Carla Van Bennekom, M.P.H.

Carla van BennekomEpidemiologist
Slone Epidemiology Center


B.S.N., 1974, Cornell University
M.P.H., 1986, Boston University School of Public Health

Research Interests:

Ms. Van Bennekom’s research interests focus on reproductive health issues and evaluation of risk management programs (REMS), in particular, programs for drugs that may cause birth defects if taken during pregnancy.  In 1990, she began work on a national survey evaluating the effectiveness of pregnancy prevention efforts for isotretinoin (Accutane) and later worked on similar evaluations for thalidomide and ambrisentan. She is interested in generalizing findings from these pregnancy prevention approaches to assist in the development of risk management programs for other drugs that are uniquely effective but that also have serious potential adverse effects.

Currently, Ms. Van Bennekom’s activities include participation in the Slone Birth Defects Study and the National Birth Defects Prevention Study.  In both, she studies the effects of medication use during pregnancy in relation to the risk of birth defects.

  • Dukhovny S, Van Bennekom CM, Gagnon DR, Hernández-Díaz S, Parker SE, Anderka M, Werler MM, Mitchell AA. Metformin in the first trimester and risks for specific birth defects in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol 2018. doi: 10.1002/bdr2.1199 (epub ahead of print).
  • Kerr S, Van Bennekom CM, Liang JL, Mitchell AA. Tdap (tetanus and diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis) vaccination coverage during pregnancy — selected sites, United States, 2006 through 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66(41):1105-8. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6641a3.
  • Kerr S, Van Bennekom CM, Mitchell AA. Influenza vaccination coverage during pregnancy — selected sites, United States, 2005–06 through 2013–14 influenza vaccine seasons. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65(48):1370-73. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6548a3.
  • Louik C, Kerr S, Van Bennekom CM, Chambers C, Jones KL, Schatz M, Mitchell AA. Safety of the 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14 seasonal influenza vaccines in pregnancy: preterm delivery and specific malformations. Vaccine 2016;34(37):4450-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.06.078.
  • Takagi T, Van Bennekom CM, Amann S, Hattori C, Shirakuni Y, Sato T, Nasu M. Risk management of teratogenic drugs: the current states of Europe, US and Japan. Yakugaku Zasshi 2015;135(10):1161-8. doi: 10.1248/yakushi.15-00118.
  • van Gelder MM, Van Bennekom CM, Louik C, Werler MM, Roeleveld N, Mitchell AA. Maternal hypertensive disorders, antihypertensive medication use, and the risk of birth defects: a case-control study. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 2015;122:1002-9. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.13138.
  • Van Bennekom CM, Mitchell AA. Comments on: Are Food and Drug Administration prescription drug safety plans working? A case study of isotretinoin [letter to the editor]. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2014;23(4):439. doi: 10.1002/pds.3573.
  • Van Bennekom CM, Mitchell AA, Moore CA, Werler MM, and the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Vasoactive exposures during pregnancy and risk of microtia. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol 2013;97(1):53-9. doi: 10.1002/bdra.23101.
  • Abel GA, Van Bennekom CM, Stone RM, Anderson TE, Kaufman DW. Classification of the myelodysplastic syndrome in a national registry of recently diagnosed patients. Leuk Res 2010;34(7):939-41. doi: 10.1016/j.leukres.2009.12.012.
  • Andrews EB, Kaye JA, Van Bennekom C. The REMS publication paradox. Oncology (Williston Park) 2009;23(8):715-7.
  • Mitchell AA, Van Bennekom CM. Response to FDA letter on Accutane Survey [letter to the editor]. J Am Acad Dermatol 2003;49:1201-2.
  • Chambers CD, Jones KL, Lammer EJ, Van Bennekom CM, Mitchell AA. Accutane-exposed pregnancies–California, 1999. MMWR 2000;49:28-31.
  • Rao RS, Glynn RJ, Werler MM, Van Bennekom CM, Mitchell AA. Comparison of alternative survey methods for sensitive self-reported behaviours in a follow-up study of isotretinoin. J Epidemiol Biostat 2000;5:133-6.
  • Mitchell AA, Van Bennekom C, Louik C. A pregnancy-prevention program in women of childbearing age receiving isotretinoin. N Engl J Med 1995;333:101-6.
  • Rosman NP, Colton T, Labazzo J, Gilbert PL, Gardella NB, Kaye EM, Van Bennekom CM, Winter MR.  A controlled trial of diazepam administered during febrile illnesses to prevent recurrence of febrile seizures.  N Engl J Med 1993;329(2):79-84.
  • Colton T, Greenberg ER, Noller K, Resseguie L, Van Bennekom CM, Heeren T, Zhang U.  Breast cancer in mothers prescribed diethylstilbestrol in pregnancy: further follow-up.  JAMA 1993;269(16):2096-100.