Renowned researcher in prenatal diagnostics joins Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

LOS ANGELES (August 23, 1999) -- A researcher well known for her contributions in the field of first-trimester prenatal screening for chromosomal abnormalities has become a research scholar in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

While at King's College Hospital in London, England, Rosalinde Snijders, Ph.D., set up and coordinated a pilot study of a first-trimester ultrasound screening program. The results of that study confirmed the hypothesis that the ultrasound measurement of the thickness of the skin on the back of an unborn baby's neck could improve detection of chromosome defects, such as Down syndrome, at an early stage in pregnancy.

When these findings were published in 1992, demand for first-trimester screening increased dramatically and Dr. Snijders and her colleagues at King's College Hospital developed a training program to teach the technique to other health professionals. Since that time, she has helped launch training programs and additional studies throughout the world. In the United States, she served as a consultant to the National Institutes of Health in the development of the study referred to as "The First Trimester Maternal Serum Biochemistry and Fetal Ultrasound Nuchal Translucency Screening Study," or BUN study.

Cedars-Sinai's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has served as the Los Angeles area's training and quality assurance center since the BUN study was started last year. Lawrence D. Platt, M.D., a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine and prenatal diagnosis, and chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is the trial's principal investigator at Cedars-Sinai.

"Having one of the pioneers of these studies on board adds even more depth to a staff that is nationally recognized for its size and leadership in research in first-trimester screening. For our patients, the arrival of Dr. Snijders means greater experience and opportunity," said Dr. Platt, who also serve

Contact: Sandra Van
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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