Fostering A Global Exchange

Have you ever wondered what NICUs are like overseas? How is their environment set up, and how they function as a team?

This July, my curiosity led me to Europe in an attempt to learn from our international colleagues and forge stronger connections. My first stop was in the Netherlands.

You might remember Dr. Jeroen Dudink, the Dutch neonatologist featured as our 2022 NANT Virtual Summit speaker. Last December, he presented a fantastic seminar on the importance of neonatal sleep and its impact on the developing brain. I was astonished by his research and wanted to learn more.

After working my way from Amsterdam, I arrived via train at the UMC Utrecht campus. It was a tremendous privilege to tour the NICU and spend the day in the Sleep Lab with Dr. Dudink and his research team. A special thank you to Morris & Hester for their contribution to my visit and their tireless work within the lab.

Dr. Jeroen Dudink, Associate Professor in Neonatology, UMC Utrecht


Netherlands Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht

Dr. Dudink has extensive knowledge in neuroscience and brain imaging, which is foundational to his research at UMC Utrecht. At this prominent University and Medical Center, he is fortunate to have a supportive NICU staff, cross-discipline engineers and computer scientists, and a highly supportive parent organization.

In addition to publishing multiple journal articles, it was inspiring to see how Dr. Dudink and his team creatively disseminate their research. They have colorful infographics, instructive posters, magazine publications, and even custom-made puzzles for children and parents to learn from.

In Utrecht, I saw firsthand the innovative equipment and impressive studies being conducted; but what I loved most was meeting the brilliant and caring individuals behind the scenes. Regardless of what continent we are on, we are all connected by a universal passion to serve high-risk infants and their families.

Undoubtedly you will hear more from this small but mighty team about capitalizing on sleep to significantly improve pediatric neurodevelopmental outcomes. I want to say dank u well (thank you very much) to Dr. Dudink and his team for the kind welcome, inspiration, and interprofessional exchange. I wish them the best in their research ventures and hope to stay connected.


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