Lifetime Achievement Award for Epidemiological Research on Gastroschisis

Dr. Marcia Feldkamp

The University of Utah, School of Medicine

Salt Lake City, Utah

Nominated by Meghan Hall

Marcia FeldkampThe foundation was connected to Dr. Feldkamp in 2010 via our founding members and the CDC. Dr. Feldkamp had been conducting research and surveillance on gastroschisis for several decades, and was eager to make the connection with the mission of Avery’s Angels. Since that time, Dr. Feldkamp has actively been involved in making sure the parent and patient perspective was inclusive in all discussions relating to epidemiological research on gastroschisis across the nation. She continues to make sure the dissemination of relevant data and studies are accessible to patients and parents while championing the mission of epidemiological research into the risk factors, trends and potential environmental factors for gastroschisis. For Dr. Felkdamp’s tireless passion for research on cause of gastroschisis and her championing the unique voice and inclusion of those directly affected by the disease, we are proud to award her the Avery Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Feldkamp is an Associate Professor in the Division of Medical Genetics in the Department of Pediatrics. Her interest and career in birth defect epidemiology began while working as a physician assistant and caring for women of reproductive age. Due to the limitations of existing data in Utah, Dr. Feldkamp led the efforts to develop a clinically based birth defects surveillance system within the Utah Department of Health in order to conduct the necessary research to improve our understanding of pathogenesis and etiology. The Utah Birth Defect Network (UBDN) is a co-agency surveillance system that is population-based, statewide, and operates through active case-ascertainment of birth defects. As a former Director, Dr. Feldkamp had quickly developed the UBDN into a nationally, and internationally, recognized robust data source for birth defects surveillance, research and prevention. Dr. Feldkamp was one of several founding members of the National Birth Defects Prevention Network in 1997 and became President of this organization in 2005. This Network is a cohesive group of individuals from states in the US that are interested in birth defects surveillance, research, and prevention.

Dr. Feldkamp is the PI of the Utah Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention as part of the CDC’s National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS), a large multi-center case-control study aimed at identifying the causes of birth defects. Dr. Feldkamp’s primary interest is focused on understanding the mechanisms and causes leading to gastroschisis, a severe birth defect of the abdominal wall. She has published numerous articles on this topic and continues to investigate the potential genetic and environmental causes of gastroschisis