University of Nebraska Medical Center

Ann Anderson Berry Lab

Dr. Anderson Berry and Lab members

Lab Features

Lab Personnel
  • Melissa Thoene PhD, RD, LMNT – Assistant Professor
  • Anum Akbar – PhD Student
  • Taija Hahka – PhD Student
  • Rebecca Slotkowski – MD/PhD Student, NIH Fellow
  • Matt VanOrmer, PhD - Lab Manager
Lab Expertise
  • Maternal-Fetal-Neonatal Nutrition
  • Perinatal Outcomes Research
  • Placental Function and Nutrient Transfer
  • Vitamins A, E, & D
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators
  • Placental Mitochondria Function
  • Neonatal Opioid Exposure
Recent Publications
  • Slotkowski R, Van Ormer M, Akbar A, Paetz O, Hahka T, Thompson M, Freeman A, Hergenrader A, Sweeney S, Korade Z, Genaro-Mattos T, Hanson C, Anderson-Berry A, Thoene M. Retinol and Pro-Vitamin A Carotenoid Nutritional Status during Pregnancy Is Associated with Newborn Hearing Screen Results. Nutrients. 2023 Feb 4;15(4):800. doi: 10.3390/nu15040800. PMID: 36839158; PMCID: PMC9967333.
  • Thompson M, Ulu A, Mukherjee M, Yuil-Valdes AG, Thoene M, Van Ormer M, Slotkowski R, Mauch T, Anderson-Berry A, Hanson CK, Nordgren TM, Natarajan SK. Something Smells Fishy: How Lipid Mediators Impact the Maternal-Fetal Interface and Neonatal Development. Biomedicines. 2023 Jan 10;11(1):171. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines11010171. PMID: 36672679; PMCID: PMC9855822.
  • Hanson C, Samson K, Anderson-Berry AL, Slotkowski RA, Su D. Racial disparities in caesarean delivery among nulliparous women that delivered at term: cross-sectional decomposition analysis of Nebraska birth records from 2005-2014. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2022 Apr 15;22(1):329. doi: 10.1186/s12884-022-04666-3. PMID: 35428241; PMCID: PMC9013155.
  • Thompson M, Ulu A, Yuil-Valdes AG, Mukherjee M, Thoene M, Van Ormer M, Slotkowski R, Lyden E, Anderson Berry A, Hanson CK, Nordgren TM, Natarajan SK. Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acid-Derived Oxylipins from the Lipoxygenase Pathway in Maternal and Umbilical Cord Plasma at Delivery and Their Relationship with Infant Growth. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jan 9;23(2):708. doi: 10.3390/ijms23020708. PMID: 35054892; PMCID: PMC8775763.
  • Thoene M, Van Ormer M, Yuil-Valdes A, Bruett T, Natarajan SK, Mukherjee M, Thompson M, Nordgren TM, Van Lippevelde W, Overby NC, Adu-Bonsaffoh K, Anderson-Berry A, Hanson C. Fat-soluble nutrients and Omega-3 fatty acids as modifiable factors influencing preterm birth risk. Placenta. 2020 Sep 1;98:38-42. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2019.12.002. Epub 2019 Dec 5. PMID: 33039030; PMCID: PMC7548396.
  • Ulu A, Sahoo PK, Yuil-Valdes AG, Mukherjee M, Van Ormer M, Muthuraj PG, Thompson M, Anderson Berry A, Hanson CK, Natarajan SK, Nordgren TM. Omega-3 Fatty Acid-Derived Resolvin D2 Regulates Human Placental Vascular Smooth Muscle and Extravillous Trophoblast Activities. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Sep 7;20(18):4402. doi: 10.3390/ijms20184402. PMID: 31500240; PMCID: PMC6770915.
  • Thoene M, Anderson-Berry A, Van Ormer M, Furtado J, Soliman GA, Goldner W, Hanson C. Quantification of Lutein + Zeaxanthin Presence in Human Placenta and Correlations with Blood Levels and Maternal Dietary Intake. Nutrients. 2019 Jan 10;11(1):134. doi: 10.3390/nu11010134. PMID: 30634589; PMCID: PMC6356265.
Lab News
  • Six abstracts from our team were accepted to present at Nutrition 2023 in Boston, MA in July of 2023.
  • Eight abstracts from our team were accepted and presented in April of 2023 at the Pediatric Academic Societies in Washington, DC.
  • Matt VanOrmer successfully defended his dissertation titled “Evaluating the Impact of Routine Enteral Iron Fortification on Gastrointestinal Dysbiosis in Premature Infants.”
  • Taija Hahka was awarded a CHRI Mini Grant totaling $15,000 towards her PhD research.
  • Rebecca Slotkowski named a UNMC Graduate Student of Distinction in recognition of her successful Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award NIH F30 Fellowship application.
Lab Contact Information
Ann Anderson Berry, MD, PhD
Lab Director
Professor, Pediatrics
Executive Director, Child Health Research Institute
Vice-Chair, Research, Department of Pediatrics
Division Chief, Neonatology
Vice President for Research, Children's Nebraska
Medical Director, Nebraska Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative (NPQIC)
Medical Director, NICU and Newborn Nursery, Nebraska Medicine
Sparks Chair of Pediatric Research

Matt VanOrmer, PhD
Lab Manager

Current Funding
  • NU Collaboration Initiative
  • Great Plains IDeA-CTR, Health Research Institute
  • Hobel Foundation
  • University of Nebraska Foundation