Katya Brunette

Ph.D. 2009

Thesis Title:

Early Iron Deficiency Alters Structure of Pyramidal Neuron Apical Dendrites and Expression of Genes Associated with Dendrite Development in Hippocampus During Development and in Adulthood in Spite of Early Response to Iron Treatment

Current Position:

Research Technologist
University of Nebraska Medical Center, Surgery Department

Undergraduate Institution and Major/Degree:

Hamilton College BA in Neuroscience

Major Advisor(s):

Michael Georgieff, M.D.

Research Description:

My primary research interest is to understand normal and iron deficient dendrite development in CA1 hippocampal pyramidal neurons. We are looking at changes while the brain is iron deficient, as well as long term changes after iron repletion, which may suggest a sensitive period for specific growth processes. I have observed structural changes with Golgi staining, in addition to changes in transcript using qPCR, in our dietary iron deficiency model. I will be continuing to look at changes in protein levels and localization of selected genes of interest to further support the observed structural changes. These changes may provide support for the functional and behavioral data from the dietary rat model as well as data from the clinical population with perinatal brain iron deficiency.

Lab Rotations:

  • Robert Miller
  • Geoff Ghose
  • Neal Viemeister
  • Michael Georgieff

Courses Taken Beyond the Core Courses:

  • Psy 8060 - The Pathophysiology of Anxiety
  • MUS 5230 - Women's Chorus
  • CPSY 8301 - Developmental Cognitive Psychology
  • CPSY 8360 - Proseminar: Neurobehavioral Development
  • GCD 5036 - Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • GRAD 8101 - Teaching in Higher Education
  • GRAD 8102 - Practicum For Future Faculty


  • Center for Neurobehavioral Development Travel Award - Fall 2007

Conferences Attended:

  • Society for Neuroscience annual meeting - Fall 2004
  • Attended and Presented a Poster at a Gordon Research Conference
    (Spring 2007) Dendrites: Molecules, Structure, and Function
  • Society for Neuroscience - poster - Fall 2007
  • Pediatric Academic Society meeting 2008

Selected Publications:

  • Georgieff MK, Brunette KE, Tran PV. Early life nutrition and neural plasticity. Dev Psychopathol. 2015;27(2):411-23.
  • Brunette KE, Tran PV, Wobken JD, Carlson ES, Georgieff MK. Gestational and neonatal iron deficiency alters apical dendrite structure of CA1 pyramidal neurons in adult rat hippocampus. Dev Neurosci. 2010;32(3):238-48.
  • Gescheider GA, Bolanowski SJ, Greenfield TC, Brunette KE. Perception of the tactile texture of raised-dot patterns: a multidimensional analysis. Somatosens Mot Res. 2005;22(3):127-140.

Awards and Honors:

  • Pediatric Research Education and Scholarship Symposium - 2nd place poster presentation Spring 2008

Professional Memberships:

  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Graduate Women in Science (Xi Chapter)
  • Center for Neurobeahvioral Development (CNBD)

Home Town:

  • Paradise Valley , AZ
Katya Brunette