Ruth A. Lawrence, M.D.

Ruth A. Lawrence, M.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 777
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 275-4354
Fax: (585) 461-3614

Professional Bio

Ruth A. Lawrence, MD, FAAP, FAACT
Dr. Ruth A. Lawrence, MD, is a graduate of Antioch College and the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, is a pediatrician, clinical toxicologist, and neonatologist. She is Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Medical Director of the Ruth A.
Lawernce Poison and Drug Information Center and of the Breastfeeding and Human Lactation Study Center.

She became the Director of the Poison Center at the University of Rochester in 1958 following its founding as the second center in the country in 1954 at the request of the New York State Health Department. Dr. Charles Lobeck was the first director. It was the first center to answer calls from the public.

In the 1960's, with Dr. Robert J. Haggerty, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and former Director of the Boston Poison Center, she wrote on the management of household poisonings. Plants and herbs are Dr. Lawrence's special interest in toxicology as well as questions of medications during pregnancy and lactation.

Dr. Lawrence has served on a number of American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) committees including the original committee to establish certifying guidelines for centers. She served on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology for three terms and was Chair of the Committee on Fellowship during that time.

When the New York State Department of Health established its consulting committee for poison services, she served as its first chair. She has been a member of the New York State Association of Poison Centers since its founding and has served as its President twice.

Dr. Lawrence received the Life Time Achievement Award from the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology in September 2002.

Research Bio

Ruth A. Lawrence's focus in neonatal care has been nutrition. Recently that interest has been predominantly in human milk and breastfeeding. Since human lactation has suffered from considerable neglect, a textbook, "Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession" now in its7th Edition (2010) has consumed considerable time in researching the current literature and creating a computerized database and developing consensus. Specific research projects have been done in collaboration with Cynthia Howard at RGH. The current funded study involves Vitamin D and its levels in human milk. Breastfeeding mother-infant pairs are recruited to test the impact of high dose Vitamin D (4000 units daily) for the mother on Vitamin D levels in her milk and her baby. They are also followed with densometry.

Dr. Lawrence has also been involved in efforts to provide human milk for prematures. A product has been produced exclusively from human milk to be used to supplement a mother's own milk who is feeding a premature. The product was developed in consultation with Dr. Lawrence by Prolacta Bioscience, a human milk bank. The study will be funded by Prolacta. A blinded, randomized study of the supplement will test its impact on the growth of the prematures as well as the incidence of infections compared to breastfeeding prematures who are supplemented with a bovine product.

Other work based on clinical toxicology issues and prevention education is funded by HHS grants through Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and carried out at the Poison Center.

Awards & Honors (Local)

Distinguished Alumni Award | University of Rochester School of Medicine 2010 - Present
Lifetime Achievement Award | Recipient, Anthony L. Jordan Recognition | Anthony L. Jordan Health Center 2010 - Present
Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Rochester School of Medicine 2010
Doctor of Divinity (Honorary) | St. Bernard's Scool of Theology and Ministry 2009 - Present
Recipient, Dr. Richard Bayley Award | Richmond Univesity Medical Center 2009 - Present
Recipient, Martha May Eliott Award | American Public Health Association 2009 - Present
Athena Award | Women's Council of the Rochester Business Council 2008 - Present
Health Leadership Award 2007 - Present
Life Time Achievement Award (1st) | Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine 2006 - Present
Perinatal Award | Perinatal Network of Monro County. community Champion 2006 - Present
Life Time Achievement Award, Girl Scouts of Genesee Valley 2005
Honor, Finger Lakes Regional Poison & Drug Information Center renamed to Ruth A. Lawrence Poison and Drug Information Center 2004
Who's Who in Medicine and Health Care, 5th Edition 2004 - 2005
Recipient, The 2003 Healthy Children Lifetime Achievement Award 2003
Fellow, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine 2003
Recipient, Leading Breastfeeding National Advocacy Award, Leading Lady 2003
Life-time Achievement Award, American Academy of Clinical Toxicology 2002
Member, Honorary Committee, Promoting the Best from the Beginning chaired by Mrs. Laura Bush, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies 2002
Recipient, Great Minds of the 21st Century 2002
Recipient, America's Top Pediatricians, Consumers' Research Council of America 2002 - 2003
Recipient, Edward Mott Moore Award, Monroe County Medical Society 2001
Recipient, The Healthy Start Rochester Community Consortium, Community Unity for Healthier Babies Recognition Award for Commitme | Recipient, The Healthy Start Rochester Community Consortium, Com 2001
Recipient, Best Doctors List 2001 - 2002
Recipient, Healthy Children 2000 Lifetime Achievement Award 1999
Recipient, Association of American Medical Colleges Humanism in Medicine Award 1999
Recipient, Second Annual Susan B. Anthony University Center Lifetime Achievement Award 1998
Recipient, The Jordan Health Center Special Recognition Award 1998
Recipient, Special Recognition Award from Best Start and USDA, presented at the launching of USDA Breastfeeding Campaign | Washington, D.C. 1997
Recipient, Civic Health Care Award of the Greater Rochester Metro Chamber of Commerce 1996
Recipient, Faculty Service Award, Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry 1996
Committee on the Status of Women, for outstanding leadership, commitment, and the pursuit of excellence | Commendation: University of Rochester 1995
Recipient, La Leche League International Award of Achievement 1995
Recipient: The AACT Recognition Award, The AAPCC Lifetime Achievement Award, The NYSAPCC Recognition Service Award | Presented by AACT, AAPCC, and NYSAPCC 1995
Recipient, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Award for leaders in the community who have made a significant impact on the quality of life 1993
Recipient, George Washington Goler Award presented by the Board of the New York State Public Health Association, Genesee Region 1992
Recipient, Citation for Outstanding Service, 75th Anniversary of the Health Association 1992
Honorary Member, Department of Pediatrics, The Genesee Hospital 1991 - Present
Recipient, Albert David Kaiser Medal presented by the Rochester Academy of Medicine 1991
Rochester Diocesan Award for Women - St. Bernard's Institute 1989
Career Achievement Award - Girl Scouts of the Genesee Valley 1987
Citation for Civic Contribution - Rochester Safety Council 1984
William Keeler Award for Safety - Rochester Safety Council 1982
Honorary Fellowship in American Academy of Clinical Toxicology 1980 - Present
Gold Medal Award: University of Rochester Alumni Association Citation 1979
Academy of Medicine Citation for Service to the Community 1979
Hettie Shumway Award for Community Service 1979
Who's Who in America, + Subsequent Editions 1979 - Present
Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, Department of Pediatrics 1977 - 1978
Faculty Service Award, Department of Pediatrics 1977 - 1978
Outstanding Contribution - World's Who's Who of Women 1973
Who's Who in the East + Subsequent Edition 1972 - Present
Who's Who in Women, 1st Edition + Subsequent Editions 1970 - Present
Woman of the Year, Girl Scouts of Monroe County 1968
Honorary Fellowship in American School Health Association 1960
Alpha Omega Alpha 1949
Secretary to Zeta Chapter AOA 1949
Research Fellowship - Jackson Memorial Research Labs Cancer and Genetics 1945
Leopold Schepp Foundation Scholarship 1941 - 1949

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 148 available »

2013 May
Dozier AM, Howard CR, Brownell EA, Wissler RN, Glantz JC, Ternullo SR, Thevenet-Morrison KN, Childs CK, Lawrence RA. "Labor epidural anesthesia, obstetric factors and breastfeeding cessation." Maternal and child health journal. 2013 May; 17(4):689-98.
2012 Oct
Brownell E, Howard CR, Lawrence RA, Dozier AM. "Delayed onset lactogenesis II predicts the cessation of any or exclusive breastfeeding." The Journal of pediatrics. 2012 Oct; 161(4):608-14. Epub 2012 May 09.
2012 Apr
Lawrence RA. "Breastfeeding--a public health issue, not just a matter of choice." Breastfeeding medicine : the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. 2012 Apr; 7(2):67-8.
2012 Feb
Lawrence RA. "Challenges to successful breastfeeding." Breastfeeding medicine : the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. 2012 Feb; 7(1):1-2.
2011 Dec
Lawrence RA. "Increasing breastfeeding duration: changing the paradigm." Breastfeeding medicine : the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. 2011 Dec; 6(6):367-8.

Current Appointments

Northumberland Trust Professorship in Pediatrics - Department of Pediatrics (SMD)
Professor - Department of Pediatrics, Neonatology (SMD) - Primary


Pediatrics - American Board of Pediatrics


MD | Medicine | University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry1949
BS | Biology | Antioch College1945

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Residency in Pediatrics at University of Rochester Medical Center07/01/1956 - 05/30/1958
Residency in Pediatrics at Yale University -New Haven Hospital08/01/1950 - 11/30/1951
Internship in Pediatrics at Yale University -New Haven Hospital07/01/1949 - 06/30/1950