Scientists to Be Recognized as They Present Latest Research in Birth Defects

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Teratology Society Set to Honor Contributions of Researchers from Around the World

June 23 - 27, 2018

Teratology Society Annual Meeting June 23 - 27, 2018

When birth defects are still affecting 1 in 33 babies born today, you know the research these scientists are doing is critical.

Some of the world’s leading scientists will be recognized for their research in birth defects, including malaria prevention and treatment, prenatal alcohol exposure, as well as cancer risk in birth defects-affected children. Florida’s response to the potential threat of Zika will also be highlighted. The special lectures and awards will be presented June 23 – 27 in Clearwater, Florida at the Teratology Society’s Annual Meeting.

The Teratology Society is an international and multidisciplinary group of scientists including researchers, clinicians, epidemiologists, and public health professionals from academia, government and industry who study birth defects, reproduction, and disorders of developmental origin. Through its 2018 Teratology Society awards and special lectures, more than a dozen scientists will be recognized for advancing birth defects research. “When birth defects are still affecting 1 in 33 babies born today, you know the research these scientists are doing is critical in order to improve health for future generations,” said Alan Hoberman, PhD, Teratology Society President. “With these awards from the Teratology Society, we assure that we are bringing together and recognizing scientists from many disciplines allowing them to be exposed to those doing the basic research to present births defects and providing a forum for the clinicians to adapt their research for the clinical situation,” he added.

Among the honorees will be Keynote Lecturer Celeste Philip, MD, MPH, the Florida Department of Health Surgeon General and Secretary. According to Dr. Hoberman, Philip’s presentation, “Zika: Florida’s Experience Responding to an Emerging Public Health Threat,” will be particularly insightful as the state enters another season of potential exposure to Zika. “The research community, as well as the region at large, will want to learn from Florida’s Zika response and look for ways to build off of it in hopes of eradicating the public threat altogether,” said Dr. Hoberman.

Other scientific accomplishments being honored this year include research in prenatal alcohol exposure, as well new data in the epidemiology of rare complex traits for assessing cancer risk in children with birth defects.

The 2018 Teratology Society award recipients and special lecturers include:

Keynote Lecture
Celeste Philip, MD, MPH, Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee, FL
Scheduled presentation: “Zika: Florida’s Experience Responding to an Emerging Public Health Threat.”

Robert L. Brent Lecture: Teratogen Update
Robert L. Clark, PhD, Artemis Pharmaceutical Research, Jacksonville, FL
Scheduled presentation: “Progress against Malaria; The Role of Antimalarial Drugs and Their Use in Pregnancy.”

F. Clarke Fraser New Investigator Award
Philip Lupo, PhD, MPH, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Scheduled presentation: “Cancer Risk in Children with Birth Defects: Developing a Research Program in the Epidemiology of Rare Complex Traits.”

Patricia Rodier Mid-Career Award for Research and Mentoring
Helen J.K. Sable, PhD, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
Scheduled presentation: “Assessing Addiction Risk in Rodents Following Perinatal Exposure to PCBs: Behavioral and Neurochemical Indicators.”

James G. Wilson Publication Award for the best paper published in the journal Birth Defects Research
“Genetic Vulnerabilities to Prenatal Alcohol Exposure: Limb Defects in Sonic Hedgehog and GLI2 Heterozygous Mice” (Birth Defects Research 109:860-865, 2017) Authors: Eric W. Fish*1, Laura B. Murdaugh1, Kathleen K. Sulik1,2,3, Kevin P. Williams4, and Scott E. Parnell1,2,3
A presentation of the research findings will be made by Eric W. Fish, PhD, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Josef Warkany Lecture
John M. DeSesso, PhD, Exponent, Inc., Alexandria, VA

Agnish Fellowship
Anthony R. Scialli, MD, Scialli Consulting LLC, Washington, DC

Edward W. Carney Distinguished Service Award
Barbara F. Hales, McGill University, Montreal, QC

Edward W. Carney Trainee Awards
Shilpa Mokshagundam, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
Danielle M. Drake, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Birth Defects Research Distinguished Scholar Awards
Autumn J. Bernal, PhD, Cardno ChemRisk, San Francisco, CA
Randy L. Jirtle, PhD, North Carolina State University, Durham, NC
Jan Willem van der Laan, PhD, Medicines Evaluation Board, Utrecht, Netherlands

Student and Postdoctoral Fellow Travel Awards
Shama Bhatia, University of Toronto
Bevin Blake, National Toxicology Program, NIEHS
Takoua Boukhris, University of Montréal
Chad Byrd, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Songying Cao, PhD, University of Maryland
Hao Chen, PhD, University of California–San Francisco
Xi Chen, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Mona Dai, PhD, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education
Maëlle Dandjinou, University of Montréal
Subham Dasgupta, PhD, University of California–Riverside
Maya Deyssenroth, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Danielle Drake, University of Toronto
Omar Daniel Cortés Enríquez, Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León
Jessica Gorgui, University of Montréal
Erica Lachenauer, Cornell University
Yeonwoo Lebovitz, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Maxim Lemelin, University of Montréal
Elizabeth McCuistion, Emporia State University
Chelsea Jordan Messinger, Harvard Medical School
Constance Mitchell, University of California–Riverside
Shilpa Mokshagundam, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Katherine O'Shaughnessy, PhD, Oak Ridge Institute for Science Education (ORISE)
Kristal Rychlik, PhD, The Johns Hopkins University
Jacopo Troisi, University of Salerno
Sara Vliet, University of California–Riverside
Kenisha Williams Puckett, San Francisco State University
Yuhao Wu, PhD, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Penghua Yang, PhD, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Todd Zurlinden, PhD, US Environmental Protection Agency

For a full list of Teratology Society awards and recipients, please visit:

About the Teratology Society

The Teratology Society is made up of nearly 700 members worldwide specializing in a variety of disciplines, including developmental biology and toxicology, reproduction and endocrinology, epidemiology, cell and molecular biology, nutritional biochemistry, and genetics as well as the clinical disciplines of prenatal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, neonatology, medical genetics, and teratogen risk counseling. Scientists interested in membership in the Teratology Society are encouraged to visit

More information on the annual meeting program may be found on the 58th Annual Meeting website.

The society’s official journal, Birth Defects Research, is published by John Wiley & Sons in partnership with the Teratology Society.

Media Contact: Nicole Chavez, 619-368-3259, nchavez(at)teratology(dot)org.

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