I am a neonatologist and clinical researcher at Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. My research interests include necrotizing enterocolitis, blood transfusion and caffeine therapy.

Epidemiology of Necrotizing enterocolitis:

This is the primary focus of my research, with a goal to understand the epidemiology of necrotizing enterocolitis. Current studies are investigating US trends in incidence and the role of red cell and platelet transfusions, anemia, probiotics and cytomegalovirus.

Neonatal transfusion:

I study the comparative effectiveness and epidemiological research into approaches to blood transfusion in term and preterm infants. Working with Dr. Cassandra Josephson, I am focused on understanding the role of red cell and platelet transfusion in necrotizing entercolitis and the treatment of coagulopathy in infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

Caffeine therapy in preterm infants:

My studies have focused on how to optimze caffeine therapy in preterm infants. I have been focused on identifying the ideal timing of initiation of caffeine to yield the best possible clinical outcomes for preterm infants.

Survival of extremely preterm infants:

Studies, in collaboration with investigators in the NICHD Neonatal Research Network, are focused on understanding the incidence and determinants of survival of extremely preterm and periviable infants.

Specific studies related to these projects can be found here.


Vivek Saroha, MD, PhD - Vivek is interested in the role of very early caffeine use and neonatal outcomes. He is a currently a neonatal-perinatal fellow.

Rachel Buckle, MS3 - Rachel is interested in underlying how early hemodynamic instability relates to later complications of prematurity, specifically necrotizing enterocolitis. 


Andrea Kane, MD - Resarch focused on the effectiveness of routine probiotic supplementation to prevent NEC. Current position: assistant professor, Wayne State University.

Anisha Bhatia, MD - Research focused on whether implementation of delayed cord clamping can decrease the incidence NEC. Current position: neonatology fellow, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Mitali Pakvasa, MD - Research focused on understanding coagulaopahy in infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Current position: assistant professor, Emory University.

Tracie Walker, MD - Research focused on factors influence exclusive human milk use. Current position, attending, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Key Mentors:

Cassandra Josephson, MD

Barbara Stoll, MD

David Carlton, MD

Patricia Denning, MD

Recent publications:

  • Kane AF, Bhatia AD, Denning PW, Shane AL, Patel RM. Routine Supplementation of
    Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Risk of Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Very Low
    Birth Weight Infants. The Journal of pediatrics. 2018 [in press]
  • Maheshwari A, Patel RM, Christensen RD. Anemia, red blood cell transfusions, and
    necrotizing enterocolitis. Seminars in pediatric surgery. 2018; 27(1):47-51.
  • Patel RM, Underwood MA. Probiotics and necrotizing enterocolitis. Seminars in
    pediatric surgery. 2018; 27(1):39-46.
  • Bhatt D, Travers C, Patel RM, Shinnick J, Arps K, Keene S, Raval MV. Predicting
    Mortality or Intestinal Failure in Infants with Surgical Necrotizing
    Enterocolitis. The Journal of pediatrics. 2017; 191:22-27.e3.
  • Patel RM, Zimmerman K, Carlton DP, Clark R, Benjamin DK, Smith PB. Early Caffeine
    Prophylaxis and Risk of Failure of Initial Continuous Positive Airway Pressure in
    Very Low Birth Weight Infants. The Journal of pediatrics. 2017; 190:108-111.e1
  • Patel RM, Rysavy MA, Bell EF, Tyson JE. Survival of Infants Born at Periviable Gestational Ages. Clin Perinatol. 2017 Jun;44(2):287-303. 
  • Younge N, Goldstein RF, Bann CM, Hintz SR, Patel RM, Smith PB, Bell EF, Rysavy MA, Duncan AF, Vohr BR, Das A, Goldberg RN, Higgins RD, Cotten CM; Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD Neonatal Research Network. Survival and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes among Periviable Infants. N Engl J Med. 2017 Feb 16;376(7):617-628. 
  • Patel RM, Meyer EK, Widness JA. Research Opportunities to Improve Neonatal Red Blood Cell Transfusion. Transfus Med Rev. 2016 Oct;30(4):165-73. 
  • Patel RM, Knezevic A, Shenvi N, Hinkes M, Keene S, Roback JD, Easley KA, Josephson CD. Association of Red Blood Cell Transfusion, Anemia, and Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Very Low-Birth-Weight Infants. JAMA. 2016 Mar 1;315(9):889-97.
  • Patel RM. Short- and Long-Term Outcomes for Extremely Preterm Infants. Am J Perinatol. 2016 Feb;33(3):318-28. 
  • Patel RM, Kandefer S, Walsh MC, Bell EF, Carlo WA, Laptook AR, Sánchez PJ, Shankaran S, Van Meurs KP, Ball MB, Hale EC, Newman NS, Das A, Higgins RD, Stoll BJ; Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD Neonatal Research Network. Causes and timing of death in extremely premature infants from 2000 through 2011. N Engl J Med. 2015 Jan 22;372(4):331-40.
  • Dobson NR, Patel RM, Smith PB, Kuehn DR, Clark J, Vyas-Read S, Herring A,Laughon MM, Carlton D, Hunt CE. Trends in caffeine use and association between clinical outcomes and timing of therapy in very low birth weight infants. J Pediatr. 2014 May;164(5):992-998.e3.