Congratulations to Rodney Dietert, PhD, recipient of the James G. Wilson Publication Award! Dr. Dietert is Professor of Immunotoxicology at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY and has been on the Cornell faculty for 38 years. He has more than 300 publications with most concerning early-life environmental risk factors for the developing immune system and programming of later-life, noncommunicable diseases.
The James G. Wilson Publication Award is presented in recognition of the best paper accepted or published in the journal Birth Defects Research. Dr. Dietert’s paper selected for this year’s award is The Microbiome in Early Life: Self-Completion and Microbiota Protection As Health Priorities.
Dr. Dietert praised the award’s namesake. “James Graves Wilson was a pioneer of modern-day teratology. He defined the six principles of teratology, laid out a template for studying early-life vulnerability to environmental factors including the importance of dose, and helped organize scientists into a society aimed at better protecting human health,” he said. “While my work across the decades has included several different research models and specific subjects, the one continuous theme has been the importance of early-life conditions in programming later life risk of disease. I am in deep gratitude that my recent effort in this area of study will receive this award.”
In addition to receiving this award, Dr. Dietert plans to present a talk during the Teratology Society’s 55th Annual Meeting in Montréal. During the presentation, he will cover two main points. “First, the newborn needs to be fully seeded with a healthy, intended microbiome at or near birth for the baby to become whole: that is, a complete human-microbial superorganism. Incomplete seeding of the microbiome at or near birth is the functional equivalent of a birth defect,” he explained. “Second, the microbiome defines our connection to the environment. This gatekeeping role is so significant that the microbiome will be paramount in future healthcare and safety evaluation.”
The 2015 James G. Wilson Publication Lecture will take place on Sunday, June 28 at 2:00 pm.
Learn more about all of the 2015 Teratology Society’s awards and recipients.