• Dr. Kenneth Lyons Jones, MD

    Dr. Kenneth Lyons Jones is the former Chief of the Division of Dysmorphology & Teratology at the Department of Pediatrics at UCSD, Medical Director of the MotherToBaby California Pregnancy Health Information Line, and co-Director of the Center for Better Beginnings. He is a pediatrician by training, specializing in the identification and treatment of birth defects. He is actively involved in research, teaching, clinical work, and University and public service. He is considered the leading expert of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), as he was one of two doctors at the University of Washington who first identified FAS in the United States in 1973.

    Dr. Jones’ research has focused on the evaluation and diagnosis of birth defects, identifying the mechanisms of normal and abnormal fetal development, and the recognition of new environmental agents that cause birth defects. His work on the recognition of new human teratogens is primarily focused through MotherToBaby California, a counseling and research program funded in part by the State of California and monies received from the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) as part of a cooperative agreement with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

    Dr. Jones has authored over 400 publications in scientific journals as well as several books, and is the author of the textbook titled Smith’s Recognizable Patterns of Human Malformation.

  • Dr. Christina D. Chambers, PhD, MPH

    Dr. Chambers is Chief of the Division of Environmental Science & Health, a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, and Family and Preventative Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and co-Director of the Center for Better Beginnings. She is also Clinical Professor in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at UCSD, Vice Chair of Clinical Research in the UCSD Department of Pediatrics, Director of the UCSD CTRI Center for Life Course Research, and Director of Clinical Research at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.

    Dr. Chambers is a perinatal epidemiologist specializing in the area of environmental causes of adverse pregnancy outcomes, birth defects, and childhood disabilities, with a special focus on human teratogens (environmental agents that cause birth defects or other adverse prenatal outcomes). She is currently conducting research on the prevention of alcohol related birth defects, the safety in pregnancy of several new medications used for the treatment of maternal health conditions, and the safety of vaccines during pregnancy. Dr. Chambers serves as an advisor to national and international organizations such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Academic Faculty

  • Dr. Miguel del Campo, MD, PhD

    Dr. Miguel del Campo is an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. del Campo cares for patients with dysmorphologic, genetic, and teratologic conditions at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and conducts clinical research projects in the Center for Better Beginnings at UCSD. His research interests include: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), limb defects and HOX signaling pathways, Williams syndrome, Autism, prenatal diagnosis through comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), Marfan syndrome and other connective tissue disorders.

    Dr. del Campo developed and implemented the first Telegenetics consultation service and research program at the Pompeu Fabra University in Spain and from 2002 to 2009 he coordinated Orphanet Spain funded by the European Commission and is currently Director of its Scientific Committee. He brings international acclaim to the Center and is fluent in Spanish, Catalan, English and French, as well as proficient in Italian and Portuguese.

  • Gretchen Bandoli, PhD

    Dr. Bandoli is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Better Beginnings at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Bandoli earned her PhD in Epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2015, where her research and training focused on pediatric and perinatal epidemiology and epidemiologic methods. Dr. Bandoli completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Better Beginnings, and was the recipient of a NIH TL1 fellowship, where she researched maternal psychological health and neurodevelopment in the offspring.

    Dr. Bandoli’s research primarily focuses on maternal exposures in pregnancy, including mental illness, medications, and alcohol and adverse outcomes in the offspring. She is particularly interested in ways to refine exposure assessment, primarily through statistical methodologies or inclusion of biomarkers. She is also an Associate Director in the Center for Life Course Research at UCSD, and teaches a graduate level course on life course research.