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New To Give Astute Clinician Lecture, Dec. 13 in Masur

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"The Patients Who Taught Me and Led to My Discoveries in Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia," is the title of the third Astute Clinician Lecture, which will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. The speaker is Dr. Maria I. New, professor and chairman of the department of pediatrics, and chief of the division of pediatric endocrinology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Medical College, Cornell University.


Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a family of inherited steroid production disorders. A mild form occurs in one in 100 live births and results in excess male hormone production. The severe form, which occurs in one in 14,000 live births, causes girls to be born with ambiguous genitalia, and can result in severe salt and hormone imbalances in both boys and girls.

Dr. Maria I. New

New has pioneered major advances in the diagnosis and treatment of CAH, including the implementation of CAH newborn screening programs worldwide. She and her associates determined that the conditions result from the lack of essential enzymes of the adrenal gland. Through DNA analysis, they discovered specific mutations in the genes producing these enzymes, and developed a DNA test to diagnose the most common forms of the disease prenatally. They then found that giving the hormone dexamethasone to a pregnant mother at risk can prevent ambiguous genitalia and a newborn salt wasting crisis.

The adrenal gland is located near the kidneys and controls metabolism and sex hormone production.

New has also discovered new forms of high blood pressure, and explained their genetic basis.

She obtained a B.A. from Cornell and an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She completed an internship in medicine at Bellevue Hospital and a residency in pediatrics at New York Hospital. She fulfilled two NIH fellowships and was research pediatrician to the diabetic study group of the comprehensive care teaching program at Cornell Medical Center.

She has received the Robert H. Williams Distinguished Leadership Award in Endocrinology and the Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Clinical Investigator Lecture Award. New was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1996 and was president of the Endocrine Society in 1992. She has written more than 500 articles in scientific publications.

The Astute Clinician Lecture was established through a gift from Haruko and Dr. Robert W. Miller. It honors a U.S. scientist who has observed an unusual clinical occurrence, and by investigating it, has opened an important new avenue of research.

The talk is an NIH Director's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series event. For information and accommodation, contact Hilda Madine, 594-5595.

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