Dr Aneurin Young, an NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Doctoral Fellow and Neonatology Senior Registrar, is researching nutrition in premature babies.
Through this research, he seeks to understand how the nutrition we give to premature babies can help them not only grow well, but also have the right body composition.
Time out for research
His fellowship has enabled him to take time out of his clinical training to complete his PhD, under the supervision of Dr Mark Johnson, Prof Mark Beattie and Prof Sarah Ennis, following his undergraduate degree in medicine and five years of specialist paediatric training.
During this time, he has also taken full advantage of the support and training provided by SoAR. He has completed a PPI training course and, since attending two ThinkWrite training courses on writing scientific papers and grant applications, has published two papers and submitted his first grant application.
By altering the composition of either parenteral nutrition (drip feeds directly into the vein) and/or milk feeds given to babies born before 32 weeks gestation, he aims to optimise their nutrition to support their growth. This is done by changing the total calories, or the balance of fats, carbohydrate and protein within the feeds.
Collaborating with Data Science
Aside from his publications, one of his biggest achievements so far has come from working with researchers in the BRC Data Science theme.
Together they extracted data from many different sources and built a robust, high quality, data-assured database to store his team’s data on premature babies, which is held securely and managed by members of the Data Science team.
“We have a very large dataset concerning about 500 premature babies over the last decade, and I’ve worked with members of the Data Science cross-cutting theme to establish a much better database for that,” he says. “I’m really proud of that.”
He intends to continue with his research once he has completed his PhD, while completing his clinical training to become a neonatal consultant, and hopes to be able to incorporate more research into his role in the future.