Pineda, Bobbi, PhD, OTR/L

Clinical Interests

Pediatric acute care, feeding, therapy with high risk neonates, developmental assessment

Research Interests

Dr. Pineda’s research interests include investigating factors associated with cerebral alterations and adverse neurodevelopmental outcome in high risk newborn infants; specifically, infants born prematurely. Early factors that can impede function and are being investigated include the environment (low stimulation environments as well as higher stimulation environments), stress, pain, medical complications and interventions, parenting, brain injury and prenatal exposures. Dr. Pineda is investigating the differences in language and sound exposure across different NICU room types (open ward compared to NICU private room) and investigating associations with brain structure and outcome. Dr. Pineda also is developing a sensory-based intervention, supported by current evidence, that will be appropriate for parents to deliver to their infants across NICU hospitalization. Appropriate therapeutic interventions with premature infants can serve to reverse the high rates of morbidity in this population. Other research interests include neurobehavioral assessment of preterm infants, neonatal feeding, neonatal positioning, neurodevelopmental outcomes, empowering parents and early intervention services. 

Teaching Roles

Dr. Pineda teaches directed practice research and independent study, in which students support the research progress in the Washington University Neonatal and Developmental Research group and can pose their own research question within ongoing projects. Dr. Pineda also provides course lectures on pediatric content areas in Neuroscience, Health Conditions, Fundamentals of Assessment and Interventions. She is a trainer for those seeking to become certified in the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale.


2006: PhD of philosophy in rehabilitation science, University of Florida
1994: MHS in occupational therapy, University of Florida
1992: BHS in occupational therapy, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University


Dr. Pineda served in clinical roles at Tampa General Rehabilitation, All Children’s Hospital, Duke University Medical Center and University of Florida Shands Hospital from 1992 through 2006, where she gained expertise with outpatient and inpatient pediatric therapy, including services to fragile infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. The premature birth of her first child in addition to her ongoing interest in learning led her to pursue her doctorate to conduct research with premature infants. Her dissertation investigated an educational intervention to promote breastfeeding in very low birth weight infants. Upon graduation with her doctorate in 2006, she began working with Dr. Terrie Inder as a part of the Washington University Neonatal and Developmental Research group. She continues to explore factors that can improve the lives of infants born prematurely. Dr. Pineda has also been involved in an initiative to bridge the gap in therapy services following NICU discharge. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the National Association of Neonatal Therapists.

Selected Publications

Crapnell T, Woodward L, Rogers C, Inder T, Pineda R. Neurodevelopmental profile of children born prematurely with feeding problems. Submitted to Journal of Pediatrics (2015).

McPherson C, Haslam M, Pineda R, Rogers C, Neil J, Inder T. Early fentanyl use and relationships with adverse outcome. Submitted to Annals of Pharmacotherapy (2015).

Pineda R, Seefeldt K, Reynolds L, Hilton C, Rogers C, Inder T. Head lag in infancy: what is it telling us? In press, American Journal of Occupational Therapy (2015).

Pineda R, Melchior K, Oberle S, Inder T, Rogers C. Assessment of autism symptoms during the neonatal period: is there early evidence of autism risk? In press, American Journal of Occupational Therapy (2015).

McPherson C, Neil J, Tjoeng H, Pineda R, Inder T. (2015) A pilot randomized trial of high-dose caffeine therapy in preterm infants. Pediatric Research, April 9. Doi 10.1038/pr.2015.72. [epub ahead of print].

Reynolds L, Inder T, Neil J, Pineda R, Rogers C. (2014). Maternal obesity and increased risk for autism and developmental delay among very preterm infants. Journal of Perinatology, 34(9): 688-92.

Madlinger-Lewis L, Reynolds L, Zarem C, Crapnell T, Inder T, Pineda R. (2014). The developmental effects of neonatal positioning: a randomized clinical trial. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35(2), 490-7.

Pineda R, Neil J, Dierker D, Smyser C, Wallendorf M, Kidokoro H, Reynolds L, Walker S, Rogers C, Mathur A, Van Essen D, Inder T. (2014). Alterations in brain structure and neurodevelopmental outcome in preterm infants hospitalized in different neonatal intensive care unit environments. Journal of Pediatrics, 164(1), 52-60.

Reynolds L, Pineda R, Mathur A, Vavasseur C, Shah D, Liao S, Inder T. (2013). Cerebral maturation on amplitude-integrated electroencephalography and perinatal exposures in preterm infants. Acta Paediatrica, 103(3): e96-e100.

Crapnell T, Rogers C, Neil J, Inder T, & Pineda R. (2013). Factors associated with feeding difficulties in the very preterm infant. Acta Paediatrica, 102(12), e539-e545.

Zarem C, Kidokoro H, Neil J, Wallendorf M, Inder T, & Pineda, R. (2013), Psychometrics of the Neonatal Oral Motor Assessment Scale. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 55(12), 1115-1120. 


Reynolds LC, Crapnell T, Zarem C, Madlinger L, Tiltges L, Lukas K, & Pineda R. (2013). Nursing perceptions of clinical research in the neonatal intensive care unit. Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews, 13(2), 62-66.

Reynolds LC, Duncan MM, Smith GC, Mathur A, Neil J, Inder T, & Pineda RG. (2013). Parental presence and holding in the neonatal intensive care unit and associations with early neurobehavior. Journal of Perinatology, 33(8), 636-41.

Zarem C, Crapnell T, Tiltges L, Madlinger L, Reynolds L, Lukas K, & Pineda R. (2013). Neonatal nurses’ and therapists’ perceptions of positioning for preterm infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Neonatal Network: The Journal of Neonatal Nursing, 32(2), 110-116.

Pineda RG, Castellano A, Rogers C, Neil JJ., & Inder T. (2013). Factors associated with developmental concern and intent to access therapy following discharge from the NICU. Pediatric Physical Therapy, 25(1), 62-69.

Pineda R G, Tjoeng TH, Vavasseur C, Kidokoro H, Neil JJ, & Inder T. (2013). Patterns of altered neurobehavior in preterm infants within the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The Journal of Pediatrics, 162(3): 470-476.

Pineda R, Rogers C, Duncan M, Stransky K, Neil J, & Inder T. (2012). The single patient room in the NICU: Maternal and family effects. Journal of Perinatology, 32(7), 545-51.

Smith GC, Gutovich J, Smyser C, Pineda R, Newnham C, Tjoeng H, Vavasseur C, Wallendorf M., Neil J, & Inder T. (2011).  Neonatal intensive care unit stress is associated with brain development in preterm infants. Annals of Neurology, 70(4), 541-9.

Pineda R. (2011). Direct breastfeeding in the neonatal intensive care unit: Is it important? Journal of Perinatology, 31(8), 540-5.

Pineda R. (2011). Predictors of breastfeeding and breastmilk feeding among very low birth weight infants. Breastfeeding Medicine, 6(1), 15-9.

Pineda R, Foss J, Richards L, & Pane C (2009). Breastfeeding changes for VLBW infants in the NICU following staff education. Neonatal Network: The Journal of Neonatal Nursing 28(5), 311-9.

Pineda, Bobbi

Pineda, Bobbi, PhD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy and Pediatrics

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

Phone: (314) 286-1304
Fax: (314) 286-1601

Research Laboratory

Occupational Therapy NICU Laboratory

Additional Information

Link to NLM Publications

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