Meeting Information

Invitation from the President

I am pleased to invite you to attend the 60th Annual Meeting of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention, June 27–July 1, 2020, at the Charleston Marriott in Charleston, South Carolina. The theme for this year’s meeting is “Honoring Teratology’s Roots, Growing a Healthier Future.” This will be an exciting meeting as we celebrate both our history under the Teratology Society name and the important scientific advances symbolized by our new name and logo.

The Program Committee, chaired by Elise Madison Lewis, has put together an outstanding program around this theme with many sessions providing important historical perspectives and state-of-the-science updates on known teratogens and birth defects prevention. Our keynote speaker will be NICHD Director Dr. Diana Bianchi, and recently retired NIEHS Director Linda Birnbaum will deliver the Warkany Lecture. The program offers an exciting variety of scientific sessions on topics including:

  • Effects of water fluoridation on neurodevelopment
  • Experimental animal studies in counseling
  • Developmental neurotoxicity of methylmercury
  • Investigation of a potential outbreak of birth defects
  • Gene therapy, CRISPR/Cas9 technology, breakthroughs, and ethical challenges
  • Opioid use in pregnancy
  • Embryogenesis at high-resolution
  • Perinatal and postnatal exposures to environmental chemicals
  • Obesity and metabolic disorders
  • Assessing pregnancy risk of immunomodulators
  • Innovator award, trainee awards, professional development opportunities

The Education Committee, chaired by Caren Villano, has developed two exciting Education Courses pertaining to immune system development and juvenile toxicology. In addition, the Education Committee has organized a Lunch and Learn Mini Course on ovarian assessment.

Once again, we are pleased to offer joint sessions and a joint registration fee to maximize interactions with our sister societies—the Developmental Neurotoxicology Society (DNTS) and the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS). Concurrent meetings allow for joint sessions on topics of common interest and the opportunity for networking between attendees, enriching the exchange of scientific ideas for all participants.

To make this Annual Meeting truly excellent, WE NEED YOU to present your latest research findings! The abstract deadline is February 15, 2020. Plan now to submit an abstract of your work and spread the word to graduate students and trainees who can also apply for our travel and presentation awards!

Our Annual Meeting provides us with the opportunity to promote our shared vision and scientific identity as researchers focused on the causes, manifestations, intervention, and prevention of birth defects, both structural and functional. It is also a celebration of our scientific diversity as a Society of clinicians, scientists, and science policy regulators from academic, industrial, and government sectors, and an opportunity to bring a truly multidisciplinary perspective to important and emerging scientific issues. There is no better occasion to learn about the latest developments in birth defects research, to interact with scientists whom you have not yet met, and to network with old friends and colleagues. I look forward to seeing you in Charleston and hearing about your latest activities!

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