Nathalie Maitre, MD, PhD is a neonatologist and developmental specialist who is the Director of the NICU Follow-up Program and NICU Music Therapy Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She works with a diverse team of scientists, engineers and therapists who all believe strongly in the need to identify children at high-risk for disabilities as early as possible, in order to optimize recovery after brain insults of the neonatal period.
Her research emphasizes the development of objective and quantitative measures of neural function in infants and children to allow the rational design and testing of neuroprotective/habilitative strategies. She has developed novel techniques to measure cortical processing of speech sound differentiation and tactile modalities in NICU patients and designed parental-speech based interventions to improve their outcomes. She is particularly interested in the sensory system of infants and children and how it can be harnessed to design new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. She has two current NIH-funded projects in this area: the first studies brain processing of auditory, tactile and multisensory stimuli in term and preterm infants to identify the neural basis of behavioral and adaptive outcomes in the first two years. The second is a large randomized controlled trial of a new parent-administered sensori-motor training to improve the arm and hand function of infants diagnosed with asymmetric cerebral palsy.