Alison D. Gernand, PhD, MPH, RD

photo of Alison Gernand

Ann Atherton Hertzler Early Career Professor in Global Health, Assistant Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences

Contact Information

224 Chandlee Lab
University Park PA 16802


(fax) 814-863-6103


PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2011
MPH, University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston, 2003

Research Interests

  • Micronutrient deficiencies (in particular, vitamin D)
  • Pregnancy and prepregnancy maternal nutritional status
  • Placenta (growth, vascular development and angiogenesis, pathology)
  • Adverse pregnancy outcomes (fetal growth restriction and SGA, preeclampsia, preterm birth)
  • Plasma volume and biomarker concentrations
  • Public health issues in low-income and middle-income countries

Selected Publications

Gernand AD, Simhan HN, Baca KM, Caritis S, Bodnar LM. Vitamin D, preeclampsia, and preterm birth among pregnancies at high risk for preeclampsia: an analysis of data from a low-dose aspirin trial. BJOG, in press.

Gernand AD, Schulze KJ, Stewart CP, West KP Jr, Christian P. Micronutrient deficiencies in pregnancy worldwide: health effects and prevention. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2016 May;12(5):274-89. PMID: 27032981.

Gernand AD, Schulze KJ, Nanayakkara-Bind A, Arguello M, Shamim AA, Ali H, Wu L, West KP Jr, Christian P. Effects of prenatal multiple micronutrient supplementation on fetal growth factors: a cluster-randomized, controlled trial in rural Bangladesh. PloS one. 2015;10(10). PMID: 26431336

Roth DE, Gernand AD, Morris SK, Pezzack B, Islam MM, Dimitris MC, Shanta SS, Zlotkin SH, Willan AR, Ahmed T, Shah PS, Murphy KE, Weksberg R, Choufani S, Shah R, Al Mahmud A. Maternal vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy and lactation to promote infant growth in Dhaka, Bangladesh (MDIG trial): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2015 Jul 14;16:300. PMID: 26169781.

Bodnar LM, Klebanoff MA, Gernand AD, Platt RW, Parks WT, Catov JM, Simhan HN. Maternal vitamin D status and spontaneous preterm birth by placental histology in the US.Collaborative Perinatal Project. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2014 Jan 15;179(2):168-76.

Gernand AD, Simhan HN, Caritis S, Bodnar LM. Maternal vitamin D status and small-for-gestational-age offspring in women at high-risk for preeclampsia. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2014 Jan;123(1):40-8.

Bodnar LM, Abrams B, Bertolet M, Gernand AD, Parisi SM, Himes KP, Lash TL. Validity of birth certificate-derived maternal weight data. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2014 May;28(3):203-12.

Gernand AD, Klebanoff MA, Simhan HN, Bodnar LM. Maternal vitamin D status, prolonged labor, and cesarean and instrumental delivery in an era with a low cesarean rate. Journal of Perinatology. 2014 Aug 7. [Epub ahead of print]

Eckhardt CL, Gernand AD, Roth DE, Bodnar LM. Maternal vitamin D status and infant anthropometry in a U.S. multicenter cohort study. Annals of Human Biology. 2014 Sep 30:1-8. [Epub ahead of print]

Groopman JD, Egner PA, Schulze KJ, Wu LS, Merrill R, Mehra S, Shamim AA, Ali H, Shaikh S, Gernand AD, Khatry SK, LeClerq SC, West Jr KP, Christian P. Aflatoxin-Albumin Biomarkers in Pregnancy and from Birth to Two Years of Age in Rural South Asia: Toxic Exposure in the First 1000 Days of Life. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2014 Dec;74:184-9.

Courses Taught

NUTR 451 Nutrition Throughout the Lifecycle

NUTR 456 Community Nutrition

NUTR 511 Maternal and Child Nutrition