Associate Professor Phu Tran PhD

Medical School
Twin Cities
Project Title: 
Early-Life Iron Deficiency Anemia and Brain Development

In humans, iron deficiency anemia during late fetal and early postnatal periods, affecting more than 3 billion people worldwide including 40% of pregnant women and preschool age children, can cause persistent cognitive and socio-emotional behavior dysfunction. Using an animal model of early-life iron deficiency, these researchers found similar impairments in neurocognitive function accompanied by widespread long-term neural gene dysregulation. To investigate molecular mechanisms by which iron regulates neural development, they are determining changes in gene expression and associated epigenomes at the single cell level using cutting-edge sequencing technologies. This approach will likely generate confirmatory pathways as well as novel and testable hypotheses of the underlying molecular pathways associated with early-life iron deficiency in the brain. Based on such insights, the researchers hope to optimize therapeutic strategy for prevention and treatment of early-life iron deficiency.

Project Investigators

Dr. Juan Abrahante Llorens
Natalia Calixto Mancipe
Dr. Christy Henzler
Dr. Ellen Ingolfsland
Shirelle Liu
Marissa Macchietto
Zia Maxim
Dr. Sarah Munro
Associate Professor Phu Tran PhD
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