at UC Davis
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Mark Underwood, MD (ucdavis)



Premature infants are at risk for a variety of diseases, the investigators would like to learn more about why some premature babies are at higher risk and some are protected from these diseases. Scientists at UC Davis and other universities have developed new ways to measure the bacteria and a large number of small molecules in specimens of infant blood, urine, stomach fluid and poop and in mother's milk. These discoveries allow us to consider questions that were impossible to answer before these new techniques were developed. One such question is whether the bacteria in the poop of a premature baby can help us predict the baby's risk for developing infection or a common and serious disease of premature infants called necrotizing enterocolitis. A second question is whether the DNA of a premature baby (obtained from saliva with a q-tip) can predict higher risk for diseases of premature babies.


Samples from eligible infants will be collected and stored for future comparisons. These samples include stool specimens from a messy diaper twice weekly, urine samples from cotton balls in the diaper once weekly, a small sample of stomach fluid once a week just prior to a feeding obtained through the feeding tube, a sample of mom's milk once a week, left-over blood from lab draws, and a sample of saliva on one occasion. The analysis of key specimens from this cohort will allow us to study the impact of the bacteria in the intestines on outcomes like growth and common diseases of premature infants.


Necrotizing Enterocolitis, Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, Growth Failure, microbiota, metabolome, lipidome, Enterocolitis, Enterocolitis, Necrotizing, Failure to Thrive


You can join if…

  • gestational age < 33 weeks at birth

You CAN'T join if...

  • none


  • UC Davis Medical Center accepting new patients
    Sacramento California 95817 United States

Lead Scientist at UC Cancer

  • Mark Underwood, MD (ucdavis)
    Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, School of Medicine. Authored (or co-authored) 125 research publications


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, Davis
Learn more or sign up for the study here!
Study Type
Expecting 300 study participants
Last Updated