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Dr. Neera Goyal

Researcher of the Month

Dr. Neera Goyal, a pediatrician at Nemours Children’s Health System and Year 5 MRDA recipient and NIH Opioid Supplement Awardee, is researching the effects of intrauterine opioid exposure (IOE) in children and how the well child care (WCC) can improve medical, developmental, and psychosocial outcomes. This research study is supplemented by the Mentored Research Development Award (MRDA) and is a retrospective cohort study used PEDSnet data from a pediatric primary care network spanning three states (DE,PA,and FL), from 2011-2016. Among 11,334 children, 236 had a diagnosis of IOE. Children with IOE had a lower  likelihood of adequate WCC compared with non-exposed children, adjusting for clinical and demographic risk factors . The conclusions from the study are that further research is needed on optimizing access to care and the role of WCC visits to support the complex needs of this population.

When we asked Dr. Goyal how the DE-CTR ACCEL Program has helped her in laying down the groundwork for her research, she said, “ It has not only provided support for my time, but also provided some helpful connections to researchers at Nemours and at the University of Delaware to help with analysis and grant writing.” Dr. Goyal participated in a mini workshop for grant writing geared towards the MRDA recipients, and has also  utilized the mock review mechanism coordinated by the ACCEL Professional Development Core.

 Dr. Goyal’s MRDA mentor was Dr. Diane Abetemarco, director of the Maternal Addiction Treatment, Education & Research (MATER) program  at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Goyal commented on how she manages her work-life balance, “ I have to stay organized and utilize productive time-management skills. Some days you have to prioritize certain projects over others. The resources through ACCEL have been so helpful and I feel incredibly supported in my research.”

If you have additional questions or would like to reach out to Dr. Goyal, you can reach her at