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Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Kjersti M. Aagaard, MD, PhD 
Professor and Vice Chair of Research
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Kjersti M. Aagaard is a Henry and Emma Meyer Endowed Chair Professor and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas. She earned her MD from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 2000 and went on to complete a Ph.D. at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. Dr. Aagaard is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal-Fetal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrician Gynecologists. She specializes in the field of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Dr. Aagaard’s research interests include both basic science investigations and translation into clinical research. She is internationally recognized for her work on maternal obesity and nutrition, genomics, the microbiome and prevention of preterm birth. In addition to the Aagaard labs research on epigenetics, they are leading the way in unraveling secrets about our microbiome. They have recently demonstrated that the pregnancy microbiome is distinct, and in fact with 98% certainty they can tell if someone is pregnant simply by sequencing their vaginal microbiome. With respect to pregnancy, the Aagaard lab is funded to understand the microbiome and pregnancy complications leading to later in life diseases.

 

Keynote Speaker: Michael K. Georgieff, MD  
Professor of Pediatrics
Executive Vice-chair of Pediatrics
Head of Division of Neonatology
Director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Development

University of Minnesota

Dr. Michael K. Georgieff is the Martin Lenz Harrison Land Grant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. He is executive vice-chair of Pediatrics, head of the Division of Neonatology and Director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Development at the University. He received his MD at Washington University in St. Louis, and his pediatric/neonatology training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and at the University of Minnesota. He studies the effect of nutrient deficiencies on the developing brain. He has published over 245 peer-reviewed papers and serves as an advisor to the National Institutes of Health, UNICEF and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

Keynote Speaker: Rima Rozen, PhD  
Professor of Human Genetics and Pediatrics
Faculty of Medicine

McGill University

Dr. Rima Rozen is a James McGill Professor of Human Genetics and Pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University and a Senior Scientist that the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre’s Child Health and Human Development Program in Montreal, Canada.  Rozen received her PhD from McGill University and pursued postdoctoral training at McGill University and Yale University. Rozen became an Assistant Professor in the Human Genetic and Pediatrics Departments at McGill in 1984, and set up her research program on genetics and metabolic disease. In 1985, Dr Rozen established the Molecular Genetics Diagnosis Service at the McGill-Montreal Children’s Hospital, the first accredited molecular diagnosis service in Quebec, and continued to direct this service until 2002. In 1990, she became a Fellow of the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists, certified in Molecular Genetics. From 1999-2007, Rozen served as Scientific Director of the Montreal Children’s Hospital and Deputy Scientific Director of the McGill University Health Centre. She was also Associate Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations) at McGill University from 2007-2013. Rozen has published over 180 papers and has received several awards for her research including the Prix d’Excellence for pediatric research from the Inter-Service Clubs Council of Quebec, the Prix Léo-Pariseau from the Association canadienne-francaise pour l’avancement des sciences, and the CIHR Senior Scientist Award.

Speakers

Carol L. Cheatham, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
A New Era in Understanding How Nutrigenetics and Nutrition Shaped Cognitive Development

Tamar Gur, PhD, Ohio State University
Intrauterine Microbiome & Brain Development

Rodney W. Johnson, PhD, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Neuroinflammation, Lipid Metabolites, and Brain Development

Sandra Mooney, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Gut-Brain Axis 

Teresa Reyes, PhD, University of Cincinnati
Methyl Donors, High Fat Prenatal Diet, and Brain Development

Susan Smith, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Nutrition & Brain Development

Lisa Tarantino, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Nutrition, Genes, and Behavior

Edwin Van Wijngaarden, PhD, University of Rochester
Moderation of the Effects of Environmental Toxins on Brain Development by Prenatal Nutrition