Nigel Paneth, MD, MPH

Emeritus University Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Pediatrics

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
909 Wilson Road Room B601
East Lansing, MI  48824

Curriculum Vitae

Nigel Paneth is a pediatrician and perinatal and child health epidemiologist with a particular interest in the causes and prevention of childhood neurodevelopmental handicap, especially cerebral palsy (CP).

Although Dr. Paneth retired in May 2021 from his full-time faculty position, he remains active in our department as a part-time faculty member.  He continues to mentor students and post-doctoral fellows who are completing their work, but is not taking on new students.  He is supported by his involvement as co-principal investigator on Prenatal Exposures and Child Health Outcomes (UH3 ODO23285), one of the two NIH ECHO program grants in the department, as well as serving as a co-investigator and/or consultant on other NIH initiatives.





After training in pediatrics and epidemiology, Dr. Paneth began his academic career at Columbia University in 1978 in the newly established Sergievsky Center, a research unit created to examine the etiology of epilepsy and other brain disorders. There he conducted studies of the relationship of perinatal medical care to patterns of fetal and infant mortality, particularly in premature infants [1]. This was followed by the Neonatal Brain Hemorrhage

Study, a population-based longitudinal follow-up of a cohort of infants who weighed < 2 kg at birth which was, with NIH support, continued for more than 20 years [2]. This study produced a monograph on brain damage in premature infants based on newborn cranial ultrasound imaging and brain pathological examination [3], and showed the relationship of newborn cranial ultrasound images to CP [4], mental retardation [5] and hyperactivity [6]. Low levels of thyroid hormone [7], failure to receive MgSO4 in labor [8], and hypocapnea from mechanical ventilation [9] were shown to be risk factors for CP in this study.

From 1996-99, Dr. Paneth led an AHRQ-funded international study of low birthweight outcomes (Holland, Canada, Germany, US, Jamaica). A key finding from that study is a much higher rate of disabling CP in premature infants born at the border of viability in a US population, where intensive care was universal, than in Holland, where such care was more selectively offered [10]. Behavioral disorders in babies weighing under 1000g were remarkably similar in different countries [11], as was the prevalence of school problems [12]. These research themes continued with a multi-hospital observational study of molecular antecedents of brain damage in infants born prior to 28 weeks gestation [13], and an international Phase 1-2 trial of thyroid hormone supplementation in such infants. [14].

Dr. Paneth’s NIH-supported case-control study of CP (2009-2012) opened up two new lines of investigation. First, his team showed that considerable amounts of mRNA are reliably preserved on newborn blood spots [16 – 18], and second, that gene expression in the newborn period differs in children who will later develop CP [19]. His continued interest in CP is reflected in serving on the international task force on the definition and classification of CP [19] and co-editing the first full-scale textbook of CP science and clinical management [20]

Dr. Paneth has a strong interest in epidemiologic history, reflected in his co-authorship of a 2003 biography of the 19th century father of epidemiology and scientific anesthesiology, John Snow [21].



Dr. Paneth taught Introductory Epidemiology (EPI 810) and Perinatal Epidemiology (EPI 816) most years from 1991 until his retirement and also taught a doctoral seminar in Scientific Proposal Development (EPI 935). From 1999-2005, he directed a K-30 research training program whose major focus was on training health care providers to do research in community settings. From 2005 - 2015, he directed the nation’s only T32 research training program focused on providing both pre and post-doctoral training in the field of perinatal epidemiology.



Dr. Paneth came to the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University in 1989 to develop a Program in Epidemiology. The Program became a Department in 1997, with Paneth serving from 1997 – 2002 as its first chair. He also served as Associate Dean for Research of the College from 2000-2006.





  1. Lee KS, Paneth N, Gartner L, Pearlman M, Gruss L. Neonatal mortality: an analysis of the recent improvement in the United States.  Am J Pub Health 1980; 80:15-21.
  2. Paneth N, Kiely JL, Wallenstein S, Marcus M, Pakter J, Susser MW. Newborn intensive care and neonatal mortality in low birthweight infants: A population study. New Eng J Med 1982; 307:149-155.
  3. Kiely JL, Paneth N, Susser MW. Fetal death in labor:  An epidemiologic indicator of level of obstetric care.  Amer J Ob Gyn 1985; 153:721-727.
  4. Paneth N, Kiely JL, Wallenstein S, Snook C, Susser MW. Medical care and the premature infant of normal birthweight.  Pediatrics 1986; 77:158-166.
  5. Paneth N, Kiely JL, Wallenstein S, Susser MW. The choice of place of delivery:  Effect of hospital level on mortality in all singleton births in New York City.  Am J. Dis Child 1987; 141:60-64.
  1. Pinto-Martin J, Paneth N, Witomski T, Stern I, Schonfeld S, Rosenfeld D, Rose W, Kazam E, Kairam R, Katsikiotis V, Susser M. The central New Jersey neonatal brain hemorrhage study: Design of the study and reliability of ultrasound diagnosis. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 1992; 6:273-284.
  2. Pinto-Martin J, Riolo S, Cnaan A, Holzman C, Susser MW, Paneth N. Cranial ultrasound prediction of disabling and non-disabling cerebral palsy in a low birthweight population. Pediatrics 1995; 95:249-254.
  3. Whitaker AH, Feldman JF, Van Rossem R, Schonfeld IS, Pinto-Martin JA, Torre C, Blumenthal SR, Paneth N. Neonatal cranial ultrasound abnormalities: Relation to cognitive outcomes at age six. Pediatrics 1996; 98:719-729.
  4. Reuss L, Paneth N, Lorenz JM, Pinto-Martin J, Susser M. Transient hypothyroxinemia in preterm infants and neurodevelopment at age two. New England J Med 1996; 334:821-827.
  5. Paneth N, Jetton J, Pinto-Martin J, Susser M and the NBH Study Team. Magnesium sulfate in labor and risk of neonatal brain lesions and cerebral palsy in low birthweight infants. Pediatrics 1997; 97:723.
  6. Collins M, Paneth N, Lorenz J. Hypocapnia, prolonged ventilation, and risk of disabling cerebral palsy in low birth weight infants. Pediatric Research 2001; 50:712-719.
  7. Lorenz JM, Paneth N, Jetton JR, den Ouden L, Tyson JE: Comparison of management strategies for extreme prematurity in New Jersey and the Netherlands: outcomes and resource expenditures. Pediatrics 2001;108;1269-1274.
  8. Hille ETM, den Ouden AL, Wolke DFH, Saigal S, Hoult L, Lambert M, Meyer RA, Whitaker A, Pinto-Martin J, Feldman J, Verloove-Vanhorick P, Paneth N: Consistency in the types of behavioral problems reported in extremely low birthweight infants in four countries. Lancet 2001; 357:1641-3.
  9. La Gamma E, van Wassenaer AG, Ares S, Golombek S, Kok JH, Quero J, Hong T, Rahbar MH, Morreale de Escobar G, Fisher DA, Paneth N: A randomized trial of four thyroid hormone regimens for transient hypothyroxinemia in neonates < 28 weeks gestation: the THOP 1 trial. Pediatrics 2009; 1242:e258-68.


  1. Rosenbaum P, Paneth N, Leviton A, Goldstein M, Bax M: A report: the definition and classification of cerebral palsy, April 2006. Dev Med Child Neurol 2007; 109 (suppl) 8- 14.
  2. O'Shea TM, Allred EN, Dammann O, Hirtz D, Kuban KC, Paneth N, Leviton A; ELGAN study Investigators The ELGAN study of the brain and related disorders in extremely low gestational age newborns. Early Hum Dev. 2009 85:719-25.
  3. Haak PT, Busik JV, Kort AJ, Tikhonenko M, Paneth N, Resau JH: Archived unfrozen neonatal blood spots are amenable to microarray gene expression analysis. Neonatology 2009;95:210-216
  4. Slaughter J, Wei C, Korzeniewski SJ, Lu Q, Beck JS, Khoo SK, Brovont A, Maurer J, Martin D, Lenski M, Paneth N. High correlations in gene expression between paired umbilical cord blood and neonatal blood of healthy newborns on Guthrie cards. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013 Dec;26(18):1765-7.
  5. Wei C, Lu Q, Khoo S-K, Lenski M, Paneth N, Fichorova R, Leviton A: Comparison of Frozen and Unfrozen newborn blood spots for Gene Expression Studies. J Pediatrics 2014 Jan;164(1):189-191
  6. Ho NT, Furge K, Fu W, Busik J, Khoo SK, Lu Q, Lenski M, Wirth J, Hurvitz E, Dodge N, Resau J, Paneth N. Gene expression in archived newborn blood spots distinguishes infants who will later develop cerebral palsy from matched controls. Pediatr Research. 2013;73:450-6.


  1. Joyner MJ, Bruno KA, Klassen SA, Kunze KL, Johnson PW, Lesser ER, Wiggins CC, Senefeld JW, Klompas AM, Hodge DO, Shepherd JRA, Rea RF, Whelan ER, Clayburn AJ, Spiegel MR, Baker SE, Larson KF, Ripoll JG, Andersen KJ, Buras MR, Vogt MNP, Herasevich V, Dennis JJ, Regimbal RJ, Bauer PR, Blair JE, van Buskirk CM, Winters JL, Stubbs JR, van Helmond N, Butterfield BP, Sexton MA, Diaz Soto JC, Paneth NS, Verdun NC, Marks P, Casadevall A, Fairweather D, Carter RE, Wright RS. Safety Update: COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma in 20,000 Hospitalized Patients. Mayo Clin Proc. 2020 Sep;95(9):1888-1897.
  2. Casadevall A, Grossman BJ, Henderson JP, Joyner MJ, Shoham S, Pirofski LA, Paneth: The Assessment of Convalescent Plasma Efficacy against COVID-19. Med (N Y). 2020 Dec 18;1(1):66-77.
  3. Joyner MJ, Carter RE, Senefeld JW, Klassen SA, Mills JR, Johnson PW, Theel ES, Wiggins CC, Bruno KA, Klompas AM, Lesser ER, Kunze KL, Sexton MA, Diaz Soto JC, Baker SE, Shepherd JRA, van Helmond N, Verdun NC, Marks P, van Buskirk CM, Winters JL, Stubbs JR, Rea RF, Hodge DO, Herasevich V, Whelan ER, Clayburn AJ, Larson KF, Ripoll JG, Andersen KJ, Buras MR, Vogt MNP, Dennis JJ, Regimbal RJ, Bauer PR, Blair JE, Paneth NS, Fairweather D, Wright RS, Casadevall A. Convalescent Plasma Antibody Levels and the Risk of Death from Covid-19. N Engl J Med. 2021 Mar 18;384(11):1015-1027.
  4. Casadevall A, Dragotakes Q, Johnson PW, Senefeld JW, Klassen SA, Wright RS, Joyner MJ, Paneth N, Carter RE. Convalescent plasma use in the USA was inversely correlated with COVID-19 mortality. 2021 Jun 4;10:e69866.  
  5. Senefeld JW, Klassen SA, Ford SK, Senese KA, Wiggins CC, Bostrom BC, Thompson MA, Baker SE, Nicholson WT, Johnson PW, Carter RE, Henderson JP, Hartman WR, Pirofski LA, Wright RS, Fairweather L, Bruno KA, Paneth NS, Casadevall A, Joyner MJ. Use of convalescent plasma in COVID-19 patients with immunosuppression. 2021 Aug;61(8):2503-2511.
  6. Ma T, Wiggins CC, Kornatowski BM, Hailat RS, Clayburn AC, Guo W, Johnson PW, Senefeld JW, Klassen SA, Baker SE, Bruno KA, Fairweather D, Wright RS, Carter RE, Li C, Joyner MJ, Paneth N. The Role of Disease Severity and Demographics in the Clinical Course of COVID-19 Patients Treated with Convalescent Plasma. Front Med (Lausanne). 2022 Jan 26;8:707895.
  7. Paneth N, Casadevall A, Pirofski LA, Henderson JP, Grossman BJ, Shoham S, Joyner MJ.  WHO covid-19 drugs guideline: reconsider using convalescent plasma. 2022 Feb 8;376:o295.
  8. Paneth NS, Joyner MJ, Casadevall a: The fossilization of randomized clinical trials. J Clin Invest. 2022 Feb 15;132(4):e158499



  1. Paneth N, Rudelli R, Kazam E, Monte W. Brain Damage in the Preterm Infant. (Clinics in Developmental Medicine No. 131). London: Mac Keith Press, 1994.
  2. Vinten-Johansen P, Brody H, Paneth N, Rachman S, Rip M: Cholera, Chloroform, and the Science of Medicine: A Life of John Snow. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.  
  3. Dan B, Mayston M, Paneth N, Rosenbloom L, eds: Cerebral Palsy: Science and Clinical Practice. London: Mac Keith Press, 2014.
  4. Leviton A, Damman O, O’Shea M, Paneth N, eds: Extremely Preterm Birth and Its Consequences. The ELGAN Study. London: MacKeith Press, 2020


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