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
X/Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn YouTube

Bobbi Pineda PhD, OTR/L, CNT (she/her/hers)

Bobbi Pineda PhD, OTR/L, CNT

Associate Professor

CHP 222R
(323) 442-2154
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Pineda served in pediatric clinical roles at Tampa General Rehabilitation, All Children’s Hospital, Duke University Medical Center and University of Florida Shands Hospital from 1992 through 2006, where she gained expertise with outpatient and inpatient pediatric therapy, including services to fragile infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. The premature birth of her first child in addition to her ongoing interest in learning, led her to pursue her doctorate to conduct research with premature infants. Her dissertation investigated an educational intervention to promote breastfeeding in very low birth weight infants. Upon graduation with her doctorate in 2006, she began working at Washington University, where she spent 12 years exploring factors that can improve the lives of infants born prematurely.

She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the National Association of Neonatal Therapists. She is the co-chair of the Neonatal Therapy National Certification Board, which aims to validate the experience and knowledge of those practicing in this advanced area of occupational therapy. She joined USC’s faculty in early 2020, and plans to continue her research that can impact the lives of high-risk infants and families, and continue mentoring and advising occupational therapy students.

Research Interests

Dr. Pineda’s research interests include investigating factors associated with cerebral alterations and adverse neurodevelopmental outcome in high risk newborn infants, specifically infants born prematurely. Early factors that can impede function and are being investigated include the environment (low stimulation environments as well as higher stimulation environments), stress, pain, medical complications and interventions, parenting, brain injury and prenatal exposures. Dr. Pineda has investigated the differences in language and sound exposure across different NICU room types (open ward compared to NICU private room) and investigated associations with brain structure and outcome. Dr. Pineda has also developed a sensory-based intervention, the Supporting and Enhancing NICU Sensory Experiences (SENSE) program, which is supported by current evidence and aims to engage parents in providing age-appropriate, positive sensory exposures to their infants each day of NICU hospitalization. Dr. Pineda has also developed the Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment tool, which assesses the most important clinically and research-derived factors associated with feeding skills in preterm infants and can be used to improve the understanding of age appropriate feeding skills, improve early identification of feeding difficulties, and enable targeted interventions to preterm infants with eating problems. Other research interests include neurobehavioral assessment of preterm infants and early identification of developmental challenges, neonatal feeding, neurodevelopmental outcomes, empowering parents and early intervention services.


Selected Publications


In Chan News

In the Media