Jean Kerver, PhD

Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

RD 1993 Registered Dietitian, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s
MS 1993 Clinical Nutrition, Rush University.
PhD 2003 Human Nutrition, Michigan State University
MSc 2010 Epidemiology, Michigan State University

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
College of Human Medicine, Traverse City Campus
Michigan State University


Jean Kerver is a nutritional epidemiologist and a registered dietitian whose research agenda includes plans to conduct studies that will help uncover perinatal causes of childhood disorders and also find effective ways to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors for families living in poverty or facing other challenges. Dr. Kerver’s position is based in Traverse City, Michigan, as part of a new effort by MSU’s College of Human Medicine to establish a statewide research network.

Her work on the nutritional and dietary patterns of pregnancy and early life is one component of the epidemiology and prevention focus of MSU’s interdisciplinary program of Research in Autism, Intellectual and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (RAIND). Prenatal nutrition is central to the causation of neurodevelopmental conditions such as neural tube defects and endemic cretinism, and may yet be found to play a role in other disorders of development.



McNabb WL, Quinn MT, Kerver J, Cook S, and Karrison T. The PATHWAYS church-based weight loss program for urban African-American women at risk for diabetes. Diabetes Care. 1997;20(10):1518-23.

Kerver JM, Yang EJ, Bianchi L, and Song WO. Dietary patterns associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease in healthy US adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Dec;78(6):1103-10.

Kerver JM, Yang EJ, Obayashi S, Bianchi L, and Song WO. Meal and snack patterns are associated with dietary intake of energy and nutrients in U.S. adults. J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Jan;106(1):46-53.

Kerver JM, Gardiner JC, Dorgan JF, Rosen CJ and Velie EM. Dietary correlates of the insulin-like growth factor system in adolescent girls: results from the Dietary Intervention Study in Children (DISC). Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Mar;91(3):643-50.

Kerver JM, Elliott MR, Norman GS, Sokol RJ, Keating DP, Copeland GE, Johnson CC, Cislo KK, Alcser KH, Kruger-Ndiaye S, Pennell BE, Mehta S, Joseph CLM, and Paneth N. Pregnancy recruitment for population research: the National Children’s Study vanguard experience in Wayne County, Michigan. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2013;27(3):303-11.

Mehta SH, Kerver JM, Sokol RJ, Keating DP, Paneth N. The Association between maternal obesity and neurodevelopmental outcomes of offspring. Journal of Pediatrics. 2014;165(5): 891-896.

Forman MR, Zhu Y, Hernandez LM, Himes JH, Dong Y, Danish RK, James KE, Caulfield LE, Kerver JM, Arab L, Voss P, Hale DE, Kanafani N, and Hirschfeld S. Arm span and ulnar length are reliable and accurate estimates of recumbent length and height in a multiethnic population of infants and children under 6 . Journal of Nutrition. 2014;144(9):1480-1487.

Rozga MR, Kerver JM, Olson BH. Prioritization of resources for participants in a peer counseling breastfeeding support program. Journal of Human Lactation. 2015;31(1):111-119.

Rozga MR, Kerver JM, Olson BH. Self-reported reasons for breastfeeding cessation among low-income women enrolled in a peer counseling breastfeeding support program. Journal of Human Lactation. 2015;31(1):129–137.

Rozga MR, Kerver JM, Olson BH. Impact of peer counselling breast-feeding support programme protocols on any and exclusive breast-feeding discontinuation in low-income women. Public Health Nutrition. 2015;18(3):453-463.