Meeting Information

Invitation from the President

President’s Invitation to the 61st Annual Meeting

I am pleased to invite you to attend the 61st Annual Meeting of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention, a fully online, virtual experience that will take place weekdays from June 24 to July 1, 2021, with three Education Courses scheduled later in July. We believe this meeting format is the safest approach for the well-being of our members and speakers, and we are excited that we can build on the successes and lessons learned through our impactful 2020 virtual meeting.

The Program Committee, chaired by Susan Makris, has put together an outstanding program around the meeting theme which is “Building Bridges in Birth Defects Research and Prevention: From Innovation to Application.” The Keynote Lecture will be given by Carleigh Krubiner, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. Dr. Krubiner’s research focuses on ethical issues surrounding the equitable development and delivery of health interventions in low and middle-income settings. For the past several years, Dr. Krubiner has co-led work focusing on how epidemic vaccine development and deployment can be more responsive to the health interests of pregnant women, with more recent work focusing on COVID-19 vaccine R&D and distribution.

The 61st Annual Meeting program offers an exciting variety of scientific sessions on topics including:

  • Approaches for Mechanistic Evidence Analysis in Hazard Evaluation of Reproductive Toxicology Data
  • The Effects of Water Fluoridation on Neurodevelopment and Other Health Outcomes
  • Neglected Diseases/Neglected Patients
  • Cannabis in Pregnancy and Through Generations
  • Nonclinical Considerations for Inclusion of Pregnant and Lactating Women in Clinical Trials
  • Current Topics and Updates for Pregnancy Registries
  • Can Experimental Animal Studies Be Used in Counseling
  • Molecular Mechanisms of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) in Humans and Animal Models
  • Refining Toxicology Testing to Detect Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
  • Transforming Women’s Health Through Better Information on the Safety of Medications During Pregnancy and Lactation
  • Assessing Reproductive Risks from Fracking and Mountaintop Mining
  • New Frontiers in Developmental Toxicity Testing for Environmental Chemicals
Our virtual annual meeting will also include a Research Needs Workshop and a Professional Development Workshop plus several platform sessions, including the Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Fellow Platform and the Innovator Award Finalists Platform. This year the Poster Sessions will allow attendees to interact with poster authors in a face-to-face virtual setting so they can showcase their research and generate a discussion. As in previous years, the best trainee platform and poster presentations will be recognized with special awards.

Networking is a cornerstone of our annual meeting, and this year attendees will have more opportunities to partake in interactive and engaging experiences through a dynamic virtual platform, all while connecting from the comfort and safety of your home or office. In addition, our trainees and early career professionals will have an opportunity to learn more about our Society through mentorship.

The Education Committee, chaired by Christina Carruthers, has developed three exciting Education Courses pertaining to Craniofacial Morphogenesis and Teratogenesis, Development and Disorders of the Gastrointestinal Tract, and Single-Cell RNA Sequencing in Understanding Normal and Abnormal Development. We have reserved a few dates in July for these exceptional educational opportunities.
We hope you will join us online for what promises to be an informative and engaging virtual meeting.  Spread the word and invite your colleagues to participate as well. In particular, please let any trainees you know that trainees whose abstracts are accepted may attend the full virtual meeting free of charge.
For those who have never had the opportunity to attend a BDRP Annual Meeting, join us in 2021 and see for yourself how BDRP hosts an outstanding educational and scientific event that provides professionals and scientists who span the breadth of academia, industry, regulatory agencies, consulting companies, and clinical specialties with a forum to exchange knowledge and ideas that promote and expand the value of birth defect research and prevention.

Thank you in advance for your willingness to celebrate our scientific diversity as a Society by participating and supporting our 61st Annual Meeting.