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BSMS > About BSMS > Contact us > Staff > PD Professor Heike Rabe

PD-Professor Heike Rabe

Heike Rabe

Professor PD Professor Heike Rabe (MD, Habilitation, FRCPCH)

Professor in Paediatrics
T: +44 (0)1273 696955 ext. 62409 or 62402
Location: Academic Department of Paediatrics, Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital, Level 6, Room 663,Eastern Road, Brighton, BN2 5BE

DA: Katie Isaacs

+44 (0)1273 696955 x62409

Areas of expertise: Neonatology

Research areas: Anaemia of prematurity; non-invasive diagnostics; neonatal adaptation; neonatal pharmaceutical studies.

Other roles: Honorary Consultant Neonatologist


Professor Rabe Heike graduated from the Westphalian-Wilhelms-University of Münster, Germany and completed her clinical training as Paediatrician and Neonatologist and her academic degrees at the Children´s University Hospital of Münster, Germany. In 2002 she was appointed as Consultant Neonatologist and Lead for Research by Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals in order to develop the growing research portfolio within the department. She has conducted studies on the short and long term benefits of redistribution of placental blood at the delivery of preterm infants and the impact on parents.

Prof Rabe has built up an international research consortium NEO-CIRC for studying age appropriate formulation of drugs to support the neonatal circulatory adaptation after birth in preterm infants. The NEO-CIRC consortium received 6 million € FP7 grant funding from the European Commission in 2011 ( She has served as officer and board member of international societies and is currently the President of the International Pediatric Research Foundation.


As lead for research, Prof Rabe has built up a research group for Neonatology and implemented links with other research groups and collaborators. She has studied the short and long term effects of redistribution of placental blood at birth of a preterm infant. She collaborates with researchers from Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, School of Pharmacy, University of Brighton, School of Health Science, City University London, Kingston University, University of Nottingham and several Universities in Europe and the US. The collaborations cover studies on parents' perceptions of neonatal care, non-invasive diagnostic devices and age appropriate formulations of medicines for neonates.

Prof Rabe has produced a short film explaining the results of her recently-completed study investigating two ways of providing premature babies with extra blood from the placenta.

Watch the film here >


Heike is the module leader for the BSMS 404 module. The students complete an independent research project in year 4.

She teaches in the Paediatrics modules of the BSMS curriculum and takes part in OSCE examinations and admissions interviews. She supervises PhD students and clinical speciality trainees.

Selected publications

Ayers S, Sawyer A, Düring C, Rabe H. Parents report positive experiences about enrolling babies in a cord-related clinical trial before birth. Acta Paediatrica. 2015;104(4):e164-e170.

Faust K, Härtel C, Preuß M, Rabe H, Roll C, Emeis M et al. Short-term outcome of very-low-birthweight infants with arterial hypotension in the first 24 h of life. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2015;100(5):F388-F392.

Rabe H, Erickson-Owens D, Mercer J. Long-term Follow-up of Placental Transfusion in Full-term Infants. JAMA Pediatrics. 2015;169(7):623.

Rabe H, Fernandez-Alvarez J. Permissive hypercapnia in preterm infants: the discussion continues. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. 2015;3(7):499-501.

Sawyer A, Rabe H, Abbott J, Gyte G, Duley L, Ayers S. A Questionnaire to Measure Parents' Experiences and Satisfaction with Care During Very Preterm Birth: A Validation Study. Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition. 2014;99(Suppl 1):A109-A109.

Sawyer A, Rabe H, Abbott J, Gyte G, Duley L, Ayers S. Parents' experiences and satisfaction with care during the birth of their very preterm baby: a qualitative study. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. 2013;120(5):637-643.

Arnold L, Sawyer A, Rabe H, Abbott J, Gyte G, Duley L et al. Parents' first moments with their very preterm babies: a qualitative study. BMJ Open. 2013;3(4):e002487-e002487.

Wertheim D, Olden C, Symes L, Rabe H, Seddon P. Monitoring respiration in wheezy preschool children by pulse oximetry plethysmogram analysis. Med Biol Eng Comput. 2013;51(9):965-970.

Ghavam S, Batra D, Mercer J, Kugelman A, Hosono S, Oh W et al. Effects of placental transfusion in extremely low birthweight infants: meta-analysis of long- and short-term outcomes. Transfusion. 2013;54(4):1192-1198.

Fernandez-Alvarez J, Gandhi R, Amess P, Mahoney L, Watkins R, Rabe H. Heated humidified high-flow nasal cannula versus low-flow nasal cannula as weaning mode from nasal CPAP in infants ≤28 weeks of gestation. European Journal of Pediatrics. 2013;173(1):93-98.

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