• Michel Vekemans

    Corresponding author
    1. Hôpital Necker Enfants Malades, Clinical Genetics and Embryology, Paris France
    • Prof. Michel Vekemans, Hôpital Necker Enfants Malades, Clinical Genetics and Embryology, Paris France
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It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the third Editor of the Birth Defects Research Journal (Clinical and Molecular Teratology). I want to sustain the trend set by Diana Juriloff, which created an outstanding and consistently ascending trajectory of the BDRA Journal's Impact Factor, now reaching an all-time high of 2.742.

Christina Chambers, as Deputy Editor, and I have assembled an editorial office that includes Andrea Modica as Editorial Assistant and a panel of very distinguished Associate Editors.

Our overall objective is to continue publishing the best our field of Human Teratology – the study of abnormal human (and related animal models) development – has to offer, and at the same time representing the diverse interests of our Society membership. The BDRA journal offers the best periodical to gather and share the latest and major information on the etiopathogenesis of birth defects and how this knowledge applies to patient counseling and birth defects prevention.

Our specific aim is to put a strong emphasis on clinical and molecular teratology and perinatal epidemiology. Indeed, the assessment of a malformed fetus – clinical embryology – still remains a neglected branch of medicine. Parents now expect accurate counseling, however, which requires that the precise diagnosis of a rare and often lethal malformation syndrome be established indepth at the histologic and molecular levels. The molecular and cell biology enabled birth defects to be understood at the molecular level, but the recent advent of the genomic armamentarium has dramatically increased the possibility to detect genetic causes, to understand the cellular mechanism leading to congenital malformations, and to study how genes influence the embryo's susceptibility to teratogens. Moreover, by excluding cases in which a genetic cause has been identified, one should be able to focus more precisely on congenital malformations caused by epigenetic mechanisms and environmental agents. In addition, new approaches and a wide variety of resources are devoted to epidemiologic studies of environmental causes of birth defects. The BDRA Journal is extremely well positioned to highlight and interpret these findings in the context of how it relates to clinical embryologic data. Therefore, in addition to the emphasis put on clinical and molecular teratology we envision expanding upon the strength the Journal has already established in the area of prenatal and perinatal epidemiology.

As in the past, the submission of manuscript formats of the following types will be encouraged, namely Articles (Original Research, Review, Hypothesis), Reports (Brief Report, Case Report), and Correspondence (Letter to the Editor). These will be unsolicited submissions, whereas Commentaries (research highlights, perspectives on birth defects research, citation classics in teratology, talks delivered by awardees at the Teratology, and other relevant meetings), Teratogen Updates, and Book reviews will be solicited by the Editor.

For any questions about manuscript submission or manuscripts in ScholarOne Manuscripts, please contact Andrea Modica at bdra@wiley.com or (201) 748-7760. For comments or suggestions, please contact me by email at editor.bdra@nck.aphp.fr or by phone at (331) 44 4949 81.