Susan E. Carlson, Ph.D.

AJ Rice Professor of Nutrition
Department of Dietetics and Nutrition

Ph.D., Iowa State University, 1975
Postdoctoral, University of Wisconsin, 1975-1978
Postdoctoral, University of South Florida-Tampa, 1978-1979

Our research has focused on intervention studies using docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) supplementation of infants and has branched out into studies of DHA supplemented pregnant women. The latter studies have been done in collaboration with the research team led by Dr. John Colombo at the University of Kansas. Dr. Carlson and Dr. Colombo are currently doing a large clinical trial of infant DHA supplementation and have recently been funded for another intervention trial providing DHA to women entering their second trimester of pregnancy. The goal of these trials is to evaluate the effect of DHA provided pre- and postnatally on visual development and behavior of infants, toddlers and, eventually, preschoolers.

Selected Publications

Davis PF, Ozias MK, Carlson SE, Reed GA, Winter MK, McCarson KE, Levant B. Dopamine receptor alterations in female rates with diet-induced decreased brain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): interactions with reproductive status. Nutr Neurosci 2010;13:161-9.

Minns LM, Kerling EH, Neely MR, Sullivan DK, Wampler JL, Harris CL, Berseth CL, Carlson SE. Toddler formula supplemented with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) improves DHA status and respiratory health in a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial of US children less than 3 years of age. Prostalgandins Leukotrienes Essential Fatty Acids 2010;82:287-93.

Birch EE, Carlson SE, Hofman DR. Fitzgerald-Gustafson KM, et al. The DIAMOND (DHA intake and measurement of neural development) Study: A double-masked,  randomized controlled clinical trial of the maturation of infant visual acuity as a function of the dietary level of docosahexaenoic acid. Am J Clin Nutr 2010, 91:848-59.

Carlson SE. Early determinants of development: A Lipid Perspective. Am J Clin Nutr  2009; 89:1523S-1529S.

Carlson SE. Docosahexaenoic acid supplementation in pregnancy and lactation: A review. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89:678S-84S.

Kannass KN, Colombo C, Carlson SE. Maternal DHA levels and toddler free play attention. Developmental Neuropsych 2009; 34: 159-174.

Gustafson KM, Colombo J, Carlson SE. Docosahexaenoic acid and cognitive function: Is the link mediated by the autonomic nervous system? Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2008;79:135-40.

McNamara RK, Carlson SE. Role of omega-3 fatty acids in brain development and function: potential implications for the pathogenesis and prevention of psychopathology. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2006;75:329-49.

Last modified: Jun 29, 2017

Susan Elaine Carlson, Ph.D.


Susan E. Carlson, Ph.D.
AJ Rice Professor of Nutrition