Michael Georgieff, M.D.

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

E-MAIL: [email protected]

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.)

  • Bastian TW, von Hohenberg WC, Kaus OR, Lanier LM, Georgieff MK. Choline supplementation partially restores dendrite structural complexity in developing iron-deficient mouse hippocampal neurons. J Nutr. 2022 Mar 3;152(3):747-757.
  • Barks AK, Beeson MM, Hallstrom TC, Georgieff MK, Tran PV. Developmental iron deficiency dysregulates TET activity and DNA hydroxymethylation in the rat hippocampus and cerebellum. Dev Neurosci. 2022;44(2):80-90.
  • Barks AK, Liu SZ, Georgieff MK, Hallstrom TC, Tran PV. Early-life iron deficiency anemia programs the hippocampal epigenomic landscape. Nutrients. 2021;13(11):3857.
  • Bastian TW, von Hohenberg WC, Kaus OR, Lanier LM, Georgieff MK. Choline supplementation partially restores dendrite structural complexity in developing iron-deficient mouse hippocampal neurons. J Nutr. 2021;152(3):747-757.
  • Singh G, Wallin DJ, Abrahante Lloréns JE, Tran PV, Feldman HA, Georgieff MK, Gisslen T. Dose- and sex-dependent effects of phlebotomy-induced anemia on the neonatal mouse hippocampal transcriptome. Pediatr Res. 2021 Nov 13. doi: 10.1038/s41390-021-01832-9.
  • Cusick SE, Barks A, Georgieff MK. Nutrition and brain development. Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2021 Oct 8. doi: 10.1007/7854_2021_244.
  • Fahim NM, Georgieff MK, Zhang L, Naisbitt S, Rao RB, Inder TE. Endogenous erythropoietin concentrations and association with retinopathy of prematurity and brain injury in preterm infants. PLoS One. 2021 Jun 2;16(6):e0252655.
  • Benavides A, Bell EF, Georgieff MK, Josephson CD, Stowell SR, Feldman HA, Nalbant D, Tereshchenko A, Sola-Visner M, Nopoulos P. Sex-specific cytokine responses and neurocognitive outcome after blood transfusions in preterm infants. Pediatr Res. 2021 Apr 28. doi: 10.1038/s41390-021-01536-0.
  • Singh G, Segura BJ, Georgieff MK, Gisslen T. Fetal inflammation induces acute immune tolerance in the neonatal rat hippocampus. J Neuroinflammation. 2021 Mar 11;18(1):69.
  • Matveeva TM, Singh G, Gisslen TA, Gewirtz JC, Georgieff MK. Sex differences in adult social, cognitive, and affective behavioral deficits following neonatal phlebotomy-induced anemia in mice. Brain Behav. 2021 Feb 19:e01780.
  • Hickey MK, Miller NC, Haapala J, Demerath EW, Pfister KM, Georgieff MK, Gale CA. Infants exposed to antibiotics after birth have altered recognition memory responses at one month of age. Pediatr Res. 2021 May;89(6):1500-1507.
  • Bastian TW, Rao R, Tran PV, Georgieff MK. The effects of early-life iron deficiency on brain energy metabolism. Neurosci Insights. 2020 Jun 29;15:2633105520935104.
  • Georgieff MK. Iron deficiency in pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020;223(4):516-524.
  • Wozniak JR, Fink BA, Fuglestad AJ, Eckerle JK, Boys CJ, Sandness KE, Radke JP, Miller NC, Lindgren C, Brearley AM, Zeisel SH, Georgieff MK. Four-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial of choline for neurodevelopment in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. J Neurodev Disord. 2020 Mar 12;12(1):9.
  • Auerbach M, Georgieff MK. Guidelines for iron deficiency in pregnancy: hope abounds. Br J Haematol. 2020;188(6):814-816.
  • Ennis K, Felt B, Georgieff MK, Rao R. Early-life iron deficiency alters glucose transporter-1 Expression in the adult rodent hippocampus. J Nutr. 2019;149(9):1660-1666.
  • Lien YC, Condon DE, Georgieff MK, Simmons RA, Tran PV. Dysregulation of neuronal genes by fetal-neonatal iron deficiency anemia Is associated with altered DNA methylation in the rat hippocampus. Nutrients. 2019 May 27;11(5). pii: E1191.
  • Georgieff MK, Krebs NF, Cusick SE. The benefits and risks of iron supplementation in pregnancy and childhood. Annu Rev Nutr. 2019;39:121-146.
  • Gisslen T, Singh G, Georgieff MK. Fetal inflammation is associated with persistent systemic and hippocampal inflammation and dysregulation of hippocampal glutamatergic homeostasis. Pediatr Res. 2019;85(5):703-710.
  • Bastian TW, von Hohenberg WC, Georgieff MK, Lanier LM. Chronic energy depletion due to iron deficiency impairs dendritic mitochondrial motility during hippocampal neuron development. J Neurosci. 2019;39(5):802-813
  • Barks A, Hall AM, Tran PV, Georgieff MK. Iron as a model nutrient for understanding the nutritional origins of neuropsychiatric disease. Pediatr Res. 2019;85(2):176-182.
  • Georgieff MK, Tran PV, Carlson ES. Atypical fetal development: Fetal alcohol syndrome, nutritional deprivation, teratogens, and risk for neurodevelopmental disorders and psychopathology. Dev Psychopathol. 2018;30(3):1063-1086.
  • Barks A, Fretham SJB, Georgieff MK, Tran PV. Early-life neuronal-specific iron deficiency alters the adult mouse hippocampal transcriptome. J Nutr. 2018 Oct 1;148(10):1521-1528.
  • Georgieff MK, Ramel SE, Cusick SE.   Nutritional influences on brain development.  Acta Paediatr. 2018;107(8):1310-1321.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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:


Former Graduate Students:

Amanda Barks (Ph.D. 2020 Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Diana Wallin (Ph.D. 2017 Neuroscience, 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).

Picture of Michael Georgieff