Kenneth Lyons Jones, MD, Chief, Division of Dysmorphology and Teratology, Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, Dysmorphologist/Clinical Teratologist
Dr. Kenneth Lyons Jones' research has focused on the clinical delineation of birth defects, mechanisms of normal and abnormal morphogenesis and the recognition of new human teratogens. The work on recognition of new human teratogens is primarily focused through
MotherToBabyCA, a service which he established under a different name in 1979 and which is funded by the state of California, as well as the
Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS), an international non-profit of which he is currently president.
Dr. Jones has authored more than 400 publications in scientific journals, as well as several books, and is the author of Smith's Recognizable Patterns of Human Malformation. He is considered to be the father of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) since he was one of two doctors at the University of Washington who first identified FAS in the United States in 1973. As chief of UC San Diego Health's Division of Dysmorphology/Teratology, Dr. Jones is in clinical service throughout the year, and
trains fellows in dysmorphology. Teaching goes on virtually every day as he sees patients in clinics and serves as consultant on hospital inpatient services throughout San Diego County.
Christina D. Chambers, PhD, MPH, Program Director, Professor of Pediatrics, Director of Clinical Research Rady Children’s Hospital, Associate Director of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute, Perinatal Epidemiologist
Dr. Chambers received her Master's Degree in Public Health from San Diego State University, and her PhD in Public Health/Epidemiology from the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University.
Dr. Chambers is the program director of the Center for Better Beginnings, a multidisciplinary resource that aims to optimize pregnancy outcomes and improve the health of children in San Diego through groundbreaking research and patient care. Her interests are in the areas of birth defects epidemiology and perinatal epidemiology, with a special focus on human teratogens. She is currently funded to conduct research on the prevalence, etiology and prevention of alcohol related birth defects and to study safety in pregnancy of several new medications and vaccines used for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Miguel del Campo, MD, PhD is an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. del Campo cares for patients with dysmorphologic, genetic, and teratologic conditions at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and conducts clinical research projects in the Center for Better Beginnings at UCSD. His research interests include: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), limb defects and HOX signaling pathways, Williams syndrome, Autism, prenatal diagnosis through comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), Marfan syndrome and other connective tissue disorders.
Dr. del Campo developed and implemented the first Telegenetics consultation service and research program at the Pompeu Fabra University in Spain and from 2002 to 2009 he coordinated Orphanet Spain funded by the European Commission and is currently Director of its Scientific Committee. He brings international acclaim to the Center and is fluent in Spanish, Catalan, English and French, as well as proficient in Italian and Portugul.
Dr. Kristin Palmsten, ScD is an Assistant Project Scientist in the Center for Better Beginnings at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Palmsten earned her Doctor of Science in 2013 from the Harvard School of Public Health; her training focused on pharmacoepidemiology, perinatal epidemiology, and epidemiologic methods. Dr. Palmsten is a recipient of a K99 Pathway to Independence Career Development Award from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and in 2015 she was awarded the UCSD Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Scholar Award. The Society for Epidemiologic Research awarded Dr. Palmsten the 2013 Abraham Lilienfeld Student Prize, which recognizes excellence in student research.
Dr. Palmsten has published 24 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, BMJ, Epidemiology, and Nature, and has presented research findings at national and international conferences. Dr. Palmsten’s career objective is to apply epidemiologic methods to solve real-world medication safety questions. She is particularly interested in medication safety in pregnancy.
Diana R. Simmes, MPH, Academic Coordinator of the Institute for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Discovery at the University of California San Diego and Executive Board Member for the Southern California affiliate of NOFAS. Diana Simmes is a Co-Investigator and Project Director for the Western FASD Practice and Implementation Center funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She received her MPH from the Boston University School of Public Health with a concentration in Health Law. She coordinates and provides "FASD 101" trainings throughout California for diverse audiences ranging from probation officers, to healthcare providers to educators.
Ms. Simmes has held leadership and management positions on a wide variety of maternal and child health research studies including serving in a position critical to the successful operation of the National Children's Study-San Diego County, a longitudinal study examining the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of children. She has worked as a consultant with the American Academy of Pediatrics (California Chapter 3), for newborn home visiting programs, and with local practicing pediatricians. Ms. Simmes facilitates a monthly FASD parent support group, oversees FASD community outreach and education in the region and coordinates support services and referrals for children seen in the FASD clinic at UCSD/Rady Children's Hospital.
For more information about our leadership, visit the Center for Better Beginnings website.