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Anne Drapkin Lyerly, MD, MA
Annie Lyerly, MD, MA is Professor of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is also Research Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her research addresses socially and morally complex issues in women’s health and reproductive medicine, with a focus on how people assign meaning to reproductive events. A central goal of her work is to inform and reframe debates based on the views of those most profoundly affected by them, and to appropriately weight these individuals’ interests in shaping reproductive health care.
Dr. Lyerly has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Wellcome Trust, and the Greenwall Foundation, including its Faculty Scholars Program. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Science, JAMA, The New England Journal of Medicine, the Hastings Center Report, the Lancet, and The American Journal of Public Health, as well as the New York Times and Scientific American.
She served as Chair of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Ethics, and Co-chair of the Program Committee for the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities. She has also served as an advisor for a wide range of national and international organizations, including the World Health Organization, the March of Dimes, the United States Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Task Force Specific on Research Specific to Pregnant and Lactating Women, among others.
Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH
Dr. Christina Chambers is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine at University of California San Diego. She is Chief of the Division of Environmental Science and Health, and Co-Director of the Center for Better Beginnings. She is the principal investigator of MotherToBaby Pregnancy Studies, and the UC San Diego Human Milk Research Biorepository, two nation-wide longitudinal cohort studies focused on the safety of medications, vaccines, substances, infectious agents, and other environmental exposures in pregnancy and lactation. Dr. Chambers co-directs the HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study (HBCD), a nationwide research initiative focused on developmental trajectories of children in various environments from prenatal life through 10 years of age.
In addition, Dr. Chambers leads research and educational initiatives in the United States and internationally on the prevention and treatment of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. She co-directs the Center for Population Science and Community Engagement in the Clinical and Translational Research Institute at UC San Diego which supports clinical research development in diverse populations.
Kara Polen, MPH
Kara Polen, MPH is the Associate Director for Communications in CDC’s Division of Birth Defects and Infant Disorders. In this role, she leads efforts to promote the Division’s surveillance and research findings on the impact of exposures during pregnancy. Her team also facilitates the translation of data into public health action on topics ranging from emerging threats during pregnancy to prenatal substance exposure. During CDC’s COVID-19 Response, Ms. Polen led communication for the Maternal Immunization Team on CDC’s Vaccine Task Force.