Anton van Kaam and his team focus on control of breathing and lung physiology in premature infants. In addition, Van Kaam also studies the effects of clinical interventions on the lung function and the risk of long-term damage to the lungs (bronchopulmonary dysplasia).He has a special interest in mechanical intervention and the use of adrenal gland hormones (steroids). Van Kaam's department is a world-renowned centre of expertise for what is known as high-frequency ventilation in newborn infants. Van Kaam is the principal investigator of a large multicentre study in the Netherlands and Belgium, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development, which investigates the effect of hydrocortisone treatment on the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in premature infants (STOP-BPD study). In the years ahead, Van Kaam will also launch further studies into the role of the diaphragm in both control of breathing and the selection of respiratory support.
Van Kaam is a paediatrician-neonatologist at the Emma Children's Hospital (EKZ) at the Amsterdam Medical Center (AMC) and has been head of the AMC's Neonatology Intensive Care unit since 2010. In the years ahead Van Kaam will be devoting himself to the merger of the neonatal intensive care units of the AMC-UvA and the VUmc in Amsterdam into one neonatology intensive care unit in Amsterdam. Van Kaam is a member of the Netherlands neonatal research network (NNRN), chairman of the neonatal pulmonology section of the Dutch Society of Neonatology, a member of the neonatal pulmonology section of the European Society of Paediatric Research, and chairman of the board of Dutch neonatal intensive care unit directors.