Nigel S. Paneth, MD

  • Faculty, Behavioral & Systems

Professor, Epidemiology & Biostatistic

M.D. 1972, Harvard Medical School

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 B218 West Fee Hall

Epidemiology Directory

Research Interests

I am a pediatrician and perinatal and child health epidemiologist with a particular interest in the causes and prevention of childhood neurodevelopmental handicap, especially cerebral palsy. In 1984, I established the central NJ neonatal brain hemorrhage study which aims to understand the factors that determine brain damage in preterm infants and their neurodevelopmental sequelae. This study has produced a comprehensive overview of brain damage in premature infants, based on its large series of such infants with both ultrasound imaging and brain pathological examination. The study has also determined which newborn cranial ultrasound images best predict cerebral palsy, has assessed the effect of prenatal alcohol ingestion on brain lesions, has shown that certain newborn ultrasound images also predicts mental retardation and hyperactivity, and has demonstrated that low levels of thyroid hormone in the first days of life are important predictors of lowered IQ and cerebral palsy.

I have been at Michigan State University since 1989, where my current research also focuses on the public policy implications of different ways of managing infants born at the margin of viability, on environmental hazards to reproduction, and on the history of epidemiology.

Since 2007, I have served as PI of the Michigan Alliance for the National Children's Study (MANCS), a collaboration with University of Michigan, Wayne State University, The Henry Ford Health System and the Michigan Department of Community Health to conduct the National Children's Study in five Michigan counties. The NCS will enroll 100,000 children and their families from prior to conception to age 21 in 105 locations in the US, and focuses on learning about the environmental causes of, among other things, neurodevelopmental disabilities and behavioral disorders.