Nutrition of the Preterm Infant to Promote Brain Health

Presentation by Michael K. Georgieff, MD.

During the presentation, Dr. Georgieff will discuss the following:

  • The brain is not a homogenous organ. It is made up of different regions and processes that each have a unique developmental trajectory
  • Systems that support learning and memory, speed of processing and reward are particularly at risk in the newborn
  • The brain consumes 60% of the neonate’s total caloric intake
  • Nutrients that support energy metabolism and protein structure are particularly necessary for normal neurodevelopment in preterm infants
  • Nutrient handling is altered by infection and can affect brain development
  • The role of micronutrients other than iron are understudied in preterm infants
  • The cost to the baby are the long-term deficits induced by early life malnutrition


About the Speaker:Michael K. Georgieff, MD University of Minnesota

Michael K. Georgieff, MD

University of Minnesota



Dr. Michael K. Georgieff is the Martin Lenz Harrison Land Grant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. He is executive vice-chair of Pediatrics and Director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Development at the University. He received his MD at Washington University in St. Louis, and his pediatric/neonatology training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and at the University of Minnesota. He is an internationally recognized expert on the effects of nutrition on the developing brain, and specifically the effects of iron status on neural circuits involved in learning and memory processing.

His career in this area has spanned 30 years and includes investigations of brain function in humans and preclinical models. He has conducted multiple studies on the effect of fetal and neonatal iron deficiency and neonatal anemia on developing brain regions and

His clinical research expertise is in neonatal nutrition and neurodevelopmental outcomes. His expertise in bench laboratory science includes conditional knock-out technology, neurometabolism, neuronal structural analysis, electrophysiology, gene expression, and animal behavior. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed papers and serves as an advisor to the Pediatric Nutrition and Growth Branch of NICHD, sit on the review panel for the NICHD Neonatal Research Network, was a consultant to NICHD about Future Directions in Cognitive Research, was a member of the BOND (Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development) Iron Workgroup for NICHD and of the NICHD Global Health Consultation Workgroup.