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Johana Diaz, MD

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:


Phone (Primary):





I am a junior clinician-scientist, and currently an assistant professor of pediatrics in the division of neonatology at the university of Maryland medical center. My research interests and work is focused on hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in newborns, neurodevelopment and prevention and treatment of neonates at risk for brain injury.

I have worked on a preclinical model of HIE, and developed a protocol to assess neurobehavior in mice. In addition, I work on the effect of voluntary and forced exercise on neurotrophin expression following HI brain injury.

Currently I am also working in the production and manufacturing process of an “artificial kangaroo apparatus” that will closely resemble the in-utero and skin to skin environment of the mother/baby dyad. A non-provisional patent has been submitted.  Such mattress like device will provide warm, odor, breathing motion, heart beats, and sound in a non-restrictive yet enfolding designed wrap personalized to each dyad. By adding this apparatus to the care of premature neonates, we aim to improve growth and development of these infants.

Presently we are on the planning and implementation phase to develop a Neonatal neurocritical Care unit, a multidisciplinary group which main mission is to optimize outcomes for an at-risk neonate by providing supportive and preventive care.