Microbial colonization of the infant gut begins during pregnancy and continues rapidly after birth until 2 to 3 years of age. The gut microbiota is now recognized as a virtual organ with effects that extend well beyond the gastrointestinal tract to help shape the immune system and the developing brain. As a result of these new understandings, the role of prebiotics and probiotics in human health in general, and neonatal and infant health in particular, is advancing into a new era of recognition and appreciation, sparked by ongoing research and clinical experience.

To help practicing clinicians keep up with the pace of informational change in this important area, the activities in this educational series will examine the pivotal role of the microbiome and gut microbiota in neonatal health and development; describe the ways in which understanding of the pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is evolving and the implications of this new information for prevention and treatment; and explore the use of prebiotics and probiotics in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) combining the latest research findings with practical experience. The curriculum will also review the latest guidelines and recommendations from professional associations on the use of prebiotics and probiotics in neonatal and infant nutrition.


Mark A. Underwood, MD (Chair)
Professor of Pediatrics
Chief, Division of Neonatology
UC Davis School of Medicine
Sacramento, CA

David Adamkin, MD
Department of Pediatrics
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY

Michael Caplan, MD
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
University of Chicago
Pritzker School of Medicine
Northshore University Health
Chicago, IL

Ravi Patel, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, GA

John M. Rosen, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
University of Missouri-Kansas City
  School of Medicine
Pediatric Gastroenterologist
Kansas City, MO

Philip M. Sherman MD, FRCPC
Professor of Paediatrics,
Hospital for Sick Children
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Roger F. Soll, MD
H. Wallace Professor of Neonatology
Research Director, Neonatal-
Medicine Fellowship Program
University of Vermont College of
Burlington, VT

Jointly provided by

Supported by
an educational grant from

Abbott Nutrition