Meet the Researchers


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DiG FASD Researchers • Research Partners


DiG FASD Researchers

Dr. Tatiana Foroud

Dr. Tatiana Foroud is the lead scientist for the DiG FASD study at the Indiana University School of Medicine and has been researching FASDs for over 15 years. In addition to FASD, Dr. Foroud also researches other disorders including Parkinson and Alzheimer diseases. As a geneticist, she studies the link between genetics and disease risk. One way she does this is by using a technique called whole exome sequencing, which involves determining the exact order of the base pairs (chemical letters) in a person’s DNA.

 


Dr. Leah Wetherill

Dr. Leah Wetherill is one of the lead scientists for the DiG FASD study at the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM). She has also been researching FASDs for more than 15 years.  As a statistician, she helps analyze the data that is collected for DiG FASD. She also works with the Indiana Alcohol Research Center and is involved in advising and teaching genetic counseling students in the IUSM Genetics Department.

 


Jeanine Schulze

Jeanine Schulze is a genetic counselor who works on the DiG FASD study at the Indiana University School of Medicine. She uses her previous experience as a pediatric genetic counselor working with children with FASDs to provide insight into fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.  She also helps to review medical records so we can learn more about how FASDs effect health and behavior.


Research Partners

DiG FASD is part of the Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (CIFASD), which is a group of scientists working together to better understand FASD. Below are CIFASD researchers who directly help, or have helped, the DiG FASD study. 

Dr. Claire Coles

Dr. Claire Coles is a CIFASD researcher from Emory University who studies the continuing effects that prenatal alcohol exposure has on the health of adults diagnosed with FASD. She has worked with the DiG FASD study to help us gather information to learn how prenatal alcohol exposure may affect immune, mental, and physical health. To learn more about her work for CIFASD, visit https://cifasd.org/research/#Coles.


Dr. Sarah Mattson

Dr. Sarah Mattson is a CIFASD researcher from San Diego State University who has developed an online tool that can help us better understand FASD and cognitive ability. She is working with DiG FASD to integrate this online tool into our study. To learn more about her work for CIFASD, visit https://cifasd.org/research/#Mattson.


Dr. Michael Suttie

Dr. Michael Suttie is a CIFASD researcher from the University of Oxford who writes his own computer software to analyze facial features of people who were exposed to alcohol before they were born. The DiG FASD study is working with Dr. Suttie to better understand the link between genetics, facial features and prenatal alcohol exposure. To learn more about his work for CIFASD, visit https://cifasd.org/research/#Noble-Suttie


Dr. Joanne Weinberg

Dr. Joanne Weinberg is a researcher at the University of British Columbia who studies how prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) affects immune function. Your immune system is responsible for keeping you healthy. She has partnered with DiG FASD to help us better understand the relationship between PAE and the immune system. To learn more about her work for CIFASD, visit https://cifasd.org/research/#Weinberg.


Drs. Scott Parnell & Johann Eberhart

Sometimes in research, scientists use animals to model how alcohol affects embryonic growth.  Dr. Scott Parnell (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill) and Dr. Johann Eberhart (University of Texas) are CIFASD researchers who use mice and zebra fish to study FASD. Each person’s genetic makeup is unique, and this may play a role in the diverse outcomes of FASD. When a person is exposed to alcohol prenatally, some genes may offer protection while others may lead to increased vulnerability to PAE. Drs. Parnell and Eberhart are using mice and zebra fish to pinpoint genes that may play a role in risk for FASD. When they identify a gene that could be involved in FASD risk, they let us know at the DiG FASD study so that we can look at that gene in humans. To learn more about their work for CIFASD, visit https://cifasd.org/research/#Parnell-Eberhart.


Drs. Christie Petrenko & Cristiano Tapparello

Dr. Christie Petrenko and Dr. Cristiano Tapparello, from the University of Rochester, are CIFASD researchers developing an app to provide support and care to families raising children with FASD. To learn more about their work for CIFASD, visit RESEARCH – CIFASD – Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Participants are the most important part of the DiG FASD study and Dr. Petrenko has partnered with us to help recruit participants.

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