Fellowship Training Program in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine (updated December 2012)

Our Fellowship Program is an American Academy of Graduate Medical Education certified fellowship program in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine (3293521093). We are on a successful 10-year credentialing process, with the next overall review in 2022. We have six fellows. It is a three-year program for which we accept two fellows a year for training to become attending neonatologists.

Our fellow applicants are physician graduates of USA Pediatric Residency Programs who are board-eligible or board-certified in Pediatrics. Their goal is to develop independent, quality-focused competency to subspecialize in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. Our fellows are trained in medical knowledge, application of knowledge to patient care, practice-based best medical guidelines, communication, professionalism and system-based practices of health care. Our division provides them with a rigorous, highly organized curriculum and a large patient exposure.  The NICU is a new private room 46 bed unit.  There are approximately 1000 admissions, 100 transports and 100 babies with birth weight ≤ 1500gm.  The unit is a level 3b New York State designated, regional perinatal center.

To enhance fellow training, we have a Neonatal Skills Lab in the NICU for training in procedures, as well as an outstanding state-of-the-art Neonatal Simulation Lab including photographic recording and actors. In addition, the fellows are required to have a scholarly research project completed by the end of their three-year training period. The Neonatal Research Center provides an excellent opportunity for fellows to meet this requirement if they are interested in basic or translational research. Clinical and performance improvement projects are also available with mentorship within our division.

Fellow applicants must only apply to our program via ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) and are selected through the NRMP (National Residency Matching Program). We interview select applicants from July through September of the calendar year before fellows start on July 1. The institution  does not take applicants with H1B visas. For a complete description of our fellowship program, go to FRIEDA on Line or call our office to request our fellowship manual. For further information, USA Pediatric residency-trained physician applicants may call our neonatal fellowship coordinator, Corinne DeMeo at (631)444-7653 or email her at .


Our Team: The neonatal team includes eight board-certified or board-eligible attending neonatologists, six neonatal fellows, nine neonatal nurse practitioners, more than 110 dedicated neonatal nurses, a discharge coordinator, a neonatal social service worker, a dedicated neonatal nutritionist and lactation consultant, a bereavement counselor, chaplaincy services, an ethicist, a discharge coordinator, nurse educators, helpful receptionists, dedicated respiratory therapists and other ancillary support staff. All are committed to delivering compassionate, family-centered, medically advanced and developmentally sensitive care to the smallest and sickest babies. For complex neonatal disorders, we have full-time attending consultants in every subspecialty of pediatrics available, such as cardiology, neurology, infectious disease, surgery, and whatever else the baby may need. An expanding maternal-fetal medicine service has six perinatologists. For more details about the NICU and staff visit our NICU website at

To ensure optimal patient safety and best outcomes, we use a strategy called Team STEPPS. This evidence-based success story from the US Department of Health teaches staff leadership skills, meticulous monitoring of patients, and mutual support and communication techniques. The Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine also provides the highest level of quality and safety for best outcomes by having attending neonatologists in-house 24/7. All of our attending neonatologists are faculty of the Stony Brook School of Medicine. This means our attending neonatologists remain on the leading edge of advancements in their areas of expertise and they conduct both laboratory and clinical research.

Goals and Objectives

The goal of the fellowship training program is to enable our trainees to become sub-board certified and highly competent to begin their career as quality-focused, independent practitioners.  As a corollary, the goal of the program is to instill an appreciation for life-long learning and evidence based science and medicine.


Fellows spend slightly more than half of their time on research.  The following clinical services have specific goals and evaluation methods that are specific to the year of training.  A two week orientation interactive seminar series including a review of NRP and procedures occurs during the first two weeks.

There are five areas of education with specific curriculums.

1)     NICU Service

2)     Perinatology Service

3)     Research

4)     Follow-up Clinic

5)     Pediatric Cardiology



 Current research in our division includes both clinical and translational research projects.  Each fellow is assigned a research mentor within the division.  Collaboration with research scientists in the Division and Department of Pediatrics is common.  Presently there are ongoing cell and molecular studies related to the pathogenesis and treatment of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, neonatal immunology and adrenal release of endorphins and cytokines.  Research related to parental immunizations and epidemiology, cardiopulmonary monitoring and apnea as well as circulatory physiology assessed by near-infrared spectroscopy are starting.  The research articles published by our faculty listed below can be found on PubMed

Neonatologists, Research Scientists and Nursing Leadership Biographies

Shanthy Sridhar, MD (NICU Medical Director, Fellowship Director)
Dennis Davidson, MD
Joseph DeCristofaro, MD
Marian Evinger, PhD
Echezona Maduekwe, MD
Jonathan Mintzer, MD
Aruna Parekh, MD
Jennifer Pynn, MD (Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Education Director, Assistant Fellowship Director)
Esther Speer, MD

Lynn Marie Antonawich, MS, RN (Assistant Director of Nursing, NICU)
Adriann Combs, RN (Regional Perinatal Center Coordinator)

Appendix - Biographies

Dr. Sridhar Shanthy Sridhar, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Medical Director NICU, and Program Director of the Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Program. She graduated as a fellow from SUNY Downstate Medical Center and joined Stony Brook Medicine in 1999. Dr. Sridhar has been instrumental in implementing daily  IHI/Multidisciplinary Quality Improvement rounds on low birth weight infants since 2006. She has been involved with many collaborative clinical trials and quality improvement studies in infection control, nutrition and oxygen therapy. Dr. Sridhar recently completed work as the onsite principal investigator for the NIPPV Study (Nasal Intermittent Positive Pressure Ventilation in Preterm Infants-Neonatal trials Group). She currently is the onsite principal investigator for the COT study (Efficacy and Safety of Targeting Lower Arterial Oxygen Saturation to Reduce Oxygen Toxicity and Oxidative Stress in Very Preterm Infants) and the on-site  Principal Investigator for  Synergistic Pharmacologic Prevention of ROP Grant Award with SUNY Pharmacology Consortium.
Lynne Marie Antonawich Lynn Marie Antonawich, MS, RN, Assistant Director of Nursing for the NICU, joined Stony Brook Medicine in 2012. She received her Bachelor of Nursing degree from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh in 1989 and began her nursing career in Labor and Delivery at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip.  After five years, she moved to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where she helped to develop the unit to a Level 3 NICU. Lynn earned her Master’s in Nursing Administration from Adelphi University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Prior to joining Stony Brook, she served as the Nurse Manager for Good Samaritan’s NICU for five years, helping the hospital to obtain Magnet status. She currently serves as a consultant and editor for both Wolters and Kluwer Publishing companies, is a member of both the New York Organization of Nurse Executives and the American Organization of Nurse Executives and is an Active member of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses.
Alexa Calero, MD – Dr. Calero joined our program in July 2011 after completing her pediatric residency at Nassau University Medical Center in Hempstead NY.  During medical school in Ecuador Alexa saw the need for education and technology in the NICU there and decided to pursue this goal.  As a third year fellow she is currently completing research on acute hypoxia in the neonate.
Adriann Combs Adriann Combs, RN, is our Regional Perinatal Center Coordinator, a role that includes coordinating outreach education to our affiliated hospitals and transfer of information from obstetrics regarding high-risk pregnancies.  Adriann attended Pace University. Her areas of expertise include the development of an excellent neonatal transport system, quality improvement in neonatology and obstetrics, newborn resuscitation education and thermoregulation. She coordinates our benchmarking with the Vermont Oxford National and New York State Data Bases. Adriann has received the President’s Award for Excellence in Service from Stony Brook University, the Maternal Child Health Award for Clinical Excellence from the March of Dimes and the L. Stanley James Award from the New York State Perinatal Society. She is a member of the Neonatal Expert Workgroup for the New York State Perinatal Quality Collaborative. She also has published in the areas of retinopathy of prematurity, thermoregulation, ethics, feeding practices and perinatal disaster planning.
Dennis Davidson Dennis Davidson, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, completed his Pediatric Residency and Fellowship at Columbia University, where he spent the subsequent seven years as an academic neonatologist. He then moved to the North Shore-LIJ Health Care System, eventually becoming the Fellowship Director and Director of Neonatal Services for the health care system. Dr. Davidson’s past research was in the areas of the cardiopulmonary adjustments at birth and the development of inhaled nitric oxide for persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn via a multicenter clinical trial and the FDA approval process. He joined Stony Brook Medicine in 2012.  His current focus is on new anti-inflammatory therapy for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). The present work, at the cell and molecular level, has shown that steroids (other than dexamethasone) and the anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-10, may provide more effective and safer therapy for BPD. The mechanism of the relative insensitivity of inflammatory cells to the anti-inflammatory effects of steroids compared to the robust effect by interleukin-10 is being explored. He is also involved establishing a TeamSTEPPS approach to safety and best outcomes for the NICU and delivery room, as well as best practices for educating neonatal fellows.
Joseph D. DeCristofaro Joseph DeCristofaro, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Medical Director, Infant Apnea Program, Assistant Medical Director for Patient Safety has been at Stony Brook since 1986. During this time, he has focused on several aspects of neonatology and hospital administration, including serving as neonatology fellowship director from 1999 to 2006, as well as acting division chief over different intervals. He has been the Medical Director of the Infant Apnea Program since 1991 and follows NICU graduates discharged home with apnea monitors in the Infant Apnea Clinic. He has been involved in neonatal medication and was recognized as a leader in the hospital on medication issues. Dr. DeCristofaro chaired the hospital medication safety committee from its inception until 2007 when he was asked to chair the hospital patient safety committee. He continues to serve on medication safety committees and is actively involved in hospital and neonatal medication safety. He also is the Assistant Medical Director for Patient Safety and Quality and is involved in teaching medical students, residents, fellows and attendings on medication and patient safety while continuing to work full time in the neonatal ICU. He leads the medical team on safety rounds on Patient Safety First, a hospital-wide initiative for safe medical practices. His research interests include Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, quality improvement and safety.
Josel Doyle, MD – Dr. Doyle joined our Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship program in July 2012 after completing her pediatric residency at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola New York.  Recognizing the need for neonatologists in her home country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines propelled Josel to choose this subspecialty.  She looks forward to returning home with her well-honed skills from her experience in our NICU and working towards improved healthcare at home.  Dr. Doyle’s research interest is in apnea of prematurity.
Jagadish Elumalai, MD – Dr. Elumalai joined us in 2011 after successfully completing his pediatric residency here at Stony Brook.  Jagadish developed his love of medicine and interests in neonatal intensive care while in India.  He has excelled in his training here, becoming a valued mentor to our junior fellows.  Dr. Elumalai is currently completing research on the effect of hyperoxia and lipopolysaccharide on genes.
Marian Evinger, PhD is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Biology, Pharmacology and Neurosciences.  Her research interests in neonatology include the influence of hypoxia on synthesis and release of neuroendocrine transmitters and factors in cell culture models of acute perinatal hypoxic exposure. One current project examines the stimulatory influence of reduced oxygen exposure on the production of opioid peptides and endogenous opioids in adrenal medullary-derived pheochromocytoma cell lines.  A related project evaluates the effects of hypoxia on inflammatory cytokine synthesis and release in this model. These studies complement original observations from this laboratory and division that hypoxia rapidly stimulates neonatal adrenaline release by markedly activating transcription of the gene for the adrenaline-synthesizing enzyme PNMT, acting through a hypoxia response element encoded in the proximal promoter of this catecholamine gene. Her investigations employ molecular, biochemical and cellular approaches to examine transcriptional, translational and stimulus-coupled release of neurotransmitters, neuroactive peptides and opioids from perinatal adrenal medulla as a mechanism for coping with the metabolic and physiologic stresses resulting from acute hypoxia.
Bianca Fornier, MD – Dr. Fornier joined our Neonatal Perinatal Fellowship Program in in July 2013 after completing her pediatric residency at Winthrop University Hospital.  Her desire to become a neonatologist stemmed from a volunteer experience in an impoverished hospital in the Philippines, resuscitating infants with obsolete equipment.  After a NICU rotation during residency, Dr. Fornier knew this was the field in which she wanted to specialize.  Her research interest is in umbilical venous catheterization.
Melissa Macomber-Estill, MD – Dr. Macomber joins us from her recent pediatric residency at Maimonides Infants and Children’s Hospital.  Melissa knew while attending St. George’s Medical School that she wanted to pursue her career in the critical care of the neonate and she is very excited to join our Neonatal-Perinatal program.  Her research interests include the study of various methods for weaning nasal CPAP, for which she won a research award while at Maimonides.
Echezona Maduekwe, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics joined Stony Brook Medicine in 2013.  He completed his fellowship training at Golisano Children's Hospital University of Rochester where he was recognized as the Bradford Fellow by the department of Pediatrics.  He is board certified in Pediatrics.  His research interest during his fellowship was in hyperoxic injury to the neonatal lung.  He tested the hypothesis that cumulative oxygen, represented as concentration and duration of oxygen exposure (i.e. "oxygen area under the curve"), can be used to define levels of oxygen toxicity sufficient to impair host response to viral infection in mice - funded by NIH T32 Department of Pediatrics grant, "Bench to Bedside to Curbside."  His overall research interests include studies relating to oxygen delivery and its impact in neonates.  Dr. Maduekwe's future interest is in improving the care of the neonates in our region through perinatal outreach program.
Jonathan Mintzer Jonathan Mintzer, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, joined Stony Brook Medicine in 2012.  He completed his fellowship training at Westchester Medical Center, where he participated in research on the use of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) as a routine monitoring strategy in the neonatal intensive care unit. His overall research interests include studies relating to oxygen delivery, extraction and consumption, as well as novel methods of monitoring these factors in real time. In addition, Dr. Mintzer is interested in best practices regarding fellow and resident education.
Aruna Parekh Aruna Parekh, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Director of NICU High Risk Follow-up Clinic, came to Stony Brook Medicine in 2010 as a Clinical Associate Professor. She brought with her more than 35 years of clinical and academic neonatology experience. Prior to her arrival, she was a faculty member at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in the departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and Chief of Neonatology at its affiliate Hospital, Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn. Dr. Parekh has been actively involved in teaching of medical students, residents, neonatal fellows, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, occupational therapists, speech therapists and physical therapists. Her area of interest has been in long-term follow-up and impact of early intervention on NICU graduates. As a medical director, she established an early intervention program in Brooklyn and ran an infant and child learning center (SUNY Research Foundation). At Stony Brook, she is in charge of the High-Risk Follow-up Clinic. She also is involved in collaborative multicenter research projects involving NICU graduates enrolled in several trials looking at multiple doses of surfactant, nitric oxide and different levels of oxygen concentrations on long-term pulmonary and neurologic outcomes. In addition, she is interested in quality assurance projects looking at best methods of training for neonatal intubation using simulation methodology.
Neera Prakash, MD - Dr. Prakash joined our Neonatal Perinatal Fellowship program after completing her pediatric residency at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx in July 2013.  Her NICU rotation experience there gave her the desire to learn how to manage neonates from the delivery room through discharge.  She is excited to begin her research in umbilical cord blood.
Jennifer Pynn Jennifer Pynn, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Education Director and Assistant Program Director, joined Stony Brook Medicine in 2011. She completed her fellowship training at Columbia’s Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and is board certified in Neonatal-Perinatal medicine. During her fellowship, she participated in research to determine new methods of detecting infection in the newborn, specifically the role of urinary NGAL as a potential marker for late onset sepsis among NICU patients. She is taking advanced courses in education and is the Education Director for the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine -- setting the curriculum for the fellows and residents, as well as setting the standards for best teaching methods for adult learners.
Joan Salnave, MD – We welcome Dr. Salnave to our Neonatal-Perinatal fellowship program.  Upon graduating from St. George’s Medical School Dr. Salnave pursued her pediatric residency at Winthrop University Hospital.  During her residency she became interested in improvement measures both systems based, by improving communication and effective utilization of SBAR, and practice based, by implementing measures to prevent hypothermia in premature infants.  She looks forward to developing these interests during her neonatology fellowship.
Esther Speer, MD, Assistant Professor of pediatrics, joined Stony Brook Medicine in 2009. She completed her fellowship training at the University of Chicago, where she participated in research on the genetic causes of preterm delivery and the impact of intrauterine infections on the outcome of extremely low gestational age newborns. Her current research work aims to identify potential therapeutic agents that can down regulate the pathological inflammatory response syndrome found in term and preterm neonates exposed to intrauterine infections. Dr. Speer continues as an active faculty member in the Neonatal Research Center, with a focus on molecular regulation underlying the different inflammatory responses of monocytes from newborns and adults to bacterial infection. In addition, Dr. Speer is interested in the clinical outcome of extremely low birth weight newborns.
Hazel Villanueva, MD – Dr. Villanueva joined our program in July 2012 after completing her pediatric residency at The Brooklyn Hospital Center in Brooklyn New York.  Hazel was deeply touched by the fragility of neonates during her NICU rotation there and decided to pursue the specialty.  It is her hope to use her neonatal skills to advance the progress of neonatology in her home country of the Philippines.  Dr. Villanueva‘s research interest is the effect of hypoxia on cytokine synthesis.


Applying to the Program:

Applications to the fellowship program are accepted ONLY through the Applications Available through ERAS electronic residency application service (ERAS).

Requirements include:

1.    Scheduled completion of a US-based ACGME accredited pediatric residency program

2.    US Citizen, permanent resident, or J-1 visa. Unfortunately we are unable to consider applicants with H-1B visas. For other types of visas, please contact us.

3.    Please include in your Applications Available through ERAS ERAS application three letters of recommendation including one from an attending physician in neonatology.

Invitations for interviews will be sent via email. Final selection will occur using the national resident matching program (NRMP).

For further information, please contact: 631-444-7653 

Shanthy Sridhar, MD
 Program Director

Jennifer Pynn, MD
Assistant Program Director
Education Director

Corinne DeMeo
Program Coordinator

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