Charlotte Hobbs, MD, PhD
Pamela D. Stephens Professor and Section Chief of Birth Defects Research, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Director, Arkansas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention
Scientific and Medical Director of Arkansas Reproductive Health Monitoring System
|Phone: (501) 364-1100
Dr. Hobbs is the Director of the Arkansas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention and the recipient of the Pamela Stephens Endowed Chair for Birth Defects Research. Established in 1997, the mission of the Arkansas Center is to reduce the prevalence of birth defects and decrease the economic, social, and psychological impact. The Arkansas Reproductive Health Monitoring System (ARHMS), a nationally acclaimed birth defects surveillance system, is an integral part of the Arkansas Center.
Dr. Hobbs’ research activities are primarily in the following three areas:
(1) The National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS): The purpose of the NBDPS, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is to collect information about environmental and genetic risk factors for 30 structural birth defects. As of the February 2009, over 4,300 Arkansas families have participated in the NBDPS. Dr. Hobbs has been the Principal Investigator of this study since 1997.
(2) Genetic and Metabolic Determinants of Congenital Heart Defect Risk: Funded by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development since 2000, this local study investigates nutritional, lifestyle, and metabolic factors that affect the fetal environment. Using maternal interviews and DNA collected from infants affected by congenital heart and neural tube defects and from their parents, a greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms causing these defects is being investigated.
(3) Down syndrome: The prevalence of Down syndrome in Arkansas is about 12 per 10,000 live births. The Arkansas Center was a participant in the National Down Syndrome Project, led by researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. This National Institute for Child Health and Human Development-funded study recruited children affected by Down syndrome and their parents to complete a parental interview related to dietary, environmental, and other pregnancy exposures. Maternal interviews and DNA samples will aid in the understanding of the etiology of Down syndrome and health problems of affected children.
(4) National Children’s Study: Dr. Hobbs is the Principal Investigator of the Arkansas Center of the National Children’s Study Center. The National Children’s Study will follow a nationally representative sample of 100,000 children from before birth to age 21. Study volunteers will be recruited from populations living in randomly selected counties throughout the United States. Benton County is the only county in Arkansas from which participants will be enrolled. Dr. Hobbs and Dr. James Robbins will lead a team responsible for enrolling 1,000 infants and their parents from Benton County. The study will identify environmental, lifestyle, and biological factors associated with multiple health outcomes, including prematurity and birth defects, autism, asthma, obesity, and injuries. This project has been funded in whole with federal funds from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHSN275200800026C.
To learn more about the Arkansas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention, please visit their web site at http://arbirthdefectsresearch.uams.edu/.
Cleves MA, Hobbs CA, Zhao W, Krakowiak PA, MacLeod SL. Association between selected folate pathway polymorphisms and nonsydromic limb reduction defects: a case-parental analysis . Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 2011 March; 25:124-134.
Chowdhury S, Erickson SW, MacLeod SL, Cleves MA, Hu P, Karim MA, Hobbs CA. Maternal genome-wide DNA methylation patterns and congenital heart defects. PLoS One. 2011 Jan 24;6(1):e16506.
Hobbs CA, Cleves MA, Karim MA, Zhao W, Macleod SL. Maternal folate-related gene environment interactions and congenital heart defects. Obstet Gynecol 2010 Aug; 116(2 Pt 1):316-22.
Robbins JM, Damiano P, Druschel CM, Hobbs CA, Romitti PA, Austin AA, Tyler M, Reading JA, Burnett W. Prenatal diagnosis of orofacial clefts: association with maternal satisfaction, team care, and treatment outcomes. Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2010 Sep;47(5):476-81.
Gilboa SM, Correa A, Botto LD, Rasmussen SA, Waller DK, Hobbs CA, Cleves MA, et al. Association between prepregnancy body mass index and congenital heart defects. . Am J Obstet Gynecol 2010 Jan; 202(1):51.e1-51 e.10.
Mosley BS, Cleves MA, Siega-Riz AM, Shaw GM, Canfield MA, Waller DK, Werler MM, Hobbs CA, National Birth Defect Prevention Study. Neural tube defects and maternal folate intake among pregnancies conceived after folic acid fortification in the U.S. Am J Epidemiology. 2009;169(1):9-17.
Malik S, Cleves MA, Honein MA, Romitti PA, Botto LD, Yang S, Hobbs CA and the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Maternal smoking and congenital heart defects. Pediatrics. 121(4):e810-6;2008.
Malik S, Cleves MA; Zhao W, Correa A, Hobbs CA. National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Association between Congenital Heart Defects and Small for Gestational Age. Pediatrics. 119:e976-e982; 2007.
Hobbs CA, James SJ, Parsian A, Krakowiak P, Jernigan S, Greenhaw J, Lu Y, Cleves MA. Congenital heart defects and variants in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene. J Med Genet. 2006; 47:683-685.
Hobbs CA, James SJ, Jernigan SL, Melnyk S, Lu Y, Malik S, Cleves MA. Congenital heart defects, maternal homocysteine, smoking, and the 677 C>T polymorphism in the methylenetetrahydroflate reductase gene: Evaluating gene-environment interactions Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2006;194: 218-224.
Hobbs CA, Cleves MA, Melnyk S, Zhao W, James SJ. Congenital heart defects and abnormal maternal biomarkers of methionine/homocysteine metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005; 81:147-153.
Hobbs CA, Cleves MA, Melnyk S, Zhao W, James SJ. Congenital heart defects and abnormal biomarkers of oxidative stress. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005; 82:598-604.
*To find publications by this author, please visit Pubmed Central, a National Institutes of Health-operated site for electronic distribution of life sciences research reports.
Principal Investigator: Genetic and Metabolic Determinants of Congenital Heart Defect Risk, National Institute for Child Health and Human Development
Principal Investigator: Cooperative Agreement to Establish Centers of Excellence to Provide Surveillance Research Services and Evaluation Aimed at Prevention of Birth Defects, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Principal Investigator: National Children’s Study, National Institute for Child Health and Human Development.
Principal Investigator: Reproductive Health Monitoring Grant, State of Arkansas Appropriations, House Bill 1316
Principal Investigator: The Role of Epigenetics in Congenital Heart Defects, CUMG Developmental Fund.
Principal Investigator: Congenital Heart Defects and Gene-Specific Methylation, Arkansas Biosciences Institute.