Memorial Service Update: Passing of Thomas H. Shepard, MD, Charter Member and Past President


Dear Teratology Society Members,shepard.jpg

It is with great sadness that I share with you the news of the passing of Thomas H. Shepard, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, University of Washington.

A charter member and Past President (1968-1969) of the Teratology Society, Dr. Shepard had a monumental and long-lasting impact on the field of teratology - as a scientist, mentor, teacher, and colleague. He served as a mentor to many of the leaders in the field and his many scientific contributions will continue to play a key role. As an example, the criteria that he developed back in 1994 were recently used as a framework to confirm that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other brain defects. 

In 2009, the Society’s journal Birth Defects Research (Part A) published a detailed tribute to Dr. Shepard written by friend and colleague Dr. Alan G. Fantel. Dr. Shepard was a regular participant in Teratology Society’s annual meetings, most recently playing an active role in the 2014 meeting which took place in Bellevue, Washington.

Today, the Seattle Times published Dr. Shepard’s Obituary which gives a glimpse into his professional interests and accomplishments as well as his personal pursuits which included sailing and art.

Dr. Shepard is survived by his wife Gretchen and his three daughters, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. 

A memorial for Dr. Shepard will be held on Saturday, October 29th at 2 pm at 1st United Methodist Church, 1934 108th Ave NE Bellevue, WA. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to World Relief or World Vision.  An on-line guest book is available at

Society members are encouraged to use the Comments function* below to share their remembrances of Dr. Shepard. We will send these with his family.

With warm regards,

Sonja A. Rasmussen, MD, MS

President, Teratology Society


*please note, you must be signed in to BDR Connection to leave a Comment.



1 Comment

Tom Shepard

October 7, 2016 08:16 AM by Carole A. Kimmel

So sorry to hear about the passing of Tom Shepard.  He was a great friend, physician and scientist.  A giant in the field.  He will be missed.

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