Neonatal Research Unit

Division of Neonatology

University Hospital La Fe

Avenida Fernando Abril Martorell 106
46026 Valencia

Phone: +34 96 124 56 88




The Neonatal Research Group - Grupo de Investigación en Perinatología

Our group was first constituted in 2005 when Maximo Vento MD PhD, principal investigator of the group, joined the Division of  Neonatology of the University and Polytechnic Hospital La Fe (Valencia, Spain) and was appointed responsible for clinical and basic research of the division.

The group is formed by basic and clinical scientist sharing the common aim which is to expand our knowledge in physiologic and pathologic aspects of the perinatal period of life.

Our group has a close scientific relationship with other clinical colleagues in our country for being one of the members of the Red Materno Infantil (maternal-neonatal-infant network) of the Instituto Carlos III (Spanish Ministry of Economy & Innovation). In addition, we keep close scientific relationship with other European countries as members of the European Society for Pediatric Research and Society for Pediatric Research (USA). Moreover, we perform joint experimental studies with groups from different countries such as Norway (Prof. OD Saugstad, University of Oslo), USA (Prof. RJ Martin, University of Case Western Reserve & Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, Cleveland, Prof. NN Finer, University of California San Diego & San Diego Medical Center, San Diego), Canada (Prof. J Belik, University of Toronto & The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto,  Prof. PY Cheung, University of Alberta, Edmonton), Australia (Prof. P Davis, University of Melbourne & The Women's Hospital, Melbourne). In addition, we have joined the ESCNR group devoted to research in resuscitation in Europe.

One of our principal areas of research has been the physiologic aspects of oxygen metabolism in the fetal to neonatal transition. Our aim is to add knowledge to basic aspects of oxygen switch from in utero to ex utero milieu during the first minutes of life. In this regard we have studied different aspects of oxidative stress, generation of oxygen free radicals, redox circuiting, transcription factor activation and gene expression.  From a clinical perspective, we have studied the evolution of oxygen saturation in healthy term and preterm babies to assess normality during postnatal adaptation. Furthermore, a great part of our studies have been involved in the optimization of oxygen supplementation during resuscitation after birth asphyxia in term infants, and individual titration of oxygen in preterm infants to achieve postnatal stabilization.  

To assess oxidative metabolism in the experimental and clinical fields we have validated very specific and reliable biomarkers which can be easily determined in biological fluids using metabolomic approaches. In addition, we have also validated metabolites from the glycolisis, Kreb's cycle and Pentose pathways which are extremely useful in the analysis of interventions which trigger rapid metabolic responses in experimental animals or patients.

Other relevant areas of research areas which are acquiring more relevance for our group are related with infectious diseases in the perinatal period and have implied studies on genome wide expression during neonatal sepsis, ventilator associated pneumonia, biomarkers of infectious diseases and gut microbiota modifications during septicemia.

The field of milk banking is rapidly expanding and we are cooperating with groups in Spain in order to develop better technologies for milk pasteurization, preservation, analysis of changes induced during conservation etc.

Finally, we are great defenders of Developmental Care and are involved in research related to parenting, skin to skin contact and pain during the neonatal period.

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