January 18, 2023

Jennita Reefhuis, PhD

Jennita Reefhuis, PhD, is the Branch Chief for the Birth Defects Monitoring and Research Branch in CDC’s Division of Birth Defects and Infant Disorders. In this role, Dr. Reefhuis oversees birth defects surveillance and research activities to identify causes of birth defects, find opportunities to prevent them, and improve the health of those living with birth defects.

Dr. Reefhuis received her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands in 2000 while working at the EUROCAT Birth Defects Registry. In 2001, she joined CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence (EIS) officer in the Birth Defects Branch. From 2006 to January 2019, Dr. Reefhuis led CDC’s National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS), a case-control study of birth defects. Dr. Reefhuis has published numerous scientific papers on birth defects and medications such as fertility treatments, antidepressants, antibiotics, ADHD medications; maternal diseases such as diabetes, Zika, and HIV; and other factors such as maternal age, genetics, and environmental exposures.