Michael B. Bracken PhD, MPH, FACE

Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases) and Professor of Neurology and of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences; Co-Director, Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology

Research Interests

Perinatal and pediatric epidemiology; Evidence-based health care and medicine

Current Projects

  • Identification of genetic polymorphismsthat increase disease susceptibility and their interaction withlifestyle risk factors.
  • Co-Founder and Co-Editor, Cochrane Neonatal Review Group, Cochrane Collaboration.


Research Summary

Professor Bracken has published some 400 articles and chapters, providing major contributions in the fields of perinatal epidemiolology, clinical trials and evidence–based medicine. His 1984 textbook, Perinatal Epidemiology, defined the field of perinatal epidemiology, predicting the role of fetal and early childhood illness on later chronic disease.

Bracken was involved in the discoveries of CFH polymorphism for age–related macular degeneration, the first study to successfully use genome–wide association methodologies and HapMap to identify a disease polymorphism. Professor Bracken is a founder of the evidence–based medicine paradigm. He co–edited one of the first evidence–based texts, Effective Care of the Newborn Infant, forming the basis for the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. In 2007, the British Medical Journal named the book one of the influential texts in evidence–based medicine.

Extensive Research Description

The first randomized trials for evaluating therapies for acute spinal cord injury were designed and directed by Professor Bracken. He is a consultant for international corporations and government agencies and his government service includes NIH study sections and Council. He presently sits on the NIH Expert Panel on Genes Environment and Health.


Selected Publications

  • Zhao L, DeWan AT, Bracken MB. Association of maternal AGTR1 polymorphisms and preeclampsia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine. In press.
  • Zhao L, Triche EW, Walsh KM, Bracken MB, Saftlas AF, Hoh J, DeWan AT. Genome-wide association study identifies a maternal copy-number deletion in PSG11 enriched among preeclampsia patients. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. In press.
  • Bracken MB, Baker D, Cauley JA, Chambers C, Culhane J, Dabelea D, Dearborn D, Drews-Botsch CD, Dudley DJ, Durkin M, Entwisle B, Flick L, Hale, D, Holl J, Hovell M, Hudak M, Paneth N, Specker B, Wilhelm M, Wyatt S. New models for large prospective studies: is there a risk of throwing out the baby with the bathwater? American Journal of Epidemiology. In press.
  • Belanger K, Buka S, Cherry DC, Dudley DJ, Elliott MR, Hale DE, Hertz-Picciotto I, Illuzzi JL, Paneth N, Robbins JM, Triche EW, Bracken MB, Implementing provider-based sampling for the National Children’s Study: opportunities and challenges. Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. In press.
  • Bracken MB, Hertz-Picciotto I, Elliott MR, Dudley DJ, Buka S, Robbins JM. Response to Professor Olsen. Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. In press.
  • Guillet R, Edwards AD, Thoresen M, Ferriero DM, Gluckman PD, Whitelaw A, Gunn AJ, CoolCap Trial Group. Seven to eight year follow-up of the CoolCap trial of head cooling for neonatal encephalopathy. Pediatric Research 71: 205-209, 2012.
  • Martinussen M, Risnes KR, Jacobsen GW, Bracken MB. Folic acid supplementation in early pregnancy and asthma in children aged six. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2012 Jan;206(1):72.e1-7.
  • Murphy KE, Hannah ME, Willan AR, Ohlsson A, Kelly EN, Matthews SG, Saigal S, Asztalos E, Ross S, Delisle MF, Tomat L, Amankwah K, Guselle P, Gafni A, Lee SK, Armson BA; MACS Collaborative Group. Maternal side-effects after multiple courses of antenatal corticosteroids (MACS): the three-month follow-up of women in the randomized controlled trial of MACS for preterm birth study. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada 33: 909-21, 2011.
  • Sharma S, Poon A, Himes BE, Lasky-Su J, Sordillo JE ,Belanger K, Milton DK, Bracken MB, Triche EW, Leaderer BP, Gold DR, Litonjua AA. Association of variants in innate immune genes with asthma and eczema. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 2011 Dec 23. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2011.01243.x.
  • Sordillo JE, Sharma S, Poon A, Lasky-Su J, Belanger K, Milton DK, Bracken MB, Triche EW, Leaderer BP, Gold DR, Litonjua AA. Effects of endotoxin exposure on childhood asthma risk are modified by a genetic polymorphism in ACAA.1 BMC Medical Genetics. 12:158, 2011.

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