Dr. John DeSesso to give 2018 Warkany Lecture


Congratulations to John DeSesso, PhD, MPH, who has been selected to present the Josef Warkany Lecture at this year’s Teratology Society Annual Meeting!

The purpose of the Josef Warkany Lecture is to recognize a scientist who has significantly contributed to the field of teratology during his/her career. Dr. DeSesso is a Past President of the Teratology Society. He is currently a Principal Scientist in Exponent’s Health Sciences Center, as well as an adjunct professor of Biochemistry and Cellular & Molecular Biology at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He specializes in the areas of developmental and reproductive toxicology, general toxicology, risk assessment, and human health effects of environmental agents and pharmaceuticals. 

The Warkany Lecturer is invited to give a presentation at the Annual Meeting. Dr. DeSesso’s presentation, “The Arrogance of Teratology,” will take place on Sunday, June 24 at 8:15 AM. He says the presentation will focus on the field’s mistakes of the past, how human nature played a factor in those mistakes, and how to avoid making them again in the future. “With the advent of big data and capabilities to predict outcomes, we must remain cautious and aware of what we don’t know in order to avoid the errors of the past,” he explained.

Dr. DeSesso’s past projects include the assessment for potential gestational exposures to various substances to cause developmental or neurobehavioral effects; determination of the possible teratogenicity of atrazine, glyphosate and trichloroethylene; demonstration that the mode of teratogenic action in rats for an artificial blood substitute is absent in humans; and studying the mode of transplacental transfer for biologics in various species. There is so much more to discover in the field and he hopes to encourage early-career researchers searching for a “truly integrated, multidisciplined field” of science. “If your passion is understanding normal and abnormal development and using that understanding to improve the lives of all, Teratology will make a marvelously stimulating, continually evolving scientific home.”   

Read more about the 2018 Teratology Society’s awards and special lectures.

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