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Texas Study Center: Texas
Phone: 512- 458-7232
Website: www.dshs.state.tx.us/birthdefects
E-Mail: tx@nbdps.org
  1. Study Center
  2. Principal Investigators
  3. Local Activities & Research
  4. Partners
  5. Recent Publications

Study Center
In 1996, the Texas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention was established as a part of the Birth Defects Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch of the Texas Department of State Health Services in Austin. The mission of the Texas Center is to conduct research studies to understand the causes of specific birth defects, including [participation in] the National Birth Defects Prevention Study.

The Texas Center is in a unique position to contribute to our understanding of what causes birth defects, especially due to the 1,200-mile border shared with Mexico. Health disparities between Texans living along the border with Mexico and those in non-border communities have long been a concern for public health officials.

The national study area for Texas is currently the Lower Rio Grande Valley, which encompasses Gulf Coast industrial cities such as Corpus Christi, as well as Cameron and Webb Counties. These two counties on the border with Mexico have experienced some of the country's highest neural tube defect rates.

Principal Investigators: Mark A. Canfield, Ph.D.

 



Peter Langolis







Local Activities and Research:
In addition to participating in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, the Texas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention has previously funded local research projects, including studies that examine:

  • The interaction of metabolic, genetic, and environmental risk factors for certain birth defects of the brain and spinal cord
  • The link between neural tube defects and maternal risk factors, such as maternal diabetes, obesity, smoking, and dieting behaviors
  • The link between birth defects and certain environmental factors, such as hazardous waste sites and air pollution
  • Patterns and risk factors associated with oral clefts and clubfoot in Texas

Partners:
The Texas Center is comprised of State Health Department employees and researchers from various Texas universities with expertise in demographic, maternal, and environmental risk factors for birth defects, survey research, and molecular genetics. Our center has a specific interest in the epidemiology of neural tube defects (major birth defects of the brain and spine).

  • Baylor College of Medicine – Houston, TX
  • Texas A&M University, Public Policy Research Institute – College Station
  • Texas A&M Health Science Center, Institute of Biosciences and Technology – Houston
  • Texas A&M Health Science Center, School of Rural Public Health – College Station
  • Texas State University – San Marcos
  • The University of Texas School of Public Health – Houston
  • The University of Texas Medical School – Houston
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical School – Dallas
Recent Publications
Agopian AJ, Lupo PJ, Herdt-Losavio ML, Rocheleau CM, Mitchell LE, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Differences in folic acid use, prenatal care, smoking, and drinking in early pregnancy by occupation. Preventative Medicine. 2012; 55(4):341-5.

Agopian AJ, Lupo PJ, Tinker SC, Canfield MA, Mitchell LE, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Working towards a risk prediction model for neural tube defects. Birth Defects Research (Part A): Clinical and Molecular Teratology. 2012; 94(3):141-6.

Brender JD, Werler MM, Shinde MU, Vuong AM, Kelley KE, Huber Jr. JC, Sharkey JR, Griesenbeck JS, Romitti PA, Malik S, Suarez L, Langlois PH, Canfield MA, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Nitrosatable drug exposure during the first trimester of pregnancy and selected congenital malformations. Birth Defects Research (Part A): Clinical and Molecular Teratology. 2012; 94(9):701-713.

Duong HT, Hoyt AT, Carmichael SL, Giloba SM, Canfield MA, Case A, McNeese ML, Waller DK, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Is maternal parity an independent risk factor for birth defects? Birth Defects Research (Part A): Clinical and Molecular Teratology. 2012; 94(4):230-236.

Langlois PH, Hoyt AT, Lupo PJ, Lawson CC, Waters MA, Desrosiers TA, Shaw GM, Romitti PA, Lammer EJ, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Maternal occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and risk of neural tube defect-affected pregnancies. Birth Defects Research (Part A): Clinical and Molecular Teratology. 2012; 94(9):693-700.

Lupo PJ, Langlois PH, Reefhuis J, Lawson CC, Symanski E, Desrosiers TA, Khodr ZG, Agopian AJ, Waters MA, Duwe KN, Finnell RH, Mitchell LE, Moore CA, Romitti PA, Shaw GM, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Maternal occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: effects on gastroschisis among offspring in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2012; 120(6):910-915.

Agopian AJ, Canfield MA, Olney RS, Lupo PJ, Ramadhani T, Mitchell LE, Shaw GM, Moore CA, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Spina bifida subtypes and sub-phenotypes by maternal race/ethnicity in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part A. 2011; 158A(1):109-115.

Brender JD, Kelley KE, Werler MM, Langlois PH, Suarez L, Canfield MA; National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Prevalence and patterns of nitrosatable drug use among U.S. women during early pregnancy. Birth Defects Research (Part A): Clinical and Molecular Teratology. 2011; 91(4):258-64.

Brender JD, Werler MM, Kelley KE, Vuong AM, Shinde MU, Zheng Q, Huber Jr. JC, Sharkey JR, Griesenbeck JS, Romitti PA, Langlois PH, Suarez L, Canfield MA, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Nitrosatable drug exposure during early pregnancy and neural tube defects in offspring: National Birth Defects Prevention Study. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2011; 174(11):1286-1295.

Duong HT, Shahrukh Hashmi S, Ramadhani T, Canfield MA, Scheuerle A, Waller DK, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Maternal use of hot tub and major structural birth defects. Birth Defects Research (Part A): Clinical and Molecular Teratology. 2011; 91(9):836-841.

Ramadhani TA, Canfield MA, Farag NH, Royle M, Correa A, Waller DK, Scheuerle A, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Do foreign- and U.S.-born mothers across racial/ethnic groups have a similar risk profile for selected sociodemographic and periconceptional factors? Birth Defects Research (Part A): Clinical and Molecular Teratology. 2011; 91(9):823-830.

Suarez L, Ramadhani TA, Felkner M, Canfield MA, Brender JD, Romitti PA, Sun L. Maternal smoking, passive tobacco smoke, and neural tube defects. Birth Defects Research (Part A): Clinical and Molecular Teratology. 2011; 91(9):29-33.