Champa N. Codipilly, PhD

Associate Investigator, The Merinoff Center for Patient-Oriented Research,
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Associate Investigator, Division of Neonatal-Perinatal, Department of Pediatrics,
Cohen Children’s Medical Center

Director, The Lilling Family Neonatal Research Laboratory,
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Assistant Professor, Pediatrics and Molecular Medicine, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine

Phone: (516) 562-3567
E-mail: ccodipil@northwell.edu

About the Investigator

Dr. Codipilly is an assistant investigator in the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Division of the Department of Pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center and Center of Excellence of Patient Oriented Research in Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at Northwell Health. Additionally she serves as a board member of the Northwell Health’s Institutional Review Board. She received her PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She completed her post-doctoral research fellowship at Department of OB/GYN at the University Hospital at Stony Brook. Her thesis work involved exploring biochemical characteristics of vaginal microbial ecology and its implications on bacterial vaginosis.

Research Focus

Human gut maintains the largest microbial ecology of the body. The delicate balance of this ecology is crucial in maintaining gut health. Initial colonization and subsequent establishment of the microbiota depend on the mode of child birth, diet and route of its intake, postnatal age, environmental exposure and antibiotic use. Normal vaginal birth helps establish vaginal bacteria in the oral cavity and subsequent gut colonization.

Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious gastrointestinal disease of unknown etiology and a major cause of morbidity and mortality in preterm infants. The risk factors include intestinal immaturity, prematurity, milk feeding, and intestinal bacterial colonization, which together result in immune activation and intestinal barrier failure.

Bacteria have a major role in the pathogenesis of NEC though no single organism can be implicated as the sole pathogen.
Despite recent advancements in perinatal care, the incidence and prognosis of newborns with NEC is unacceptable. With a high case fatality ratio, with a mortality rate nearing 30% and survivors showing poorer long-term growth and neuro-developmental outcomes NEC poses a real challenge to both clinicians and researchers.

Influence of human milk in establishing a healthy gut flora is important. Dr. Codipilly is investigating transformation patterns of gut microflora in premature infants as a function of diet aimed at understanding and preventing infantile NEC.

Education

State University of New York at Stony Brook
Degree: PhD
2000
Field of Study: Microbiology

University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
Degree: BS
1983

Honors and Awards

2015 Jack Conyngham Memorial Career Development Award, Advancing women in Science and Medicine (AWSM),The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
2005 First Prize Poster Symposium, Symposium on Advances in Clinical nutrition, 46th Annual meeting, American College of Nutrition

Publications