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Richard K. Miller Honored by International Federation of Placenta Associations

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Richard K. Miller, Ph.D., professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Environmental Medicine and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine received the highest honor awarded by the International Federation of Placenta Associations (IFPA) – the IFPA Senior Award in Placentology – at the organization’s annual meeting in September. The award recognizes the work of an established senior investigator who has led placental research groups for a substantial period of time and made significant contributions to the understanding of placental and reproductive functions. Award winners have also demonstrated a sustained commitment to the development of younger placental researchers and to the placental/reproductive research community as a whole.

Nicholas Illsley, D.Phil., current president of IFPA and senior scientist in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hackensack University Medical Center said of Miller: “He is one of those visionaries who has put so much into placentology and into its organizations like IFPA and perhaps most importantly, into its science and its scientists. I and many others are grateful for his efforts.”

Miller’s lab focuses on the role of the placenta as the anchor, controller and conduit during pregnancy, as well as a site for toxic action. He has developed processes for collecting placenta samples and is using these samples to develop predictive tools that will help determine if children are at risk for a variety of health problems. He was invited to give a lecture at the IFPA meeting and reviewed the technologies developed here in Rochester, as well as his discoveries related to vitamin B12 and transcobalamin II; transplacental infectivity of HIV, CMV and Echo 11; the use of magnetic resonance and ultrasound technologies and most recently elastography; and the assessment of the toxicity of environmental agents, such as metals (cadmium, gadolinium, lead) and plasticizers, using in vitro models and environmental studies using the placenta in Rochester, the Ukraine, Tennessee and across the U.S. as part of the NIH National Children’s Study.

He dedicated his lecture to four mentors: Henry A. Thiede, M.D.; Robert L. Brent, M.D., Ph.D.; William O. Berndt, Ph.D.; and Maurice Panigel, M.D., Ph.D. He also recognized many of his collaborators, as well as the 25 fellows and graduate students he has trained throughout his career.

The IFPA is comprised of four placental research organizations from different regions around the world, including: the Australian and New Zealand Placental Research Association; the European Placenta Group; the Japan Placenta Association; and the Placenta Association of the Americas. Miller was instrumental in the creation of the IFPA, which grew out of the Rochester Trophoblast Conferences created in Rochester by Thiede and Curtis Lund during the early 1960s. In the past 56 years, the IFPA has grown to have a membership of more than 800 clinicians and basic scientists worldwide.

URMC’s periFACTS OB/GYN Academy Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

PeriFACTS OB/GYN Academy is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month. On September 16, 1991, periFACTS sent its first transmission via fax machine to a local hospital. Since then the program, educational offerings, and subscribers have grown and are now accessed by more than 11,000 nurses, doctors, and students locally, across the United States, and abroad.

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Richard K. Miller, Ph.D., Receives Agnish Fellowship

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Richard K. Miller, Ph.D., professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Environmental Medicine and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine will receive the Agnish Fellowship at the Teratology Society’s 56th Annual Meeting held June 25 to 29 in San Antonio. The Teratology Society is an international professional group of nearly 700 scientists conducting research related to birth defects and the Agnish Fellowship is awarded each year to a long-standing member who has made a major contribution to education in the field.

Miller has dedicated his career to the study of pregnancy and exposures that could potentially cause harm. His laboratory focuses on how viruses, metals, antiretroviral therapy, vitamins, nanoparticles and hyperthermia affect typical fetal development. He has trained more than 25 fellows and graduate students and served as scientific director of the NIH-sponsored Women's Reproductive Health Research Scholars Program to train ob/gyns as clinical scientists at the University of Rochester from 1999 to 2010.

Miller is past president of the Teratology Society and founder and longtime director of MotherToBABY UR Medicine (formerly known as the Perinatal Environmental and Drug Consultation Service), a service that provides advice to women and families regarding environmental, occupational or therapeutic exposures before or during pregnancy. He is also co-director of the New York State Center of Excellence in Children’s Environmental Health at the University of Rochester, called the Finger Lakes Children’s Environmental Health Center.

Michele Burtner, MS, CNM, IBCLC Selected as a Fellow for the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Michele BurtnerMichele Burtner, MS, CNM, IBCLC of Pittsford, NY has been selected as a fellow for the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program. The Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program, a one year experience, is a partnership between Duke University School of Medicine, Duke University School of Nursing and Johnson & Johnson. The program was created to provide leadership development for advanced practice nurses. Selected fellows, start the program in May 2016, and will participate in three leadership retreats throughout the year as well as distance-based learning activities and a transformative health leadership project. The program will provide each fellow with the leadership and management skills required to effectively address the needs of their communities - especially that of underserved populations -- and to become change agents within their practice settings and the evolving health care environment.

Community Talk on Zika Virus Features Infectious Disease Expert from Brazil

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

As the warm summer season approaches, the possibility of a Zika outbreak in the United States looms large. The greatest concern is for women of childbearing age, as studies continue to link exposure to the virus in pregnancy to serious birth defects like microcephaly, hearing loss and blindness.

Esper Kallas, M.D., Ph.D., an infectious diseases specialist and professor of Medicine at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil will speak about Zika virus on Monday, May 9 at 7:30 pm in the Eisenhart Auditorium at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. The event is free and open to the public. Kallas will be joined by a panel of experts from the University of Rochester Medical Center:

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Dyson Day Lecture Examines Effective Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Monroe County offers some of the best pediatric health care in the country. Yet, children in Monroe County have poor outcomes in a number of important areas. At the 16th Annual Anne E. Dyson Memorial Grand Rounds, set for Wednesday, March 9 at 8:00 a.m. in the Class of ’62 Auditorium, local panelists will discuss the connections between teen and unplanned pregnancy and poverty, and the evidence-based programs that can address unintended pregnancy in Rochester.

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