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UTAH Study Center: Utah
Phone: 866-818-7096
Website: http://health.utah.gov/birthdefect/
E-mail: ut@nbdps.org
  1. Study Center
  2. Principal Investigator
  3. Local Activities & Research
  4. Partners
  5. Recent Publications

Study Center
The Utah Center was established in 2002 and is based within the Utah Birth Defect Network (UBDN). The UBDN is a joint effort between the Utah Department of Health, the University of Utah Health Sciences Center and the University of Washington. The Utah Center's staff has expertise in epidemiology and genetics, including both molecular and clinical genetics. Since its inception in 1994, the UBDN has expanded into a comprehensive statewide surveillance program identifying major structural birth defects for all pregnancy outcomes. Our mission is to seek to prevent birth defects and secondary disabilities by monitoring occurrence, conducting research, providing education and outreach. To this end, the Utah Center is committed to helping families in Utah and will continue efforts towards understanding the cause of birth defects.

Utah researchers are particularly interested in congenital heart defects, gastroschisis, and cleft lip and palate. Congenital heart defects are common and represent 25% of all birth defects in Utah. Gastroschisis, though not as common, is increasing in Utah for reasons that are still unclear. Cleft lip and palate rates in Utah are some of the highest in the nation and among the highest in the world. Understanding the causes of specific birth defects will help to find strategies to lower the risk of birth defects and help families have healthy babies. Being part of the National Birth Defect Prevention Study is very exciting and the Utah Center team is committed to help train young scientists, to promote birth defects research, and prevention for decades to come.

Principal Investigator:
Marcia FeldkampMarcia Feldkamp, PhD, PA, MSPH, is the Director of the Utah Birth Defect Network and Principal Investigator of the Utah Center. She is responsible for overseeing the Center’s infrastructure, its related activities for data collection, and the research projects in Utah. In 2009, she was the Chair of the NBDPS Coordinating Council in 2009 and as of 2010, is the Chair of the Infection Work Group. Dr. Feldkamp is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah...Read More

Local Activities and Research:

  • Gastroschisis and Smoking
  • Gastroschisis and Preconception BMI
  • Genetic susceptibility of gastroschisis
  • Clinical description of gastroschisis
  • Familial analysis of gastroschisis
  • Familial analysis of congenital heart defects
  • Neural Tube Defects prevention (occurrence and recurrence)
  • WIC Vitamin Project
  • Hypospadias prevalence
  • Newborn Metabolic Surveillance and Short Term Outcomes
  • Race/Ethnicity Report (UDOH)
  • Birth defects and stillbirths
  • Stillbirths
  • Survival of babies with trisomy 13 and trisomy 18
  • Prenatal infection and inflammation biomarker study
  • Assisted reproductive technology and birth defects study
  • Down syndrome and hearing loss linkage (Newborn Hearing)
  • Cluster analysis
  • Utah County - heart defects
  • Box Elder County - Central Nervous System defects
  • Environmental Health Tracking Program - linkage and analysis
  • Clinical assessment of gastroschisis to assist with clinical decision making prior to delivery
  • Ongoing graduate student research projects
  • Geocoded data to conduct spatial analysis
  • Cost analysis using Medicaid linkage.


  • Molecular Genetics, University of Washington
  • Utah Chapter of the March of Dimes
  • Primary Children's Medical Center
  • University of Utah Health Sciences Center

Recent Publications
Feldkamp ML, Carmichael SL, Shaw GM, Panichello JD, Moore CA, Botto LD. Maternal nutrition and gastroschisis: findings from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2011; 204(5):404.e1-404.e10.