Press Release: Scientists Honored for Making Monumental Strides in Birth Defects Research

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April 20, 2016

Scientists Honored for Making Monumental Strides in Birth Defects Research

Teratology Society Recognizes More Than A Dozen Notable Researchers Across North America

RESTON, VIRGINIA—As Alcohol Awareness Month is recognized nationally, scientists producing the latest research surrounding alcohol use during pregnancy, as well as other exposures leading to serious birth defects, are being recognized by the world’s premier society for this specialized type of science. The Teratology Society is an international professional group of scientists hailed as the prime source for cutting-edge research and authoritative information related to birth defects and developmentally-mediated disorders.

"Teratologists study something that affects every single person in one way or another around the world—pregnancy and the exposures that could potentially disrupt the process or the proper development of the baby," said Tacey E. White, PhD, Teratology Society President. "Recent epidemics like the Zika virus, have shined a spotlight on just how important this particular research—teratology—is. It’s important that we recognize these researchers for the exciting science that’s leading to healthier babies and, ultimately, a healthier world," she added.

Through its 2016 Teratology Society Awards and Special Lectures, more than a dozen scientists, including epidemiologists, toxicologists, and health care providers, will be recognized for advancing the science of birth defects research. The scientists will be formally honored during the Society’s 56th Annual Meeting at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio, TX, June 25–29, 2016.

The 2016 Teratology Society award recipients and special lecturers include:


Robert L. Brent Lecture: Teratogen Update

Christina L. Chambers, PhD, MPH, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA

Scheduled presentation: "Preventing the Preventable: Where Do We Stand on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in 2016?"


Josef Warkany Lecture

Elaine M. Faustman, PhD, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Scheduled presentation: "Framing Our Birth Defects Questions with Systems Biology: Learning from Our Mentors"


F. Clarke Fraser New Investigator Award

Nicole Churchill Kleinstreuer, PhD, NIEHS NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods, Research Triangle Park, NC

Scheduled presentation: "Of Mice, Math, and Modeling"


Patricia Rodier Mid-Career Award for Research and Mentoring

Christina L. Chambers, PhD, MPH, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA

Scheduled presentation: "Research on Long Term Outcomes following Prenatal Exposures: Rarely Studied But Sorely Needed"


James G. Wilson Publication Award for the best paper published in the journal Birth Defects Research

"A Comparison of ToxCast Test Results with In Vivo and Other In Vitro Endpoints for Neuro, Endocrine, and Developmental Toxicities: A Case Study Using Endosulfan and Methidathion" (Birth Defects Research Part B, 2015 104(2) 71-89) Authors: M. Silva, N. Pham, C. Lewis, S. Iyer, E. Kwok, G. Solomon and L. Zeise

A presentation of the research findings will be made by Marilyn H. Silva, PhD, DABT, California Environmental Protection Agency, Sacramento, CA.


Agnish Fellowship

Richard K. Miller, PhD, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY

Scheduled presentation: "Teratology: Expanding Educational Approaches for Health Care Providers, Regulators, Scientists and Counselors"


Birth Defects Research Distinguished Scholar Awards

Muriel J. Harris, PhD, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

Diana M. Juriloff, PhD, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

Tim F. Oberlander, MD, FRCPC, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC


Edward W. Carney Distinguished Service Award

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


Edward W. Carney Trainee Award

Deirdre K. Tucker, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Student and Postdoctoral Fellow Travel Awards

Shama Bhatia, University of Toronto

Takoua Boukhris, University of Montreal

Songying Cao, China Medical University

Natasha Catlin, National Toxicology Program, NIEHS

Monica Chan, University of Georgia

Harpreet Chima, University of California at Davis

Maëlle Dandjinou, University of Montreal, CHU ste Justine

Kristin Di Bona, The University of Texas at Austin

Daoyin Dong, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Danielle Drake, University of Toronto

Nazem El Husseini, McGill University

Shadi-Afarin Ghassemi Jahani, Göteborg University

Bradley Holbrook, University of New Mexico

Maxwell Leung, US Environmental Protection Agency

Valerie McDonald, Virginia Tech

Marie McKenzie, University of Georgia

Flory Muanda, University of Montreal

Nelson Pace, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Julie Park, University of Washington

Reza Razvi, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

Shikhar Shrestha, University of New Mexico

Nicole Sparks, University of California Riverside

Deirdre Tucker, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Camila Ventura, Altino Ventura Foundation

Lauren Walker, University of California, Riverside

Charles Wells, Emporia State University

Carly Wilder, University of Washington

Penghua Yang, University of Maryland, Baltimore


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 56th Annual Meeting website.

The journal Birth Defects Research is published by John Wiley & Sons in partnership with the Teratology Society.

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Media Contact: Nicole Chavez, 619-368-3259,

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