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Kimberly

O'Brien

Professor
Division of Nutritional Sciences
Office

230 Savage Hall

Biography

Kimberly O’Brien is a Professor of Human Nutrition in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. She received her B.S. in Biology from the University of New Hampshire and her PhD in Nutrition from the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Her professional training included fellowships with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Laboratory of Theoretical and Physical Biology/Section for Metabolic Analysis and Mass Spectrometry and the Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine. Professor O'Brien joined the faculty in the Division of Nutritional Sciences after working for 10 years as a faculty member in the Center of Human Nutrition at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Professor O’Brien’s research has centered on studies designed to better understand mineral metabolism and bone health in infants, children, and pregnant and lactating women in both developed and developing countries. To address issues of calcium metabolism, she has undertaken metabolic studies in groups including children from osteoporotic families, pregnant and lactating adolescents, and children with chronic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and HIV infection. Her current research focuses on the impact of adolescent pregnancy, particularly among minority populations, on maternal and fetal bone health, risk of anemia, and maternal and neonatal vitamin D and iron physiology.  Partitioning of nutrients between the mother and fetus is addressed at the cellular level by assessing placental mineral transporters in relation to maternal and neonatal status.

To allow for kinetic studies of human mineral metabolism, a mass spectrometry laboratory has been added to the existing resources in the Human Metabolic Research Unit. This laboratory includes instrumentation for high-sensitivity mineral stable isotope analysis using a  Triton TI magnetic sector thermal ionization mass spectrometer. This laboratory also provides analytical services through collaboration with other academic institutions in the country.

Calcium Metabolism and Bone Health; Maternal and Neonatal Anemia, Control of Maternal/Fetal Nutrient; Partitioning and Placental Mineral Transport;  Vitamin D Kinetics during Pregnancy, Erythroferrone concentrations in maternal-neonatal dyads, Genetic control of iron absorption

O’Brien KO, Abrams SA. Using stable isotope tracers to study bone metabolism in children. J Physiology Invited Review. J Physiol. 2019 597(5):1311-9.

Delaney KM, Guillet R, Fleming RE, Yu R, Pressman EK, Vermeylen F, Nemeth E, O’Brien KO. Umbilical Cord Serum Ferritin Concentrations: Relation to Markers of Iron status and Erythropoiesis. J Nutr; 2019 149(3):406-415.

Best CM, Pressman EK, Queenan RA, Cooper E, O’Brien KO. Longitudinal changes in serum vitamin D binding protein and free 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in a multiracial cohort of pregnant adolescents. J Steroid Chem and Molec Biol; 2019 186:79-88.

Güngör D, Nadaud P, LaPergola CC, Dreibelbis C, Wong YP, Terry N, Abrams SA, Beker L, Jacobovits T, Järvinen KM, Laurie A. Nommsen-Rivers L, O’Brien KO, Oken E, Pérez-Escamilla R, Ziegler RE, Spahn JM (USDA Pregnancy/Birth-24 months Technical Expert Committee 1). Infant milk-feeding practices and food allergies, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and asthma throughout the lifespan: A systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr (Special Supplement), 2019; 109(Suppl 7):772S-799S.

Güngör D, Nadaud P, Dreibelbis C, LaPergola CC, Wong YP, Terry N, Abrams SA, Beker L, Jacobovits T, Järvinen KM, Laurie A. Nommsen-Rivers L, O’Brien KO, Oken E, Pérez-Escamilla R, Ziegler RE, Spahn JM (USDA Pregnancy/Birth-24 months Technical Expert Committee 1). Infant milk-feeding practices and childhood leukemia: A systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr (Special Supplement), 2019; 109(Suppl 7):757S-771S.

Güngör D, Nadaud P, LaPergola CC, Dreibelbis C, Wong YP, Terry N, Abrams SA, Beker L, Jacobovits T, Järvinen KM, Laurie A. Nommsen-Rivers L, O’Brien KO, Oken E, Pérez-Escamilla R, Ziegler RE, Spahn JM (USDA Pregnancy/Birth-24 months Technical Expert Committee 1). Infant milk-feeding practices and celiac disease and irritable bowel disease and outcomes in offspring: A systematic review.  Am J Clin Nutr (Special Supplement), 2019; 109(Suppl 7):838S-851S.

Güngör D, Nadaud P, LaPergola CC, Dreibelbis C, Wong YP, Terry N, Abrams SA, Beker L, Jacobovits T, Järvinen KM, Laurie A. Nommsen-Rivers L, O’Brien KO, Oken E, Pérez-Escamilla R, Ziegler RE, Spahn JM (USDA Pregnancy/Birth-24 months Technical Expert Committee 1). Infant milk-feeding practices and diabetes outcomes in offspring: A systematic review.  Am J Clin Nutr (Special Supplement), 2019; 109(Suppl 7):817S-837S

Güngör D, Nadaud P, LaPergola CC, Dreibelbis C, Wong YP, Terry N, Abrams SA, Beker L, Jacobovits T, Järvinen KM, Laurie A. Nommsen-Rivers L, O’Brien KO, Oken E, Pérez-Escamilla R, Ziegler RE, Spahn JM (USDA Pregnancy/Birth-24 months Technical Expert Committee 1). Infant milk-feeding practices and cardiovascular disease outcomes in offspring: A systematic review.  2019; 109(Suppl 7):800S-816S.

Steinl G, Whisner CM, Pressman EK, Cooper E, Groth SW, O’Brien KO. Patterns and correlates of self-reported physical activity in a cohort of racially diverse pregnant adolescents. J Pediatr Adoles Gynecology 2019 32(1):51-6.

Vander Wyst KB, Vercelli ME, O’Brien KO, Cooper EM, Pressman EK, Whisner CM. A social media intervention to improve nutrition knowledge and behaviors of low income, pregnant adolescents and adult women. PLoS One 2019; Oct 24 14(10):e0223120. Doi:1371/journal.pone.0223120

Gil-Díaz MC, Raynor J, Schwartz GJ, O’Brien KO, Weber DR. Systematic Review: Associations of Calcium Intake, Vitamin D Intake, and Physical Activity on Skeletal Outcomes in People with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. Acta Diabetalogica 2019; Apr 15. Doi 10.1007/s00592-019-01334-5.

 

 

Adjunct Professor, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Rochester, NY

I am a member of the USDA/DHHS Technical Expert Committee Working Group 1 for the Birth to 24 Months Project: As part of this group of scientists our goal is to evaluate the evidence base to support the inclusion of infants and children from birth to 24 months of age in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Findings from this working group were published this year in topic specific manuscripts in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

I am a permanent member of the NIH Integrative Nutrition and Metabolic Processes (INMP) Study Section.

I served on a NIH/NIDDK Special Emphasis Panel as an Ad-Hoc member for R44 Exploratory Clinical Trials in Kidney, Urology and Hematological Diseases. 

 

I teach a one-semester undergraduate Human Anatomy and Physiology course and co-teach a graduate course on micronutrient metabolism. I am committed to promoting hands-on, investigative, opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students interested in clinical research. Our laboratory group actively involves undergraduates; many of whom are authors on the research generated. Scientific writing is emphasized and facilitated with weekly undergraduate and graduate writing groups and with weekly meetings for all on-site and off-site study personnel.  Graduate and post-doctoral students gain mentoring experience by providing guidance in methods development and data analysis to undergraduate laboratory students.

NS3410 - Human Anatomy and Physiology

NS6310 - Micronutrients

NS6190 - Field of Nutrition Seminar

NS4010 - Independent Study

BIOG 4990 - Independent Study

BIOMG7940 - Presidential Life Scholars Fellowship Seminar

NRSA Fellowship 1993-1995 - Baylor College of Medicine, Children's Nutrition Research Center, Houston, TX

IRTA Fellowship - 1991-1993 - National Institutes of Health, Section on Metabolic Analysis and Mass Spectrometry, Bethesda, MD

PhD - 1991     University of Connecticut, Nutrition

BS   - 1985     University of New Hampshire, Biology

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