In New York State, there are about 250,000 births every year. Over 10,000 of these infants will have a major birth defect. Birth defects are the leading cause of infant mortality and a major cause of death through adulthood. The funding for the New York Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention has greatly enhanced its capacity to perform research into the causes of birth defects.
The New York State Congenital Malformations Registry was awarded the National Birth Defect Network’s “State Service/ State Leadership Award.” Using resources from the New York Center, the registry provides advice and assistance for other state programs.
We appreciate the participation of over 3,000 New York families in the NBDPS, the largest study of birth defects in the United States.
Charlotte Druschel, MD, MPH, is the Medical Director of the New York State Congenital Malformations Registry and the Principal Investigator of the New York Center for the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Dr. Druschel is a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist who has more than 25 years of experience in birth defects research. Her most recent publications have focused on maternal illnesses and medications and identifying environmental and genetic risk factors for specific birth defects. Dr. Druschel has also played a key role in developing methodology for the surveillance of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and muscular dystrophy...Read More
Erin Bell, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University at Albany’s School of Public Health where she also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. Dr. Bell received her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch of the National Cancer Institute. Her research interests include examining environmental and occupational exposures and their association with reproductive outcomes and child development. Dr. Bell currently serves as Co-PI of the New York Center for the NBDPS where she leads the interview team...Read More
Marilyn Browne, PhD, is a research scientist at the New York State Department of Health and a Co-Principal Investigator of the New York Center for the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Dr. Browne has more than 10 years experience each in environmental health research and in birth defects research. She uses information from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study to better understand which medications mothers can safely use to treat health conditions during pregnancy. Dr. Browne also studies genetic risk factors for birth defects...Read More
Local Activities and Research:
- Untreated hypertension, thyroid disease, and asthma could pose a risk to the mother and baby. Our studies of maternal illness and medication use can help women and physicians make informed decisions about medication use during pregnancy.
- We are studying the effects of caffeine on the risk of various birth defects. A study that takes into account genetically determined differences in caffeine metabolism is being planned.
- Since we are based in the Department of Health’s Center for Environmental Health, a recipient of an Environmental Public Health Tracking award, we can use these resources to conduct studies of air pollution, tap water use, and birth defects.
- New York is a rural state and issues of pesticide exposure are of concern. We have formed a strong collaboration with the University at Albany, and have developed a pilot study, the Home and Occupational Pesticide Exposure (HOPE) study, to collect additional information on pesticide exposure.
University of Albany, School of Public Health
Division of Genetics, Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo
Lin S, Herdt-Losavio ML, Chapman BR, Munsie JP, Olshan AF, Druschel CM, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Maternal occupation and the risk of major birth defects: A follow-up analysis from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health. 2012; [Epub ahead of print].
Chen L, Bell EM, Browne ML, Druschel CM, Romitti PA, Schmidt RJ, Burns TL, Moslehi R, Olney RS, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Maternal caffeine consumption and risk of congenital limb deficiencies. Birth Defects Research (Part A): Clinical and Molecular Teratology. 2012; 94(12):1033-1043.
Lin S, Munsie JP, Herdt-Losavio ML, Druschel CM, Campbell K, Browne ML, Romitti PA, Olney RS, Bell EM, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Maternal asthma medication use and the risk of selected birth defects. Pediatrics. 2012; 129(2):e317-e324.
Browne ML, Hoyt AT, Feldkamp ML, Rasmussen SA, Marshall EG, Druschel CM, Romitti PA. Maternal caffeine intake and risk of selected birth defects in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Birth Defects Research (Part A): Clinical and Molecular Teratology. 2011; 91(2):93-101.
Carter TC, Olney RS, Mitchell AA, Romitti PA, Bell EM, Druschel CM; National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Maternal self-reported genital tract infections during pregnancy and the risk of selected birth defects. Birth Defects Research (Part A): Clinical and Molecular Teratology. 2011; 91(2):108-116.
Richardson S, Browne ML, Rasmussen SA, Druschel CM, Sun L, Jabs EW, Romitti PA, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Associations between periconceptional alcohol consumption and craniosynostosis, omphalocele, and gastroschisis. Birth Defects Research (Part A): Clinical and Molecular Teratology. 2011; 91(7):623-630.