Jean Kerver, assistant professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, is a nutritional epidemiologist and a registered dietitian. She explores how lifestyle patterns during pregnancy may affect birth outcomes and child health. Dr. Kerver’s position is based in Traverse City, Michigan, as part of a new effort by MSU’s College of Human Medicine to establish a statewide research network.
Her focus on nutritional and dietary patterns relates well to her participation in the interdisciplinary program of Research in Autism, Intellectual and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (RAIND), since nutritional factors may be important in several RAIND research themes. Nutrition is known to play a large role in the epidemiology of some neurodevelopmental conditions, such as neural tube defects, and may also be important in treatment and intervention during the lifespan.
Kerver is primarily interested in developing cohort studies in pregnancy to uncover dietary and nutritional factors related to autism or intellectual and neurodevelopment disability, including intervention studies to prevent or treat these conditions.