biology license, University of Lausanne (UNIL), Switzerland

Medical Degree 

M.D. Medical School, University of Lausanne (UNIL), Switzerland

Residency 

Resident, Department of Pediatrics, CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland

Fellowship(s) 
  • Fellowship, Department of Pediatrics, CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Harvard Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Training Program, Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston, USA

Research

Research interests 

The NeoBrainLab is devoted to the understanding of the causes and consequences of brain and eyes damages in sick babies. The main goals of the lab are to develop innovative strategies to prevent or repair these brain and eyes damages, and thus to improve the future of these babies.

The laboratory uses both clinical research and basic science techniques to understand mechanisms underlying these brain and eyes damages. More specifically, we are studying the unique profile of brain and eyes injury in human newborns, using advanced neuroimaging techniques and bedside monitoring, as well as detailed examination of the placentas of these children, in order to identify as early as possible the babies who will develop later brain and eye damage. In parallel, we are also using a lab model of neonatal brain damage to study in more detail the brain and eyes damages and develop innovative treatments to prevent or repair these brain and eyes damages. By combining these approaches, the lab works thus on developing new treatments that could lead to decrease brain and eyes damages in sick babies who will need it the most, and thus decrease the rate of permanent neurological problems in these babies, such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, epilepsy, learning disability and blindness. 

Research foci 
  • Neonatal neurology
  • Neonatal encephalopathy
  • Hypothermia 
  • Vision
  • Imaging
  • Neuroprevention
  • Neurorestoration

Keywords 

Neonatal neurology, newborn, neonatal encephalopathy, hypothermia, brain, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), amplitude-integrated electroencephalogram (aEEG), brain perfusion, retina, electroretinogram (ERG), visual evoked potential (VEPs), placenta, neuroprevention, neurorestoration

Selected publications 

Racine E, Bell E, Farlow B, Miller S, Payot P, Rasmussen LA, Shevell M, Thomson D, Wintermark P. “ouR-HOPE” approach for ethics and communication about neonatal neurological injury. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2017;59(2):125-135.

Yazdani A, Khoja Z, Johnstone A, Dale L, Rampakakis E, Wintermark P. Sildenafil improves brain injury recovery following term neonatal hypoxia-ischemia in male rat pups. Dev Neurosci. 2016;38(4):251-263.

Jung S, Johnstone A, Khoja Z, Rampakakis E, Lachapelle P, Wintermark P. Sildenafil improves functional and structural outcome of retinal injury following term neonatal hypoxia-ischemia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016;57(10):4306-4314.

Kwan S, Boudes E, Gilbert G, Saint-Martin C, Albrecht S, Shevell M, Wintermark P. Injury to the cerebellum in term asphyxiated newborns treated with hypothermia. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2015;36(8):1542-1549.

Boudes E, Tan X, Saint-Martin C, Shevell M, Wintermark P. Magnetic resonance imaging obtained during versus after hypothermia in asphyxiated newborns. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2015;100(3):F238-242. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Wintermark+P