Charles Palmer, MBChB

    Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
    1989 …2024

    Research activity per year

    Personal profile

    Research interests

    For more than two decades, Dr. Charles Palmer has worked on ways to support neonatal ventilation noninvasively by developing technologies that can act directly on the very compliant chest wall of premature infants. He and his engineering colleagues have used this technology and developed a method for adhering a soft silicone device to the chest wall. This device can be pneumatically activated to move the chest wall and thereby maintain lung volume, provide negative distending pressure, and potentially provide external high frequency oscillatory ventilation by direct engagement of the chest and abdominal walls. Clinical testing is underway. 

    Dr. Palmer’s early research focused on the prevention of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury in the rodent model. He was one of the first to show that perinatal-ischemic brain injury evolved during recovery and could be reduced by interventions initiated after reperfusion. Dr. Palmer’s National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded research focused on the contribution of free radicals, iron, neutrophils, and nitric oxide to evolving brain injury, as well as neuroprotective mechanisms of hypothermia.

    Concurrently with his interest in perinatal brain injury, Dr. Palmer has maintained an avid interest in developing technologies that can improve the care of newborns. He holds 11 patents in various fields of invention. Dr. Palmer has participated in studies that explore the role of skin conductance and autonomic regulation. He and his colleagues observed that heart rate variability can predict the risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis. This research led to a patent on a predictive algorithm, which measures vagal tone that is low in patients at greatest risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis. Recently, Dr. Palmer’s team showed that vagal tone can be improved by paying attention to the electrical environment, and, more specifically, by connecting the infant to electrical ground.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

    Education/Academic qualification

    Neonatology, Fellowship, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

    … → 1990

    MBChB, University of Cape Town Faculty of Medicine

    … → 1974


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