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David Timothy H. Tanaka, MD

Professor of Pediatrics
Campus mail: 2424 Erwin Road, Hock Plaza Suite 504, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: (919) 681-6033
Email address:

Past research interests focused on the development of neurokinin-mediated airway neuromodulation. Present research has focused on improving resident education, clinical operations, and health sciences finance.

Current research in resident education involves the acquisition of resident skills. Present projects explore the acqiusition of intubation skills as well as the potential for computer simulation and visual depiction of the human airway to spped the learning process.

Current research into clinical operations includes the use of clinical databases to improve patient safety and care. A major effort is presently underway to understand and identify key components associated with GI inflammation in the neonate.

Current administrative research interests includes revenue analysis for the division and hospital as well as management engineering analysis for bed utilization. Accomplishments to date include elimination of $2 million debt in ICN, initiation of PDC pilot project and acceptance of modelling approach with hospital management engineering; identification and allocatuion of medicaid supplemental payments (est. $4-5 million). Recent work in the general area of professional charge capture, effects of light pollution in the ICN, and use of biophotonics in the clinical setting.

Education and Training

  • M.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1979


Knobel-Dail, RB, Sloane, R, Holditch-Davis, D, and Tanaka, DT. "Negative Temperature Differential in Preterm Infants Less Than 29 Weeks Gestational Age: Associations With Infection and Maternal Smoking." Nursing Research 66, no. 6 (November 2017): 442-453.

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Blake, SM, Tanaka, D, Bendz, LM, Staebler, S, and Brandon, D. "Evaluation of the Financial and Health Burden of Infants at Risk for Respiratory Syncytial Virus." Advances in neonatal care : official journal of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses 17, no. 4 (August 2017): 292-298.

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DeRienzo, CM, Shaw, RJ, Meanor, P, Lada, E, Ferranti, J, and Tanaka, D. "A discrete event simulation tool to support and predict hospital and clinic staffing." Health Informatics Journal 23, no. 2 (June 2017): 124-133.

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Knobel-Dail, RB, Tanaka, DT, Holditch-Davis, D, and White, J. "Perfusion Index in Very Low Birth Weight Premature Infants During Their First 2 Weeks of Life." Biological Research for Nursing 19, no. 1 (January 2017): 45-52.

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DeRienzo, C, Kohler, JA, Lada, E, Meanor, P, and Tanaka, D. "Demonstrating the relationships of length of stay, cost and clinical outcomes in a simulated NICU." Journal of perinatology : official journal of the California Perinatal Association 36, no. 12 (December 2016): 1128-1131.

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Neill, S, Haithcock, S, Smith, PB, Goldberg, R, Bidegain, M, Tanaka, D, Carriker, C, and Ericson, JE. "Sustained Reduction in Bloodstream Infections in Infants at a Large Tertiary Care Neonatal Intensive Care Unit." Advances in Neonatal Care : Official Journal of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses 16, no. 1 (February 2016): 52-59.

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Kohler, JA, Goldberg, RN, and Tanaka, DT. "Medicaid policy changes and its detrimental effects on neonatal reimbursement and care." Journal of Health Care Finance 42, no. 2 (September 1, 2015).


DeMeo, SD, Katakam, L, Goldberg, RN, and Tanaka, D. "Predicting neonatal intubation competency in trainees." Pediatrics 135, no. 5 (May 2015): e1229-e1236.

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Rattray, BN, Kraus, DM, Drinker, LR, Goldberg, RN, Tanaka, DT, and Cotten, CM. "Antenatal Magnesium Sulfate and Spontaneous Intestinal Perforation in Infants Less Than 25 Weeks Gestation." Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey 70, no. 3 (March 2015): 160-162.

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Rattray, BN, Kraus, DM, Drinker, LR, Goldberg, RN, Tanaka, DT, and Cotten, CM. "Antenatal magnesium sulfate and spontaneous intestinal perforation in infants less than 25 weeks gestation." Journal of perinatology : official journal of the California Perinatal Association 34, no. 11 (November 2014): 819-822.

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