Faculty

Sanjiv Amin, MBBS, MD, MS

Sanjiv Amin, MD

Dr. Sanjiv Amin is the Chief of the Division of Neonatology and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Amin received his Medical Degree from NHL Municipal Medical College in Ahmedabad in 1986. He completed his Pediatric Residency at Seth KM Institute of Postgraduate Medicine and Research, Gujarat University, in 1989. He subsequently moved to US in October 1991. After coming to US, he completed Pediatric Residency at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, in 1994 and then completed Neonatal Fellowship in 1997 at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. He earned Masters in Clinical Research at the University of Maryland in 2007. He was a faculty member at Howard University from 1998-2001, University of Maryland from 2002-2005, and University of Rochester from 2006-2020. Dr. Amin is an experienced clinical investigator and is a recipient of several NIH research awards since 2004. He is currently the PI of an NIH funded multi-national clinical trial to evaluate the effect of iron supplementation on brain development. Dr. Amin’s research endeavors have focused on clinical studies related to unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia, nutrients, trace elements, hormonal deficiency, perinatal inflammation, and neurodevelopmental outcomes. He is a first author or senior author of over 60 peer reviewed publications, as well as editorials, seminar chapters, and book chapters. He has published landmark papers on bilirubin, including “Bilirubin and serial auditory brainstem response in premature infants.” Pediatrics 2001 Apr;107(4):664-70, a paper which continues to be cited today. Dr. Amin serves on NIH peer review panels. He is recognized nationally and internationally for his research in the field of jaundice, and is a member of the American Pediatric Society.

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Carol Clericuzio, MD

Carol Clericuzio, MD

Carol Clericuzio, MD is a visiting Professor of Pediatrics, an emerita Professor of Pediatrics at University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and former Chief of the Division of Clinical Genetics/Dysmorphology. She received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Cornell University, Masters in Organic Chemistry from Stanford, MD from Albany Medical College and fellowship training in Dysmorphology/Clinical Genetics at UNM HSC. She is board certified in Clinical Genetics and Pediatrics and has a great interest in many genetic and teratogenic syndromes, including overgrowth disorders, skeletal dysplasias, Prader-Willi syndrome, Noonan syndrome, cancer predisposition syndromes and fetal alcohol syndrome. Dr. Clericuzio has received a number of teaching awards during her career and has joined the Division of Neonatology to provide clinical and didactic teaching for the fellowship program.

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Janell Fuller, MD

Janell Fuller, MD

Dr. Janell Fuller, Professor, received her medical degree from Finch University of Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School in 1998.  She then completed her residency training in Pediatrics and Fellowship in Neonatology at the University of Chicago Comer Childrens’ Hospital.   She joined the Neonatology Division at the University of New Mexico in August of 2004.  Dr. Fuller has held several administrative roles, including Division Chief and Medical Director of the Intensive Care Nurseries.  She is currently the Associate Medical Director of Neonates, Lifeguard Emergency Services and the Medical Director for the Practitioner Program. She is a Co-PI for the NICHD Neonatal Research Network as well as the site PI for several network studies. 

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Jean Lowe, PhD

Jean Lowe, PhD

Dr. Lowe is one of the co-founders of the Developmental Care Program at UNM and is certified in a variety of evaluation tools. Dr Lowe is the UNM site PI for the follow-up portion of the NIH Neonatal Research Network (NIH-NRN) grant and provides both training and certification to multiple sites for the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Assessment Scale. She is the gold standard evaluator for the NIH-NRN grant and a variety of other NIH grants, administering research evaluations for infants and toddlers.  She has published over 50 articles related to the developmental outcome of infants born preterm and infants with prenatal drug exposure. More recently her research has expanded to look at the relationship of prematurity to the development of early executive function, including neuroimaging techniques. Dr. Lowe’s research also focuses on maternal child interactions and how this is related to early development. Dr Lowe provides training and technical support in the area of infant/toddler assessment on studies nationally including the Medication treatment for opioid use disorder in expectant mothers study (MOMs- University Cincinnati), and the High dose EPO for asphyxia and encephalopathy study (HEAL - UCSF). Dr. Lowe has collaborated with Dr. Bakhireva at UNM as a co-investigation for over 5 years on the Ethanol, Neurodevelopment, Infant and Child Health (ENRICH-1 and ENRICH-2 ) grants. She continues to provide mentorship to graduate and doctoral students, medical students and Neonatology Fellows.

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Jessie Maxwell, MD

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Dr. Maxwell, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neurosciences, received her medical degree from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine.​ She completed her residency training in Pediatrics at MetroHealth Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio, where she also completed her Chief Resident year. Dr. Maxwell completed her fellowship in Neonatology here at the University of New Mexico in 2016. Her primary research interests include the impact of prenatal exposure of alcohol and/or opioids on the developing structure and microstructure of the brain and the impact this has on long-term neurodevelopmental function. Dr. Maxwell is involved in the New Mexico Alcohol Research Center (NMARC) and is a co-investigator in the Ethanol, Neurodevelopment, Infant and Child Health-2 (ENRICH-2) clinical study. She is also the site co-PI for the ACT NOW clinical trials. Dr. Maxwell is the Director for the Neonatology Morbidity​ and Mortality conference, the Director of Research for the division of neonatology and the Associate Director for the neonatology fellowship. 

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Dawn Novak, MD

Dawn Novak, MD

Dr. Novak is the Fellowship Director for Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Program at the University of New Mexico. She received her medical degree from the University Of New Mexico School Of Medicine in 2008. She then did an internship in Psychiatry before realizing her true calling was in Pediatrics. She completed her residency in 2012, and her fellowship in Neonatology in 2015. Dr. Novak practiced as a Neonatologist at Chattanooga, TN before returning to the University of New Mexico. She has a strong interest in education and loves teaching Neonatology to trainees of all levels. In addition to Fellowship Director, she serves as the Neonatology Rotation Director for the Pediatric Residents rotating through the NICU. In addition to education, Dr. Novak’s other passion is neurodevelopmental outcomes of NICU graduates. She serves as the Medical Director for the Developmental Care Program and regularly participates in the Special Baby Clinic, the only developmental follow up clinic for NICU graduates in the state of New Mexico.


Lu-Ann Papile, MD

LuAnn Papile, MD

Dr. Lu-Ann Papile received her MD from the Medical College of Pennsylvania and completed her pediatric and neonatology training at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. Additional training included a Research Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco Cardiovascular Research Institute and a Congressional Fellowship in the United States Congress with Colorado representative Patricia Schroeder.

As a member of the University of New Mexico faculty (1975-2015), her positions included Medical Director of Newborn Services, Director of the Neonatal/Perinatal fellowship program, Associate Director of the General Clinical Research Center and Medical Director of the Developmental Care Program in neonatology. Before returning to UNM in 2015 she was Professor of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine (2011-2015), where she was Director of the Neonatal Neurodevelopmental Follow-Up Program and the Indiana site Follow-up Principal Investigator for NICHD Neonatal Research Network. Prior to moving to Indiana she was Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine (2007-2011) where she created and subsequently directed the Developmental Care and Follow-up Program in neonatology.

Dr. Papile is an experienced clinical investigator and is an author or co-author of over 100 peer reviewed publications, as well as editorials, policy statements and book chapters. She is an Associate Editor of the Yearbook of Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine and the Pediatric Editor of Guidelines for Perinatal Care, 8th Edition. She has received several national awards including the Landmark Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Perinatal Pediatrics, the Legends in Neonatology Award from Pediatrix and the Alumnae Achievement Award from the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Papile has held numerous national leadership positions including serving on the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Perinatal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Fetus and Newborn and the American Board of Pediatrics Sub-board of Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine. She is immediate past Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Fetus and Newborn. Currently she serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee Forum Management Committee for which she is president-elect. She is also a member of the AAP initiative for the verification of neonatal levels of care. 

Dr. Papile’s research endeavors have focused on clinical studies related to perinatal brain injury and the neurodevelopmental outcome of very low birth weight infants. In 1978 she published a landmark paper that delineated the prevalence and spectrum of periventricular, intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) among very low birth weight infants. She has been the recipient of several national research awards from the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Science Foundation. In addition, she has been awarded grants from both private and public entities to conduct clinical research. Currently she is the New Mexico site Principal Investigator for an NICHD multi-center study focused on burnout among caregivers in the NICU.

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Jennifer Rael, MD

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Dr. Rael is an Associate Professor in the Division of Neonatology at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. She received her Medical Degree from the UNM School of Medicine in 2000, and completed her pediatric residency at the San Antonio Military Pediatric Consortium in 2003. Dr. Rael practiced as a general Pediatrician in the US Army for four years before returning to the University of New Mexico for subspecialty training in neonatal-perinatal medicine, which she completed in 2010. Dr. Rael serves as the Clinical Informaticist for the NICU, as well as the lead for clinical documentation improvement efforts within the Division. Dr. Rael is also the Medical Director for the Outreach Program, as well as Chair for the Amazing Newborn Conference. Dr. Rael served as the Director of Education for the Division of Neonatology from 2010 - 2013, and as the Medical Director of the NICU and ICN4 from 2011 to 2016, where she was involved in multiple quality improvement initiatives. She is a graduate of the UNM Health System Medical Leadership Academy.

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Kristi Watterberg, MD

Kristi Watterberg, MD

Dr. Kristi Watterberg is a Professor of Pediatrics and was Chief of the Division of Neonatology from 2006 - 2011. Dr. Watterberg completed her Pediatric and Neonatology training at UNM in 1985 and served on the UNM faculty until 1988. Subsequently, she was a faculty member at the Hershey Medical Center at Penn State University, returning to UNM in 2000. Her primary research interests are adrenal function in the fetus and newborn infant and the pathogenesis and prevention of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Pursuing this interest, Dr. Watterberg has conducted both observational and interventional studies exploring the relationships between prenatal and postnatal inflammation, adrenal function and the development of BPD. In 2001, she received funding from NICHD for a multicenter trial entitled, "Prophylaxis of early adrenal insufficiency to prevent BPD". The short-term results of this study were published in Pediatrics (114:1649, 2004), and showed that for infants exposed to prenatal inflammation (chorioamnionitis), early treatment with low-dose hydrocortisone increased survival and decreased BPD. The two-year follow-up of these infants showed that hydrocortisone treatment was associated with some neurodevelopmental benefits (Pediatrics 2007; 120: 40 - 48). Dr. Watterberg is the Principal Investigator at New Mexico for the NICHD Neonatal Research Network, which has multiple ongoing observational and interventional studies in the NICU. Our team, including Dr. Ohls and Dr. Lowe, successfully competed for a 5 year renewal of this grant both in 2011 and 2016. She is also PI for an NHLBI grant to evaluate adrenal function and cardiovascular risk factors at age 6 after extremely preterm birth. She has been an AAP member throughout her career, and has served on the Committee on Fetus and Newborn (COFN) as a member from 2006 – 2012, and as chair (2013 – 2017). In addition, Dr. Watterberg serves on NIH peer review panels and is a member of the American Pediatric Society.

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Tara Zamora, MD

Tara Zamora, MD

Dr. Tara Zamora joined the faculty as an assistant professor in the Division of Neonatology in July of 2018. She received her medical degree from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in 2007, and completed her pediatrics residency and Neonatal medicine fellowship at the University of Minnesota. She continued on to work in Minnesota for several years before joining the faculty at UNM. Dr. Zamora is interested in the impact of nutrition on the developing neonatal brain.  Most recently, Dr. Zamora has taken on the roll of Medical Director of the NICU and ICN4.

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Professors Emeritus


Dale Alverson, MD

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Dr. Alverson is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and Regents' Professor on faculty at the University of New Mexico (UNM), School of Medicine. He is a graduate (cum laude) of University of Michigan Medical School, completed pediatric residency at University of Colorado, and neonatology Fellowship at UNM and has been on faculty at UNM since 1982 and served as Neonatology Division Chief from 1988-1997.

Since 1995, he served as the Medical Director and later Strategic Telehealth Consultant at the Center for Telehealth at UNM through 2020. In that role, he had been involved in the planning, implementation, research and evaluation of Telemedicine systems for New Mexico. The UNM Center for Telehealth was given the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) President's Institutional Award for its efforts in advancing telehealth locally, nationally, and internationally. He is also Chief Medical Informatics Officer of LCF Research, assisting in their efforts to address the development and meaningful use of health information exchange, adoption of electronic health records, and integration with telemedicine. He has been involved in several ongoing international collaborative telehealth initiatives including Ecuador, India, Nepal, Ukraine, Africa and Korea.

He is the past Chairman of the Board of the New Mexico Telehealth Alliance, a 501c3 broadly representative of stakeholders and advocates for telehealth in New Mexico. He is also the founder, prior Chairman, and was an active member of the Four Corners Telehealth Consortium; Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, that became the ATA Interstate Special Interest Group (SIG) working collaboratively to address interstate cross jurisdictional issues related to Telehealth. Nationally, he is Past President of ATA and a member of their College of Fellows, and also has been on the Boards of the Center for Telehealth and e-Health Law, and Advanced Initiatives in Medical Simulation. He has presented widely on Telemedicine and e-Health, as well as published many related articles and chapters in books.

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Robin Ohls, MD

Robin Ohls, MD

Dr. Robin Ohls is a Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at the University of New Mexico (1995 - 2018).  She completed her undergraduate degree in Human Biology at Stanford University in 1983, and completed medical school, pediatric and neonatal training at the University of Utah in 1993. Following training in developmental hematology at the University of Utah, Dr. Ohls began her career in research focused on fetal and neonatal hematology. She has been on faculty at the University of New Mexico since 1995. Dr. Ohls has been active in clinical/translational research for over 25 years. Her basic science research focuses on developmental regulation of erythropoietin gene expression in the human fetus as a model organ system for evaluating the impact of preterm birth on changes in gene expression. She has completed a number of national and international collaborative projects throughout her 23 years as director of the DREAM (Developmental Research, Education and Mentoring) Lab. Dr. Ohls was the Fellowship Director as well as Division Chief for Neonatology.  Dr. Ohls has mentored trainees at all levels: high school, undergraduate, medical school, residency, and fellowship, and was very active in teaching medical students, residents, and fellows for the School of Medicine. She was committed to enhancing collaborative pediatric basic science and translational research, and increasing the numbers of new investigators in child health research.

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Ronald Poland, MD

Ron Poland, MD

Dr. Ronald Poland (UNM faculty 2000 - 2010). Dr. Poland first retired from his position as Chairman of Pediatrics at the Penn State University College of Medicine in 1999, but returned to clinical medicine at UNM in 2000, once again retiring in 2010. He has published landmark papers on bilirubin, including, "Physiologic jaundice: The enterohepatic circulation of bilirubin. New Engl J Med 284:1-6, 1971", a paper which continues to be cited today. He is recognized nationally and internationally for his research, and is a member of the American Pediatric Society. 

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Renate Savich, MD

Renate Savich, MD

Dr. Renate Savich (1988 - 2014).  Dr. Savich received her Undergraduate Degree in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University in 1978 and her Medical Degree from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL in 1982. She completed her Pediatric Residency at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago in 1985. Dr. Savich completed her Neonatal Fellowship in 1988 at the University of California, San Francisco.  Dr. Savich served various roles for the division throughout her esteemed career, including Chief of the Division of Neonatology, Medical Director of the Newborn Intensive Care Units, Medical Director of the Neonatal Practitioners, Neonatal fellowship director, and was Co-Founder of the Pediatric ECMO program in 1991.  Dr. Savich is nationally known for her work as the Chairperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Perinatal Pediatrics. 

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