California represents 15% of all births in the United States. This year alone, 17,000 babies with birth defects will be born in California, and as many as 2,000 of these babies will die before their first birthday. Discovering causes is our only hope for preventing these outcomes.
The California Center is a collaborative partnership between Stanford University and the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program in the Department of Public Health. The Center collects data from women residing in eight counties in the Central Valley. It has been funded by CDC since 1997.
Gary Shaw, DrPH, is Principal Investigator for the California Center. Dr. Shaw has been conducting research on birth defects for over 20 years and is a recognized leader in birth defects research. He has produced numerous publications on birth defect causes related to diet, obesity, drugs, alcohol, stress, pollution, occupations, and genes. Dr. Shaw is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University...Read More
Suzan Carmichael, PhD, is Co-Investigator for the California Center and joined the Center in 1998. She is a recognized leader in birth defects research and has produced numerous publications on birth defect causes related to diet, obesity, drugs, alcohol, stress, pollution, occupations, and genes. Dr. Carmichael is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University.…Read More
Local Activities and Research:
Our research answers why certain racial or ethnic groups are at higher risk of birth defects.
Our research answers questions from parents in California about how to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
- Why are Latinos at increased risk of brain and spinal birth defects?
- Why are African-American babies with birth defects more likely to die?
Our research answers questions about environmental exposures that are especially important in California.
- Will stress hurt my baby?
- Will eating certain foods help my baby?
- Does exposure to pesticides, contaminated water, or air pollution cause birth defects?
California Birth Defects Monitoring Program, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division/Center for Family Health, California Department of Public Health
Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute
Dell Pediatrics Research Institute, Austin Texas
University of California, San Francisco
March of Dimes Foundation
Texas A&M University Institute of Biosciences and Technology
Carmichael SL, Ma C, Feldkamp ML, Munger RG, Olney RS, Botto LD, Shaw GM, Correa A. Nutritional factors and hypospadias risks. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2012; 26(4):353-360.
Carmichael SL, Yang W, Feldkamp ML, Munger RG, Siega-Riz AM, Botto LD, Shaw G, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Reduced risks of neural tube defects and orofacial clefts with higher diet quality. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2012; 166(2):121-126.
Ma C, Shaw GM, Scheuerle AE, Canfield MA, Carmichael SL, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Association of microtia and maternal nutrition. Birth Defects Research (Part A): Clinical and Molecular Teratology. 2012; 94(12):1026-1032.
Yang W, Carmichael SL, Tinker SC, Shaw GM, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Association between weight gain during pregnancy and neural tube defects and gastroschisis in offspring. Birth Defects Research (Part A): Clinical and Molecular Teratology. 2012; (12):1019-1025.
Carmichael SL, Gonzalez-Feliciano AG, Ma C, Shaw GM, Cogswell ME. Estimated dietary phytoestrogen intake and major food sources among women during the year before pregnancy. Nutrition Journal. 2011; 10:105.
Shaw GM, Carmichael SL, Yang W, Siega-Riz AM. Periconceptional intake of folic acid and food folate and risks of preterm delivery. American Journal of Perinatology. 2011; (10):747-752.