Cordero to receive Teratology Society honor, present Zika work

Dr. José F. Cordero, Patel Distinguished Professor of Public Health at the UGA College of Public Health, will be one of more than a dozen birth defects researchers to be honored at the Teratology Society’s Annual Meeting June 24 – 28, 2017 in Denver, Colorado.

The Teratology Society is an international and multidisciplinary group of scientists including researchers, clinicians, epidemiologists, and public health professionals from academia, government and industry who study birth defects, reproduction, and disorders of developmental origin.

A leader in Zika research, Cordero has been invited to by the Teratology Society to present the Josef Warkany Lecture – “Preventing Congenital Zika Syndrome: Lessons Learned from Rubella Elimination” – June 25 at the Annual Meeting.

The Josef Warkany Lecturer is selected each year by the Society President in recognition of that scientist’s significant contributions to the field of teratology during their career.

He will also co-chair “An Update on the Zika Virus” symposium with Teratology Society President and director of the CDC Division of Public Health Information Dr. Sonja A. Rasmussen on June 28.

“Zika emergence is a wake-up call to bring together the best of team science to understand the biology of Zika infections, its control and prevention,” Cordero said.

Cordero, who heads the College’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, has dedicated his career to addressing maternal and child health, minority health and health disparities. A former Assistant Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, he has served in a number of leadership position at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including deputy director of the National Immunization program and founding director of the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

Cordero co-directs the PROTECT Center – a consortium of UGA, Northeastern University, University of Michigan and University of Puerto Rico – which is studying the impact of the Zika virus on preterm births in Puerto Rico with funding from the National Institutes of Health.

He is also executive director of the Puerto Rico Brain Trust for Tropical Diseases Research and Prevention, a group that seeks to facilitate and speed up the development of rapid tests, vaccines, and prevention strategies for diseases like Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya and others.

He is a national trustee of the March of Dimes Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to improve the health of mothers and babies, as well as a longtime member and past president of the Teratology Society.

“Joining the Teratology Society was transformational,” Cordero said. ”It became my main source of research ideas and the best venue to present research findings.”

To learn more about the Teratology Society, visit More information on the annual meeting program may be found on the 57th Annual Meeting website.

Read the original Teratology Society press release here:

– Rebecca Ayer

Posted April 28, 2017.