The 3rd International Joint Meeting of ENTIS and OTIS
& Teratology Education Course
4th - 8th September 2018  Newcastle upon Tyne, UK





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Photograph courtesy of Vist England

Prescribing in pregnancy - from science to clinical practice










simon thomas

Simon Thomas is Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Newcastle University. He is Director of the National Poisons Information Service (Newcastle) Unit and the UK Teratology Information Service. He is a member of the UK Advisory Council on Misuse of Drugs and a past President of the European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologists. He has been involved with drug regulation over many years and was previously a member of the UK Commission for Human Medicines. Prof Thomas trained at St Thomas’s Hospital in London, the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle and at Newcastle University. His research interests include adverse drug reactions and clinical toxicology.










Dr Lavinia Schuler Faccini

Dr. Lavinia Schuler-Faccini is a Professor of Medical Genetics Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brazil. She coordinates the Brazilian Teratogen Information Service. She’s graduated in Medicine and has a PhD degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology. She was the President of the Brazilian Society of Medical Gentics (2012-2016). Presently she’s the president of the RELAGH - Latin American Network of Human Genetics. Her main areas of invesigations include Teratogenesis in Humans, and Medical Population Genetics.












Beth Conover

Beth Conover is a genetic counselor and nurse practitioner, and an associate professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  She evaluates genetics patients in a variety of clinics including Pediatric Genetics Clinic and the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Clinic.  However, her main interest is teratology and she has directed the Nebraska Teratogen Information Service since 1986 and was a founding member of OTIS (the Organization for Teratology Information Specialists).  She is a consultant for the FDA and CDC.  Two of her recent publications are, “The Art and Science of Teratogen Risk Communication” and “Safety Concerns Regarding Binge Drinking in Pregnancy: A Review”.











Sanjay Sisodiya

Sanjay Sisodiya is Professor of Neurology at UCL Institute of Neurology and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and the Epilepsy Society. His key interests are in epilepsy, especially complex epilepsy, phenotyping in epilepsy and genetic research into epilepsy, including its causes, pathology, phenotype development and treatments (such as drugs, ketogenic diets and surgery). He has represented the Association of British Neurologists and the Royal College of Physicians on the MHRA's Valproate Stakeholders Network and through his interest in pharmacogenomics, is also working on valproate pharmacogenomics and teratogenomics.











Prof Stephen Robson

Professor Stephen Robson is a Consultant in Fetal Medicine at the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Stephen was appointed as Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University in 1992, being promoted to Professor the following year. He developed the Fetal Medicine Unit in Newcastle which provides fetal diagnostic and therapeutic services for all of the North East and Cumbria. Stephen is the lead clinician for highly specialised regional services providing care for pregnancies complicated by abnormally invasive placenta. He was the previous chair the NHS-England National Specialised Services Clinical Reference Group for Fetal Medicine and then Complex maternity.

He established the Newcastle Uteroplacental Tissue Bank and is the lead for the Reproductive and Vascular Biology Research Group which focuses on mechanisms of placental development and uterine smooth muscle contraction utilizing unique human tissue. He is also lead for the multi-disciplinary Reproductive Health Research Group which undertakes clinical trials in a variety of pregnancy-related disorders.

His main research interests are: uterine cell signalling, mechanisms of myometrial quiescence and clinical trials in the area of high risk pregnancy and prenatal screening. He has been involved in the development and audit of national guidelines relating to obstetric care and is Clinical Director of the Clinical Research network North East & North Cumbria.











Laura Kearney

Laura Kearney is Principal Pharmacist for the Trent Regional Medicines Information Centre and one of the clinical leads for the UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service. Laura has been working in Medicines Information, and for UKDILAS, for the past 10 years.

Laura has a clinical background in hospital pharmacy, and also spent 4 years working for the British National Formulary.

She holds a postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Pharmacy Practice, and also has an MSc in Health and Disease.












Maria Hoeltzenbein

Maria Hoeltzenbein has studied medicine in Marburg, Mainz, Lille (France) and Münster. After a residency in Internal Medicine in Münster, and internships at the Institute of Human Genetics in Kiel and Greifswald, she continued her research at the Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Genetics in Berlin. She is a board certified clinical geneticist with interest in neuromuscular and metabolic disorders, coagulopathies and mental retardation. Since 2007 she has been working in the German Pharmacovigilance Center Embryotox at the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin. She is particularly engaged in assessing the etiology of congenital anomalies and counseling drug risks in pregnancy. Her research focuses on teratogenic drug exposures like mycophenolate. Further interests are medical treatment of chronic diseases during pregnancy including thromboembolic disorders, rheumatologic diseases and chronic hypertension.













Wendy Jones PhD MRpharmS

Wendy Jones PhD MRpharmS In her employed life Wendy was a community pharmacist and also worked in doctor surgeries supporting cost effective, evidence-based prescribing. She qualified as a pharmacist prescriber. Wendy left paid work to concentrate on writing her book Breastfeeding and Medication (Routledge 2013,  2nd edition 2018), developing information and training material on drugs in breastmilk.  She has also published Breastfeeding for Dads and Grandmas (Praeclarus Press) and Why Mothers Medication Matters (Pinter and Martin).

Wendy runs a helpline service on the use of medication in breastfeeding mothers for a UK charity, responding to healthcare professionals and mothers.  She has been a breastfeeding supporter for 30 years. Wendy is passionate that breastfeeding should be valued by all and that medication should not be a barrier.













Dr Edwin Wong

Dr. Edwin Wong is a Consultant Nephrologist at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where his time is divided between the National Renal Complement Therapeutics Centre and Renal Services. He undertook his speciality training in renal medicine in the North East (2008-2017), during which he completed an extensive period of research in complement-mediated renal diseases as a MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow (2013- 2016) and NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer (2016-2017).

In his research period, he studied complement abnormalities in aHUS, through laboratory and clinical research methods. He has published his work in top-ranking nephrology journals (J Am Soc Nephol / Kidney Int) and he has presented his work in national and international meetings. He was awarded his PhD in 2016 and the prestigious Renal Association (Young Investigator) Raine Award in 2017.













Andrew Copp

Andrew Copp, MBBS, DPhil, FRCPath, FMedSci, FRSB, trained in zoology at the University of Oxford and in clinical medicine at Guy’s Hospital, London. His research began with a DPhil in developmental biology at Oxford and postdoctoral work at Guy’s and the Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University, USA. He led a research team at the ICRF Developmental Biology Unit, Oxford and, since 1996, has been Professor of Developmental Neurobiology at the Institute of Child Health (ICH), University College London. He is Honorary Consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH). Between 2003 and 2012 he was Director of ICH and Non-Executive Director of GOSH. Since 2012 he has directed the Newlife Birth Defects Research Centre. He was a previous member of the MRC Non-Clinical Fellowships Panel and MRC Neuroscience & Mental Health Board. His research focuses on the developmental biology of the nervous system, with particular reference to neurulation and neural tube defects. He is London Director of the Human Developmental Biology Resource ( which has ethics approval to collect, store and distribute human embryonic and fetal material for medical research.













Lewis B. Holmes M.D.

Lewis B. Holmes, M.D. Lewis Holmes trained in pediatrics at the Massachusetts General Hospital (1963-1966) in Boston and has had a career as a clinical teratologist and geneticist at that hospital for over 50 years.  He has carried out research studies on several human teratogens:  anticonvulsant drugs, maternal diabetes mellitus, misoprostol, alcohol, HIV treatments, and prenatal procedures, such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS).  He has directed for 20 years the North American AED (antiepileptic drug) Pregnancy Registry in the U.S. and Canada.  He directed a three-day postgraduate course “Human Teratogens” at the Massachusetts General Hospital for 36 years (1981-2017).  He has discussed the lessons learned in identifying exposures that have harmful fetal effects with medical students, residents in training, practicing physicians and public health staff members.  He has developed a strong interest in the role of careful study design in the delineation of human teratogens.  He looks forward to the time when the genetic basis for some teratogenic effects will be determined.  He predicts that challenging questions, vigorous debates and inadequate data will continue to be the status quo for the clinical teratologist.














Jill Clayton Smith qualified in Medicine in Manchester University in 1985 and  has worked in the field of Clinical Genetics since 1987.  She trained in London, and Manchester taking up a post as a Consultant Clinical Geneticist in Manchester in 2004. In 2006 she was appointed as an Honorary Professor within the University of Manchester.

She has clinical  interests in syndrome diagnosis, particularly syndromic eye disease, learning disability syndromes and the teratogenic effects of antiepileptic drugs and alcohol in pregnancy. She has been an active researcher throughout her career, publishing over 200 papers.I n 1999 she set up a prospective study of children born to mothers with epilepsy which has provided a significant amount of data on cognitive and neurodevelopmental outcomes.

She has worked with a number of patient support groups for rare disorders.  Currently she coordinates ERN ITHACA, the European Reference Network for Rare Congenital Malformations and Intellectual Disability which is aiming to  improve equity of access and standards of care for these patients across the EU.














Kenneth Hodson MBChB MRCP(UK) MRCOG I am a consultant obstetrician with a specialist interest in maternal medicine at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. I lead specialised clinics for women with cardiac disease and renal disease in pregnancy along with a general maternal medicine clinic each week. I have trained in both general medicine and obstetrics and gynaecology and have a broad clinical knowledge and experience in the interaction between medical disorders and pregnancy.














Dr Martin Ward Platt is Clinical Lead for the National Congenital Anomaly and Rare Disease Registration Service (NCARDRS – Public Health England).  He has been a consultant in neonatal medicine in Newcastle upon Tyne since 1990 and he is honorary Clinical Reader in Neonatal and Paediatric Medicine at Newcastle University.   He has been involved in congenital anomaly ascertainment and surveillance for many years and is now closely involved with the development of the register for rare diseases.














Prof R. Hamish McAllister-Williams

Prof R. Hamish McAllister-Williams, BSc, MB,ChB, Ph.D., M.D., FRCPsych. is Professor of Affective Disorders in the Northern Centre for Mood Disorders ( at the Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University.  His research focuses on the pathophysiology and treatment of both bipolar and unipolar affective disorders.  He works clinically in the tertiary level specialist Regional Affective Disorders Service in Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, providing outpatient and inpatient services for patients with treatment refractory mood disorders.  He is a past General Secretary of the British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP) and was appointed in 2012 as the BAP Director of Education.  He is a major contributor to their CPD programme.  He has published in excess of 150 journal papers, reviews, book chapters and conference abstracts.














Dr Rebecca Bromley

Dr Rebecca Bromley is a neuropsychologist who completed her PhD on the neuropsychological outcome of children exposed in utero to anti epileptic drugs. Following her PhD work she went on to conduct further longer term outcome studies in collaboration with the UK Epilepsy and Pregnancy Register. Currently, Dr Bromley holds an NIHR Post Doctoral Fellowship, through which she is undertaking a large prospective observational study into pregnancies exposed to lamotrigine and levetiracetam in utero; through which she is also investigating the sensitivity of parental completed ratings of child development in this context. In addition to her research work Dr Bromley also works at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital two days per week.













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