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Scientists Honored for Making Monumental Strides in Birth Defects Research

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
Timothy 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, Virgnia 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, nchavez(at)teratology(dot)org.

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