Dr. Muhammad Aslam is a specialist in neonatal and perinatal medicine who provides clinical care at the UC Irvine Health Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), one of only two Level III NICU's in Orange County. His clinical interests include novel preventive and therapeutic treatments for neonatal chronic lung disease.
Aslam's research interest is in defining the cellular mechanisms of lung injury and repair in infants born prematurely, with a special focus on bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). BPD is a significant cause of respiratory illness, affecting at least 30 percent of premature infants. Neonates with severe BPD have abnormalities of pulmonary function as well as neurological development and growth. Despite advances in the treatment of extremely low-weight newborns, nearly 50 percent of infants with BPD die of respiratory failure, unremitting pulmonary hypertension and heart failure.
In his research, Aslam has identified a novel role for bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) and cell culture to improve lung development in mouse models. He is working to characterize markers in the tracheal fluid of premature infants and determine their role in BPD in order to identify important predictors for the disease and develop lung-sparing therapies, with the goal of improving outcomes for premature babies at risk for BPD.
Aslam has written several book chapters and case reports and has reviewed articles on managing difficult neonatal medical cases with evidence-based suggestions about optimal care practices. He also has helped develop key clinical guidelines for several other complex neonatal lung diseases and is an editorial board member and reviewer for several international journals. He has been invited to present clinical and research topics on neonatal pulmonology at conferences, journal clubs and grand rounds nationally.