Dr. Friedman Receives Two Society Honors

Friedman16-cropped-large-2.jpgCongratulations to Jan M. Friedman, MD, PhD, University of British Columbia, recipient of the 2015 Edward W. Carney Distinguished Service Award and Robert L. Brent Lecturer!

This year, the Teratology Society renamed its prestigious Distinguished Service Award in honor of Edward W. Carney, Past President of the Teratology Society, for his exemplary dedication and service to the Society and the field of teratology. The 2015 Edward W. Carney Distinguished Service Award recipient, Dr. Jan Friedman, has had a wide reaching impact on the Teratology Society, stemming from his nearly 30 years of membership and service to the Society, his active role in seven committees/focus areas, and his service as the Society’s Past President. The personal impact he has had in the field is clear as he is known to many as a consummate scientist, a trusted advisor, and an outstanding teacher and mentor to numerous students, fellows, and current members.

“I was honored to learn that I would receive the Society’s Distinguished Service Award, but when I heard that the award had been renamed in memory of Ed Carney, the honor was magnified even more,” Dr. Friedman exclaimed. “Ed was a fine scientist, a great leader of our Society, and a terrific person. It will be poignant to invoke his name through this award when we meet in Montréal and for many years to come.”

Beyond being well-respected internationally and with an exemplary publication record, Dr. Friedman’s advisory roles to TERIS, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control stand out as examples of his strong leadership within the field of teratology. Through these and other numerous contributions, Dr. Friedman has left an indelible mark on the Teratology Society and the field of birth defects research at large.

In addition, Dr. Friedman will give this year’s Robert L. Brent Lecture. This lecture recognizes Robert L. Brent’s contributions to the Teratology Society and particularly to the implementation of the “Teratogen Update.” The purpose of the Robert L. Brent Lecture is to facilitate the discussion of new and old teratogens during the annual meeting. Dr. Friedman plans to focus on genome-wide sequencing during the talk.

“Genome-wide sequencing has revolutionized our understanding of the causes of birth defects like intellectual disability over the past few years. We have learned that there is a genetic cause for most severe intellectual disability and that this is usually the result of a new mutation rather than factors inherited from one or both parents. Using the Canadian FORGE project as an example, I will review some of the studies that have led to this remarkable conclusion and discuss the implications for future research into the prevention and treatment of birth defects,” he explained.

The 2015 Robert L. Brent Lecture will be presented by Dr. Friedman on Tuesday, June 30 at 8:30 am at the Teratology Society's 55th Annual Meeting.

To learn more about this and other honors, see all of the 2015 Teratology Society’s awards and recipients.

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