Faculty / Staff Resources Student Resources
University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn YouTube

This is an OTD residency opportunity in the Clinical Research track.

Bobbi Pineda | Occupational Therapy NICU Lab

About Bobbi Pineda

Dr. Bobbi Pineda PhD, OTR/L has been conducting clinical research in the NICU for more than 10 years. The focus of her work has been on defining factors that impede function and developing interventions to optimize outcomes. She developed the Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment, a new neonatal feeding assessment for infants prior to and at term equivalent age. Dr. Pineda also has expertise in early neurobehavioral assessment and is a trainer for the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Assessment Scale. She is co-chair for the Neonatal Therapy National Certification program, which aims to validate experience and knowledge among those who do therapy in the NICU. Over the past 5 years, her team has developed and implemented the Supporting and Enhancing NICU Sensory Experiences (SENSE) Intervention in the NICU and recently completed a randomized clinical trial on its efficacy. As a scientist and the mother of three preterm children, she constantly strives for a better understanding of how to improve outcomes for those who start their lives in the NICU.

About the Occupational Therapy NICU Lab

In the Occupational Therapy NICU Lab, we seek to better understand the impact of the environment, medical conditions and interventions on brain structure and functional outcome of the developing infant. Most of the current work involves premature infants born prior to 32 weeks gestation and who are hospitalized in the NICU. Short term and long term outcome measures are used that include infant neurobehavioral assessments and feeding evaluations, in addition to maternal, social and environmental assessments. The OT NICU lab also conducts research centered around engaging parents, accessing early intervention services, developing assessment tools, and new technologies and interventions to optimize outcome.

Recent developments from the OT NICU lab include:

  • The development of the Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment: a standardized assessment that can be used from the time that feeding is initiated through the neonatal period in order to delineate alterations in the infant’s feeding trajectory.
  • The development and implementation of the Supporting and Enhancing NICU Sensory Experiences (SENSE) program: a comprehensive approach to ensuring multi-modal positive sensory exposures across hospitalization for high-risk infants in the NICU.
  • The development and implementation of the Baby Bridge program: a program designed to address challenges associated with the transition from NICU to home and to ensure timely therapy services following NICU discharge.

About the residency

We are seeking an OTD resident who is interested in applying for this OTD Research Track opportunity and who has a specific interest in the NICU population. As a resident, you may contribute to the lab by assisting with project development, data collection, and data analysis. Opportunities for peer-reviewed publication and presenting at national conferences are offered. Hours required: 30 hours/week during fall and spring semesters and 30 hours/week in the summer semester.

Financial support

The resident will receive a Graduate Assistantship award, which covers 24 units of tuition, plus a stipend, as well as health and dental insurance and the student health center fee.

Contact information

For additional questions, please contact Dr. Pineda at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).