California’s First and Only Center for the Promotion of Maternal Health and Infant Development Opens

Center Houses Groundbreaking Fetal Health Research Projects

For Immediate Release 5/3/2012

SAN DIEGO, CA- Two University of California, San Diego professors who run a statewide pregnancy health information service as well as conduct fetal health research, will unveil the Center for the Promotion of Maternal Health and Infant Development on May 3rd during a grand opening celebration and symposium. The new center, located on the campus of Rady Children’s Hospital at 7910 Frost Street in San Diego, CA, is home to several groundbreaking research projects as well as a statewide counseling service for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Under the direction of Kenneth Lyons Jones, M.D. and Christina Chambers, Ph.D., M.P.H., both professors in the Department of Pediatrics at UCSD, the new center location houses a number of programs, projects and services including:

  • The California Teratogen Information Service (CTIS) Pregnancy Health Information Line, a state-wide non-profit organization offering evidence-based clinical information about exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding through its toll-free hotline, (800) 532-3749, and website,
  • The Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) Research Center, which conducts groundbreaking research on the safety of various medications and vaccines used for the treatment of conditions such as autoimmune diseases and asthma, and to prevent influenza, meningitis and HPV infection in pregnant women throughout the U.S. and Canada.
  • The National Children’s Study (NCS) San Diego, which aims to examine the effects of environmental and genetic factors on the growth, development, and long-term health of children, following them from before birth until age 21 years.
  • A California study that aims to understand how a child’s learning and behavior may be affected by factors that happened before birth, including various environmental agents with which the mother came into contact during her pregnancy such as the kinds of food that she ate and how much alcohol she consumed.
  • A Genetics/dysmorphology outpatient clinic to evaluate children with birth defects.
  • Maternal and fetal health education and training programs.

“We are excited about the opportunity this new Center brings to combine the talents of UCSD and Rady Children’s Hospital researchers and clinicians to focus on learning about the best ways to optimize pregnancy outcomes, and to contribute to the health of children not only in the San Diego community, but across the country,” said Chambers.

The new center will celebrate its grand opening with a symposium featuring several experts in maternal factors involved in adverse pregnancy outcome including birth defects. The grand opening symposium celebration will begin at 1pm on May 3, 2012 at the 7910 Frost Street, Suite 440 conference room in San Diego, CA.

****To photograph a child behavioral testing demonstration and/or secure an interview, please contact marketing manager, Nicole Chavez, at 858-246-1745 or Interviews will be available in Spanish.*****


About Us

The Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) was established in 1987 as a way of connecting world-renowned experts in the field of birth defects research to the general public. In 2013, OTIS launched MotherToBaby as its information service. Today, affiliates around the world provide the most cutting-edge and up-to-date information about medications, chemicals, herbal products, illicit drugs, alcohol, diseases and much more during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. OTIS and its information service, MotherToBaby, are suggested resources by many agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).