Donna Ferriero, MD

Pediatric neurologist

Dr. Donna Ferriero is a pediatric neurologist who specializes in caring for newborns with neurological problems, including epilepsy, neuromuscular diseases, stroke and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Ferriero is director of the UCSF Neonatal Brain Disorders Laboratory, whose work has been crucial to researchers' understanding of how injury to certain groups of neural cells affects the developing nervous system. She has served as chair of the UCSF Department of Pediatrics as well as physician-in-chief of the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland.

Ferriero earned her medical degree at UCSF and then completed a residency in pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital. She returned to UCSF for a fellowship in child neurology. In 1987, she joined the UCSF faculty.

Ferriero is past president of the Child Neurology Society and American Pediatric Society. In 2000, she received the American Academy of Neurology's Sidney Carter Award in Child Neurology. She received UCSF's Royer Award for Excellence in Academic Neurology in 2007 and the American Stroke Association's Thomas Willis Lecture Award for outstanding contributions to stroke research in 2010. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2005, Association of American Physicians in 2011 and American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013. She has also received UCSF's Chancellor Award for Advancement of Women and the Society for Pediatric Research's Maureen Andrew Mentor Award.


Neuro-Intensive Care Nursery
1975 Fourth St., Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-1565
Fax: (415) 353-1202

Conditions & Treatments

  • Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy
  • Neonatal Seizures
  • Neonatal Stroke

More about Donna Ferriero

Additional Languages



UCSF 1979


Massachusetts General Hospital, Pediatrics 1982


UCSF, Child Neurology 1985

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Bierstone D, Wagenaar N, Gano DL, Guo T, Georgio G, Groenendaal F, de Vries LS, Varghese J, Glass HC, Chung C, Terry J, Rijpert M, Grunau RE, Synnes A, Barkovich AJ, Ferriero DM, Benders M, Chau V, Miller SP. Association of Histologic Chorioamnionitis With Perinatal Brain Injury and Early Childhood Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Among Preterm Neonates. JAMA Pediatr. 2018 Apr 02.
  2. Kamino D, Studholme C, Liu M, Chau V, Miller SP, Synnes A, Rogers EE, Barkovich AJ, Ferriero DM, Brant R, Tam EWY. Postnatal polyunsaturated fatty acids associated with larger preterm brain tissue volumes and better outcomes. Pediatr Res. 2018 Jan; 83(1-1):93-101.
  3. Lu F, Shao G, Wang Y, Guan S, Burlingame AL, Liu X, Liang X, Knox R, Ferriero DM, Jiang X. Hypoxia-ischemia modifies postsynaptic GluN2B-containing NMDA receptor complexes in the neonatal mouse brain. Exp Neurol. 2018 Jan; 299(Pt A):65-74.
  4. Novak I, Morgan C, Adde L, Blackman J, Boyd RN, Brunstrom-Hernandez J, Cioni G, Damiano D, Darrah J, Eliasson AC, de Vries LS, Einspieler C, Fahey M, Fehlings D, Ferriero DM, Fetters L, Fiori S, Forssberg H, Gordon AM, Greaves S, Guzzetta A, Hadders-Algra M, Harbourne R, Kakooza-Mwesige A, Karlsson P, Krumlinde-Sundholm L, Latal B, Loughran-Fowlds A, Maitre N, McIntyre S, Noritz G, Pennington L, Romeo DM, Shepherd R, Spittle AJ, Thornton M, Valentine J, Walker K, White R, Badawi N. Early, Accurate Diagnosis and Early Intervention in Cerebral Palsy: Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment. JAMA Pediatr. 2017 Sep 01; 171(9):897-907.
  5. Shapiro KA, Kim H, Mandelli ML, Rogers EE, Gano D, Ferriero DM, Barkovich AJ, Gorno-Tempini ML, Glass HC, Xu D. Early changes in brain structure correlate with language outcomes in children with neonatal encephalopathy. Neuroimage Clin. 2017; 15:572-580.
  6. Koo E, Sheldon RA, Lee BS, Vexler ZS, Ferriero DM. Effects of therapeutic hypothermia on white matter injury from murine neonatal hypoxia-ischemia. Pediatr Res. 2017 Sep; 82(3):518-526.
  7. Pathipati P, Ferriero DM. The Differential Effects of Erythropoietin Exposure to Oxidative Stress on Microglia and Astrocytes in vitro. Dev Neurosci. 2017; 39(1-4):310-322.
  8. Sheldon RA, Windsor C, Lee BS, Arteaga Cabeza O, Ferriero DM. Erythropoietin Treatment Exacerbates Moderate Injury after Hypoxia-Ischemia in Neonatal Superoxide Dismutase Transgenic Mice. Dev Neurosci. 2017; 39(1-4):228-237.
  9. Ferriero D. Obituary: Bruce O. Berg, MD, January 2, 1931-October 5, 2016. Ann Neurol. 2017 Mar; 81(3):354.
  10. Gano D, Ferriero DM. Altered Cerebellar Development in Preterm Newborns: Chicken or Egg? J Pediatr. 2017 Mar; 182:11-13.
  11. Ferriero DM, Pomeroy SL. The Evolution of Child Neurology Training. Pediatr Neurol. 2017 01; 66:3-4.
  12. Cui J, Tymofiyeva O, Desikan R, Flynn T, Kim H, Gano D, Hess CP, Ferriero DM, Barkovich AJ, Xu D. Microstructure of the Default Mode Network in Preterm Infants. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2017 Feb; 38(2):343-348.
  13. van Velthoven CT, Dzietko M, Wendland MF, Derugin N, Faustino J, Heijnen CJ, Ferriero DM, Vexler ZS. Mesenchymal stem cells attenuate MRI-identifiable injury, protect white matter, and improve long-term functional outcomes after neonatal focal stroke in rats. J Neurosci Res. 2017 05; 95(5):1225-1236.
  14. Semple BD, Sadjadi R, Carlson J, Chen Y, Xu D, Ferriero DM, Noble-Haeusslein LJ. Long-Term Anesthetic-Dependent Hypoactivity after Repetitive Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries in Adolescent Mice. Dev Neurosci. 2016; 38(3):220-238.
  15. Gressens P, Ferriero DM. 21(st) Century Research in Child Neurology. Neurobiol Dis. 2016 08; 92(Pt A):1-2.
  16. Gano D, Ho ML, Partridge JC, Glass HC, Xu D, Barkovich AJ, Ferriero DM. Antenatal Exposure to Magnesium Sulfate Is Associated with Reduced Cerebellar Hemorrhage in Preterm Newborns. J Pediatr. 2016 Nov; 178:68-74.
  17. Ferriero DM. The Vulnerable Newborn Brain: Imaging Patterns of Acquired Perinatal Injury. Neonatology. 2016; 109(4):345-51.
  18. Kansagra AP, Mabray MC, Ferriero DM, Barkovich AJ, Xu D, Hess CP. Microstructural maturation of white matter tracts in encephalopathic neonates. Clin Imaging. 2016 Sep-Oct; 40(5):1009-13.
  19. Larpthaveesarp A, Georgevits M, Ferriero DM, Gonzalez FF. Delayed erythropoietin therapy improves histological and behavioral outcomes after transient neonatal stroke. Neurobiol Dis. 2016 09; 93:57-63.
  20. Tam EW, Chau V, Barkovich AJ, Ferriero DM, Miller SP, Rogers EE, Grunau RE, Synnes AR, Xu D, Foong J, Brant R, Innis SM. Early postnatal docosahexaenoic acid levels and improved preterm brain development. Pediatr Res. 2016 05; 79(5):723-30.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.