Neonatal Jaundice Research Program

Laboratory Focus

Dr. Satrom's research seeks to optimize the management of neonatal jaundice in two distinctly vulnerable patient populations – preterm infants and infants born in low resource settings globally.

Extremely preterm infants almost universally develop jaundice (high bilirubin levels), but there is a lack of evidence to guide the use of phototherapy in this population. There is also growing evidence that low amounts of bilirubin may be protective as an antioxidant and that phototherapy may cause harm through oxidative stress and DNA damage. Dr. Satrom's research uses an animal model (Gunn rat) of neonatal jaundice to study the effects of bilirubin, phototherapy, and superimposed oxidative stress on the developing preterm brain. She is also collaborating with Dr. Troy Lund on a clinical study of jaundice in preterm infants, evaluating peripheral biomarkers of bilirubin and phototherapy effects using the metabolomic analysis of plasma.

Her other research interest is in global neonatal health, especially how to optimize the treatment of neonatal jaundice for infants in low-middle income countries. For this research, she collaborates with Dr. Tina Slusher on projects that aim to develop low cost and sustainable programs and equipment that improve phototherapy in low resource settings, specifically Sub-Saharan Africa.

Current Studies

The Neuroprotective Role of Low-dose Bilirubin on the Developing Preterm Rat Brain (Basic Science)

Biomarkers of Bilirubin Neurotoxicity (Clinical Trial)

Smart-Phone Phototherapy Irradiance Meter for Neonatal Jaundice (Thrasher Early Career Award with Nigeria collaboration)


Dr. Satrom is happy to have students, residents, and fellows help with any aspect of research – from bench work to chart review to clinical studies. If you are interested in learning more about potential research opportunities you can contact Dr. Satrom at

Katie Satrom

Principal Investigator

Katie Satrom, MD
Assistant Professor
Division of Neonatology
Department of Pediatrics

Laboratory Location

516 Delaware Street SE
Minneapolis, MN, 55455