In August 2004, the National Institutes of Health organized a ‘Workshop on Fetal Therapy’ to develop a plan for the maternal–fetal, surgical, and neonatal evaluation and treatment of pregnancies that might benefit from in-utero therapy. At the completion of the workshop several recommendations were made, foremost of which was the ‘formation of a cooperative group of clinical investigators to help set a national agenda for research and clinical progress in the field of fetal therapy’. Somewhat by coincidence, a multidisciplinary ‘Fetal Therapy Working Group’ that had been formed earlier in the year was well-positioned to accept this national mandate and proposed development of a North American Fetal Therapy Network (NAFTNet) to foster collaborative research between active fetal diagnosis and treatment centers in both the USA and Canada, develop a peer review mechanism for study proposals, explore ways to centralize data collection and study development, and establish an educational agenda for medical professionals and the public as well as training of future leaders in the field. NAFTNet represents a new paradigm and approach to international collaborative research. Early success has resulted in the recognition of the power of collaborative research efforts in studying rare congenital anomalies and intervention strategies to improve outcomes and survivals in such limited populations. By abandoning ‘competitive research’ for a cooperative, collaborative environment of research partnership, NAFTNet strives to be more responsible and effective in using limited resources and improving care for pregnancies and children born with congenital anomalies.

Founding Executive Committee

Below are headshots and names of the foundation NAFTNet Executive Committee. Click here to see a full depository.

Mark Johnson, MD
Children’s Hospital of

Robert Ball, MD
Univ. California
San Francisco

Anthony Johnson, DO
Univ. N. Carolina
Chapel Hill
Nancy Chescheir, MD
MFM, Vanderbilt
University Medical Center
Christopher Harman, MD
Steering Committee Chair
Univ. Maryland
Michael Harrison MD,
Pediatric Surgery
Univ. California
San Francisco
Kenneth Moise MD,
Univ. N. Carolina
Chapel Hill
N. Scott Adzick MD
Pediatric Surgery,
Children’s Hospital
of Philadelphia
William Walsh MD,
Vanderbilt University
Medical Center
Doug Wilson, MD
Foothills Medical Centre
1935 County Road B2 W, Ste 165, Roseville, MN 55113
2024 North American Fetal Therapy Network.
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