Dr. Rosemary Higgins joined CHHS's full-time faculty as associate dean for research in March. Higgins’s research focuses on neonatal and perinatal medicine. Prior to coming to Mason, she served as the program scientist for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Neonatal Research Network (NRN), a large, multi-investigator, multi-institution network, composed of 15 clinical centers (35 hospitals) and a data coordinating center.
Higgins was responsible for development, execution, and completion of clinical trials and studies as well as reporting results. NRN has performed landmark studies that have led to improvements in public health for sick and premature babies including cooling therapy for asphyxiated infants, respiratory management for premature infants, general care and follow up of high risk infants, and surveillance and management of infection in babies.
Higgins also served as the Program Scientist for the MOMS 2 (Management of Meningomyelocele Study follow up). This landmark study showed that in utero repair of spinal defect compared to post-natal repair reduced the number of children with ventriculoperitoneal shunts at age one year. The cohort is being followed through age 10 to assess cognitive, neurological, urological and medical outcomes.
She has served as ex-Officio NICHD representation to various groups including the Vermont Oxford Network (VON), The March of Dimes, and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM). She has provided expertise to various other societies and organizations including American Academy of Pediatrics and American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She serves as the Neonatology Editor in Chief for the American Journal of Perinatology.
Prior to joining NICHD, Higgins had over 12 years of experience in academic medicine. Key leadership activities included clinical director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at New York University (NYU), associate professor, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program director at Georgetown, and vice chair of the Georgetown University Institutional Review Board. She served on numerous hospital and academic committees. At NYU and Georgetown, she oversaw a funded basic science laboratory focused on cell culture and animal models of oxygen toxicity to study the basis of retinopathy of prematurity.
Higgins has co-authored papers in leading journals including the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. She received her MD from Georgetown University, and she completed her Pediatrics Residency at the University of Virginia and her Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship at the University of Rochester.