Michael Georgieff, M.D.

Professor and Executive Vice Chair, Department of Pediatrics; Director, Division of Neonatology; Director, Center for Neurobehavioral Development

E-MAIL: georg001@umn.edu


Research Interests:

The Georgieff laboratory studies the effects of late fetal and early neonatal iron deficiency on the developing hippocampus and learning and memory behavior in humans and in rodent models. The lab is funded by a grant in its 15th year from NICHD to study this subject at multiple levels including human behavior, human neuroimaging with event related potentials (research in collaboration with Charles Nelson), rodent biochemistry using NMR spectroscopy at 9.4 Tesla, rodent electrophysiology (in collaboration with Michael O'Connor's lab), cell signaling, and rodent behavior (in collaboration with Jonathan Gewirtz). The laboratory has developed two genetic models that interupt iron uptake by the hippocampus at this critical point in development. The hypotheses are that iron deficiency in this developmental time period causes changes in hippocampal CA1 dendritic structure and function that accounts for abnormal recognition memory behavior in iron deficient humans and rodents.


Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)


  • Georgieff MK, Ramel SE, Cusick SE.   Nutritional influences on brain development.  Acta Paediatr. 2018 Feb 22;. PMID: 29468731
  • Cusick SE, Georgieff MK, Rao R.  Approaches for Reducing the Risk of Early-Life Iron Deficiency-Induced Brain Dysfunction in Children.  Nutrients. 2018 Feb 17;10(2). PMID: 29462970
  • Condon DE, Tran PV, Lien YC, Schug J, Georgieff MK, Simmons RA, Won KJ.  Defiant: (DMRs: easy, fast, identification and ANnoTation) identifies differentially Methylated regions from iron-deficient rat hippocampus.  BMC Bioinformatics. 2018 Feb 5;19(1):31.  PMID: 29402210
  • Kennedy BC, Tran PV, Kohli M, Maertens JJ, Gewirtz JC, Georgieff MK. Beneficial effects of postnatal choline supplementation on long-Tterm neurocognitive deficit resulting from fetal-neonatal iron deficiency. Behav Brain Res. 2018;336:40-43.
  • Rao R, Ennis K, Lubach GR, Lock EF, Georgieff MK, Coe CL. Metabolomic analysis of CSF indicates brain metabolic impairment precedes hematological indices of anemia in the iron-deficient infant monkey. Nutr Neurosci. 2018;21:40-48.
  • Georgieff MK. Iron assessment to protect the developing brain. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;106(Suppl 6):1588S-1593S.
  • Wallin DJ, Zamora TG, Alexander M, Ennis KM, Tran PV, Georgieff MK. Neonatal mouse hippocampus: phlebotomy-induced anemia diminishes and treatment with erythropoietin partially rescues mammalian target of rapamycin signaling. Pediatr Res. 2017;82:501-508.
  • Fenoglio A, Georgieff MK, Elison JT.  Social brain circuitry and social cognition in infants born preterm. J Neurodev Disord. 2017 Jul 19;9(1):27.
  • Chen CY, Georgieff M, Elison J, Chen M, Stinear J, Mueller B, Rao R, Rudser K, Gillick B. Understanding brain reorganization in infants with perinatal stroke through neuroexcitability and neuroimaging. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2017;29:173-178.
  • Krebs NF, Lozoff B, Georgieff MK. Neurodevelopment: The impact of nutrition and inflammation during infancy in low-resource settings. Pediatrics. 2017 Apr;139(Suppl 1):S50-S58.
  • Georgieff MK, Brunette KE, Tran PV.  Early life nutrition and neural plasticity. Dev Psychopathol. 2015;27:411-423.
  • Tran PV, Kennedy BC, Pisansky MT, Won K-J, Gewirtz JC, Simmons RA, Georgieff MK. Prenatal choline supplementation diminishes early –life iron deficiency induced preprogramming of networks associated with behavioral abnormalities in the adult rat hippocampus. J Nutr. 2016;146:484-493.
  • Burns M, Muthupalani S, Ge Z, Wang TC, Cunningham C, Ennis K, Georgieff MK, Fox JG. Heliocobacter pylori infection induces anemia, depletes serum iron storage and alters iron-related and adult brain gene expression in male INS-GAS mice. PLoS One. 2015 Nov 17;10(11):e0142630.
  • Fuglestad AJ, Kroupina MG, Johnson DE, Georgieff MK. Micronutrient deficiencies and neurodevelopmental deficits in internationally adopted children. Acta Paediatr. 2016;105:e67-76.
  • Monk C, Georgieff MK, Xu D, Hao X, Bansal R, Gustafsson H, Spicer J, Peterson BS. Maternal prenatal iron status and tissue organization in the neonatal brain. Pediatr Res. 2016;79:482-488.
  • Wozniak JR, Fuglestad AJ, Eckerle JK, Fink BA, Hoecker CJ, Radke J, Kroupina MG, Miller NC, Brearley AM, Zeisel SH, Georgieff MK. Choline supplementation in children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) improves memory performance in 2-3 year olds: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;102:1113-25.
  • Lonnerdal B, Georgieff MK, Hernell O. Developmental physiology of iron absorption, homeostasis and metabolism in the healthy term infant. J Pediatr. 2015;167(4 Suppl):S8-14.
  • Hernell O, Fewtrell MS, Georgieff MK, Krebs NF, Lonnerdal B. Summary of current recommendations on iron provision and monitoring iron status for breastfed and formula-fed infants in resource-rich and resource-constrained countries. J Pediatr. 2015;167(4 Suppl):S40-47.
  • Domellof M, Georgieff MK. Postdischarge iron requirements of the preterm infant. J Pediatr. 2015;167(4 Suppl):S31-5.
  • Bastian TW, Santarriaga S, Nguyen TA, Prohaska JR, Georgieff MK, Anderson GW. Fetal and neonatal iron deficiency but not copper deficiency increases vascular complexity in the developing rat brain. Nutr Neurosci. 2015;18:365-375.
  • Jabès A, Thomas KM, Langworthy S, Georgieff MK, Nelson CA. Functional and anatomic consequences of diabetic pregnancy on memory in ten-year-old children.J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2015;36:529-35.
  • Wallin DJ, Tkac I, Stucker S, Ennis KM, Sola-Visner M, Rao R, Georgieff MK. Phlebotomy-induced anemia alters hippocampal neurochemistry in neonatal mice. Pediatr Res. 2015;77:765-771.
  • Osterholm EA, Georgieff MK. Chronic inflammation and iron metabolism. J Pediatr. 2015;166:1351-1357.
  • Georgieff MK, Brunette KE, Tran PV. Early life nutrition and neural plasticity. Dev Psychopathol. 2015;27:411-423.
  • Tran PV, Kennedy BC, Lien YC, Simmons RA, Georgieff MK. Fetal iron deficiency induces chromatin remodeling at the Bdnf locus in adult rat hippocampus. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2015;308:R276-82.
  • Kroupina MG, Toeman L, Aidjanov MM, Georgieff MK, Hearst MO, Himes JH, Johnson DE, Miller BS, Syzdykova AM, Sharmanov TS. Predictors of developmental status in young children living in institutional care in Kazakhstan. Matern Child Health J. 2015;19:1408-16.
  • Doom JR, Georgieff MK, Gunnar MR. Institutional care and iron deficiency increase ADHD symptomology and lower IQ 2.5-5 years post-adoption. Dev Sci. 2015;18(3):484-94.
  • Doom JR, Gunnar MR, Georgieff MK.Beyond stimulus deprivation: iron deficiency and cognitive deficits in postinstitutionalized children. Child Dev. 2014;5:1805-1812.
  • Bastian TW, Prohaska JR, Georgieff MK, Anderson GW. Fetal and neonatal iron deficiency exacerbates mild thyroid hormone insufficiency effects on male thyroid hormone levels and brain thyroid hormone-responsive gene expression. Endocrinology. 2014;155:1157-6117.
  • Doom JR, Georgieff MK. Striking while the iron is hot: Understanding the biological and neurodevelopmental effects of iron deficiency to optimize intervention in early childhood. Curr Pediatr Rep. 2014;2(4):291-298.
  • Ramel SE, Brown LD, Georgieff MK. The impact of neonatal illness on nutritional requirements-One size does not fit all. Curr Pediatr Rep. 2014;2(4):248-254.
  • Kennedy BC, Dimova JG, Siddappa AJ, Tran PV, Gewirtz JC, Georgieff MK. Prenatal choline supplementation ameliorates the long-term neurobehavioral effects of fetal-neonatal iron deficiency in rats. J Nutr. 2014;144:1858-1865.

Current Graduate Students:

Amanda Barks (Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Former Graduate Students:

Diana Wallin (PhNeuroscience, University of Minnesota)

Bruce Kennedy (Ph.D. 2016, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Liam Callahan (Ph.D. 2015, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Stephanie Fretham (Ph.D. 2010, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Katya Brunette (Ph.D. 2009, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Erik Carlson (Ph.D. 2008, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Lyric Jorgenson (Ph.D. 2005, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

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