Awards Press Release: From Bench to Bedside, Spectrum of Birth Defects Research to Be Recognized

Teratology Society Set to Honor Contributions of International Birth Defects Researchers 

This press release is also available on PRWeb here.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA—Some of the world’s leading scientists will be recognized for their research on birth defects, including potential environmental causes, risk factors for deformities of the lower fetal spine, as well as cancer risk in children with congenital heart defects. The special lectures and awards will be presented June 22–26 at the Teratology Society’s Annual Meeting, hosted at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina in San Diego, California.

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 2019 awards and special lectures, more than a dozen scientists will be recognized for advancing research in their fields.

“From examining the possible link of birth defects to childhood cancer risk, to applying cutting edge technologies to the study of birth defects to more fully characterize genetic and environmental factors in birth defect risk, our honorees showcase the innovative and impactful progress being made in this field,” said Dana Shuey, PhD, DABT, Teratology Society President. “In addition, 34 travel awards will be given to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to attend the Annual Meeting and present their work. Our trainees are an important, integral part of the meeting. They bring incredible energy and ideas to the table and are critical to furthering our mission of understanding and, ultimately, preventing birth defects,” she added. “Bringing these scientists together at our Annual Meeting creates a truly interdisciplinary platform for dynamic collaboration in the field.”

Other scientific accomplishments being honored at this year’s Annual Meeting include a Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) award for which Lauren Walker, BS, a student member of the Teratology Society, earned a spot to participate in scientific advocacy efforts in Washington D.C. Walker will be recognized for her participation in FASEB’s “Capitol Hill Day” last month, which included a coalition of 58 scientists from 30 states whose objective was to remind representatives and senators of the importance of biomedical research. The travel funding for Ms. Walker was provided by the Teratology Society.

The 2019 Teratology Society award recipients and special lecturers include:

Edward W. Carney Distinguished Service Award–Thomas B. Knudsen, PhD, National Center for Computational Toxicology, US EPA

Clarke Fraser New Investigator Award–Kembra L. Howdeshell, PhD, National Toxicology Program, NIEHS

Scheduled Presentation: “Environmental Chemicals and Developmental Effects: Translating Bench Science to Public Health” 

Josef Warkany Lecture—Barbara D. Abbott, PhD, US Environmental Protection Agency (retired)

Scheduled Presentation: “Developmental Toxicity of Perfluorinated Compounds: A Voyage from Animal Studies to Transfected Cells” 

Robert L. Brent Lecture— Cheryl Maslen, PhD, Oregon Health Sciences University

Scheduled Presentation: “Congenital Heart Defects Research: Finding the Hidden Crossroads between Genetics and Environment” 

James G. Wilson Publication Award– R. Thomas Collins II, MD, Stanford University School of MedicineCongenital heart disease complexity and childhood cancer risk; Birth Defects Research 110.17:1314–1321 (2018)

Agnish Fellowship–Barbara F. Hales, PhD, McGill University

Scheduled Presentation: “Healthy Gametes for a Healthy Life”

Patricia Rodier Mid-Career Award for Research and Mentoring–Terry C. Hrubec, DVM, PhD, E. Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Scheduled Presentation: “From Neural Tube Defects to Environmental Contaminants”

Birth Defects Research Distinguished Scholar Awards:

Bengt Kallen, MD, PhD, Lund University (retired)

Janet Uriu-Adams, PhD, University of California, Davis

Teratology Society Innovator Award Finalists:

Katherine O'Shaughnessy, PhD, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, US EPA

Abstract Title: Bypassing the Brain Barriers: Identification of Serum microRNAs Reflective of Developmental Neurotoxicity

Thomas B. Knudsen, PhD, National Center for Computational Toxicology, US EPA

Abstract Title: Computational Synthesis and Integration: Reconstructing Complex Systems for In Silico Testing

James L. Mills, MD, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH

Abstract Title: Exome Sequencing Identifies ID1 As a Possible Risk Factor for Sacral Agenesis

Edward W. Carney Trainee Award–Subham Dasgupta, PhD, University of California, Riverside

FASEB Howard Garrison Public Affairs Fellowship–Lauren Walker, University of California, Riverside

Student and Postdoctoral Fellow Travel Awards

  • Kian Afsharian, University of Toronto Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Kathryn Beauchamp, PhD, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
  • Luísa Bertotto, PhD, ORISE, US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Bevin Blake, National Toxicology Program, NIEHS
  • Desire Buckley. PhD, University of Texas at Austin
  • Hao Chen, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
  • Vanessa Cheng, University of California, Riverside
  • Harlie Cope, National Toxicology Program, NIEHS
  • Maëlle Dandjinou, CHU Ste-Justine Research Center
  • Subham Dasgupta, PhD, University of California, Riverside
  • Elizabeth Dawson, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Maya Deyssenroth, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Danielle M. Drake, University of Toronto
  • Mariah Emily, Emporia State University
  • Omar Daniel Cortés Enríquez, School of Medicine of the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon
  • Shaza Gaballah, ORISE/US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Jessica Gorgui, University of Montreal
  • Rivka Green, York University
  • Yfke Huber-Mollema, Stichting Epilepsie Instellingen Nederland (SEIN)
  • Erica Lachenauer, Cornell University
  • Maxim Lemelin, University of Montreal
  • Amanda Mahnke, PhD, Texas A&M University Health Science Center
  • Jamie McCall, PhD, West Virginia University
  • Elizabeth McCuistion, Emporia State University
  • Xia Meng Howey, US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Katherine O'Shaughnessy, PhD, US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Juyoung Park, PhD, University of Washington
  • Georgia Pitsava, MD, National Institutes of Health NICHD
  • Kristal Rychlik, PhD, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Ariana Schanzer, New York University School of Medicine
  • Prarthana Shankar, Oregon State University
  • Alfire Sidik, University of Texas at Austin
  • AtLee Watson, PhD, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
  • Yanmin Zhu, PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

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

About the Teratology Society

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.  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 59th 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,

Recent Stories
BDRP Mentor Profiles - Trainees Encouraged to Contact!

Leading Diversity Initiatives as an Early Career Toxicologist

Day in the Life of Nurse Al, Teratogen Information Specialist