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CNRC - Abrams Lab

Houston, Texas

Images depicting the Abram lab's research work
Steven Abrams' Micronutrient Research Lab
not shown on screen

Study Coordination

Keli Hawthorne, Registered Dietitian

Photo Keli HawthorneBS, Coordinated Dietetics, Texas Christian University
Neonatal Nutrition Fellow, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital
MS, Nutrition, Texas Woman’s University

After working as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit dietitian, I moved to Houston and began to work with Dr. Abrams in July 2001. Currently, I manage the dietary components of our local and international studies. I have also had the opportunity to travel to Central and South American countries to give lectures and hands-on education to physicians, nurses, and nutritionists on the nutritional management of premature babies.

I am a past president of the Houston Area Dietetic Association (HADA). With almost 400 members, this is the largest district association in the state of Texas. I am also proud to have served as the Texas Dietetic Association (TDA) Legislative and Public Policy chair for Federal Issues.


Abrams SA, Hawthorne KM, Rogers SP, Hicks PD, Carpenter TO. Effects of ethnicity and vitamin D supplementation on vitamin D status and changes in bone mineral content in infants. BMC Pediatrics 2012; 12:6.

Willis T, Carter B, Rogers S, Hawthorne KM, Hicks PD, Abrams SA. High rates of mortality and morbidity occur in infants with parenteral nutrition-associated cholestasis. JPEN 2010;34:32-37.

Abrams SA, Hicks PD, Hawthorne KM. Higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in school-age children are inconsistently associated with increased calcium absorption. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2009; 94:2421-2427.

Balay KS, Hawthorne KM, Hicks PD, Griffin IJ, Chen Z, Westerman M, Abrams SA. Orange but not apple juice enhances ferrous fumarate absorption in small children. JPGN 2009;49.

Mitchell SM, Rogers SP, Hicks PD, Hawthorne KM, Parker BR, Abrams SA. High frequencies of elevated alkaline phosphatase activity and rickets exist in extremely low birth weight infants despite current nutritional support. BMC Pediatr 2009; Jul 29;9:47.

Hawthorne KM, Morris J, Hotze T, Hirschi KD, Abrams SA. Biotechnologically-modified carrots: calcium absorption relative to milk. J Bioequivalence Bioavailability 2009, 1:034-038. doi: 10.4172/jbb.1000006.

Griffin IJ, Lynch MF, Hawthorne KM, Chen Z, Hamzo M, Abrams SA. Magnesium retention in 12 to 48 month-old children. JACN 2008;27:349-355.

Jay Morris, Keli M. Hawthorne, Tim Hotze, Steven A. Abrams, and Kendal D. Hirschi. Nutritional impact of elevated calcium transport activity in carrots. PNAS 2007.

Hawthorne KM, Moreland K, Griffin IJ, Abrams SA. An educational program enhances food label understanding of young adolescents. J Am Diet Assoc 2006; 106:913-916.

Hawthorne KM, Griffin IJ, Lynch MF, Abrams SA. Parents significantly overestimate nutrient intakes in young children. J Am Diet Assoc 2006, abstract.

Etcheverry P, Carstens GE, Brown E, Hawthorne KM, Chen Z, Griffin IJ. Production of stable-isotope-labeled bovine heme and its use to measure heme-iron absorption in children. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:452-9.

Lynch MF, Griffin IJ, Hawthorne KM, Chen Z, Hamzo MG, Abrams SA. Calcium balance in 1-4-y-old children. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:750-4.

Lynch MF, Griffin IJ, Hawthorne KM, Chen Z, Hamzo MG, Abrams SA. Iron absorption is more closely related to iron status than to daily iron intake in 12- to 48-mo-old children. J Nutr 2007;137:88-92.

Griffin IJ, Lynch MF, Hawthorne KM, Chen Z, Hamzo MG, Abrams SA. Zinc homeostasis in 1-4 year olds consuming diets typical of US children. Brit J Nutr 2007;98:358-63.

Hawthorne KM, Abrams SA, Weird WC. Docosahexanoic acid improves plasma phospholipid DHA content in children. Society for Pediatric Research 2007, abstract.

Hawthorne KM, Abrams SA, Weird WC. Plasma phospholipid levels in children improve with supplementation of DHA to orange juice. J Am Diet Assoc 2007;107:8,A-56.

Abrams SA, Griffin IJ, Hawthorne KM, Ellis KJ. Effect of prebiotic supplementation and calcium intake on body mass index. J Pediatr 2007;151:293-8.

Abrams SA, Hawthorne KM, Aliu O, Hicks PD, Chen Z, Griffin IJ. An inulin-type fructan enhances calcium absorption primarily via an effect on colonic absorption in humans. J Nutr 2007;137:2208-12.

Etcheverry, P, Hawthorne KM, Liang LK, Abrams SA, Griffin IJ. Effect of beef and soy proteins on the absorption of non-heme iron and inorganic zinc in children. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2006; 1:34-40.

Abrams SA, Griffin IJ, Hawthorne KM, Liang L. Height and height Z-score are related to calcium absorption in 5 to 15 yr-old girls. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2005 90:5077-5081.

Abrams SA, Griffin IJ, Hawthorne KM, Gunn SK, Gundberg CM, Carpenter TO. Relationships among vitamin D levels, PTH, and calcium absorption in young adolescents. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2005;90:5576-81.

Abrams SA, Griffin IJ, Hawthorne KM, Zhensheng C, Gunn SK, Wilde M, Darlington G, Shypailo R, Ellis K. Vitamin D receptor fok1 polymorphisms affect calcium absorption, kinetics, and bone mineralization rates during puberty. J Bone Min Res. 2005 Jun;20(6):945-953.

Hawthorne KM and Abrams SA. Safety and efficacy of human milk fortification for very-low-birth-weight infants. Nutrition Reviews Dec 2004;62(12):482-485.

Hawthorne KM, Griffin IJ, Abrams SA. Current issues in nutritional management of very low birth weight infants. Minerva Pediatrica 2004 Aug; 56(4): 359-72.

Hawthorne KM, Griffin IJ, Ellis KJ, Abrams SA. Soft drink intake is not related to phosphorus intake or bone density. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, August 2004, Suppl 2 – Abstracts; Vol 104, Number 8, A-50.

Abrams SA, Weaver CM, McCabe GP, Griffin IJ, Hilmers DC, Hawthorne KM, Martin BR, McCabe LD, Ellis KJ. Calcium absorption is related to growth during puberty. Pediatr Res 2004;55:181A.

Etcheverry P, Hawthorne KM, Abrams SA, Griffin IJ. Beef protein increases iron and zinc absorption compared to soy protein. Pediatr Res 2004;55:180A.

Avalos Mishaan AM, Zavaleta N, Griffin IJ, Hilmers DC, Hawthorne KM, Abrams SA. Bioavailability of iron and zinc from a multiple micronutrient-fortified beverage. Journal of Pediatrics 2004 Jul;145(1):26-31.


Abrams SA, Hawthorne KM. Bone Health in Children. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 2012.

Bone health is one of the most widely discussed topics in pediatric nutrition. Ensuring adequate calcium and vitamin D intake is essential, and other factors also play a significant role. Bone Health in Children explores the recent decades of research and public commentary on the subject, debunks popular myths, and clarifies the often confusing and contradictory scientific literature. Presenting practical and theoretical education and advice, the book provides rational and accessible information geared to a wide audience of individuals interested in this critical element of pediatric health.

Highlights include:

  • The Institute of Medicine process by which Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) are developed
  • Iron, calcium, and vitamin D requirements for infants, children, & pregnant and lactating women
  • Controversy over high-dose vitamin D supplementation and pregnancy
  • Detailed explanation of the scientific research process related to human nutrition
  • The non-bone health aspects of vitamin D & why literature claims about this topic can be misleading
  • Frequently Asked Questions regarding nutrition with answers in short format

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