Paige Berger

Instructor, Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Investigator, Division of Newborn Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Dr. Berger is a PhD-investigator and registered dietitian who has devoted her career to studying the nutritional determinants of early growth and brain development. Dr. Berger received her doctorate in Nutritional Sciences at The University of Georgia (UGA). She completed fellowships with Dr. Leann Birch at UGA and Dr. Michael Goran at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Berger currently holds a faculty appointment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The goal of Dr. Berger’s research is to understand human milk biology and determine its influences on infant growth, brain development, and cognitive functioning. She aims to explicate the factors in human milk, including those derived from maternal diet, that shape the structure of the infant brain, the framework for future learning and memory. Dr. Berger’s work has shown that exposure to simple and complex carbohydrates in utero and through breastfeeding associates with brain development using magnetic resonance imaging at 1 month and cognitive capacities at 24 months of age in full-term infants. Her current NIH-funded research builds on her previous findings and examines the role of human milk oligosaccharides on brain development in preterm infants. Ultimately, this work will enhance our understanding of human milk biology, with implications for the nutritional care of preterm infants.