Wladimir Wertelecki

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Wladimir Wertelecki (2001).

Wladimir Wertelecki (born 1936 in Rivne, Ukraine, at the time Poland) is a Polish-Ukrainian-American physician, Emeritus Professor and Chairman who established one of the first free-standing Department of Medical Genetics (University of South Alabama, US), and currently serving as Director of OMNI-Net programs in Ukraine. This not-for-profit international organization conducts population based monitoring of congenital anomalies in many areas of Ukraine impacted by Chernobyl ionizing radiation.[1][2]

Wladimir Wertelecki, M.D.
Born (1936) In Rivne, Volyn, Ukraine (at the time Poland)
Residence USA
Citizenship USA
Fields Clinical Teratology, Genetics and Pediatrics
Postgraduate Intern, Muniz Hospital, Buenos Aires, Argentina (1961 - 1962). Intern, Deaconess Hospital, St. Louis, MO, U.S. (1963). Resident in Pediatrics, St. Louis Children's Hospital and Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, MO (1964 - 1966). Fellow in Clinical Genetics, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (1966 - 1968)
Institutions Instructor, Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (1968-1969). Senior Surgeon, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps., Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD (1969-1972). Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (1972). Associate Professor, Pediatrics and Pathology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (1973-1974). Professor and Chairman, Department of Medical Genetics, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL (1974-2010). Professor Emeritus, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL (2010-). Director, OMNI-Net Ukraine, Birth Defects Monitoring Programs (1999-)
Alma mater Medical School, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina (1956-1961)
Mentors Taras Mykysha, Volodymyr Lasovskyi, Bernardo Houssay, Niсeto S. Loizaga, M.D., Alexis Hartmann, Harold Cummins, PhD., Josef Warkany, Daniel C. Gajdusek, John Gofman
Currently known for Population-based monitoring of developmental anomalies in Chornobyl-impacted regions
Notable awards Corresponding Member of the "Academia Nacional de Medicina" (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences (Kyiv, Ukraine), Doctor Honoris Causa, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Kyiv, Ukraine) and Lviv Medical University (Lviv, Ukraine)

Early life[edit]

During his childhood and World War II, Dr. Wertelecki's family migrated from Poland to Switzerland and eventually to Argentina. After his graduation as a physician, he emigrated to the United States of America.

Wertelecki attended primary schools in Europe and Argentina, the San Fernando high school and studied Medicine at the School of Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires. His postgraduate education and training were at the St. Louis Deaconess Hospital (rotating internship) and Washington University St. Louis Children Hospital, (Pediatric Residency) in St. Louis, Missouri, and Fellowship in Clinical Genetics at the University of Harvard Medical School Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA.

Professional education, training and appointments[edit]

He served as a U.S. Public Health Senior Surgeon at the Epidemiology Branch of the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD. He was an instructor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School/Children's Hospital Medical Center.

He was appointed as Assistant Professor (promoted to Associate Professor) of Pediatrics and Pathology at the Medical University, Charleston, SC.

He established and served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile, AL (currently Professor Emeritus).

He serves as Research Director of OMNI-Net Developmental Disabilities Program in Ukraine including CIFASD (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Collaborative initiative implemented in Ukraine).[3]

Honors and awards[edit]

  • Corresponding Member of Academy of Medicine, Buenos Aires, Argentina (1992).[4]
  • Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine (2003).[5]
  • Doctor Honoris Causa, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine (2003)[6] and Lviv Medical University, Ukraine (2010)[7]
  • 1974 Fourteenth International Congress of Pediatrics, Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 3–9, (Special Mention).
  • 1988 SERGG South-Eastern Regional Genetics Group (Recognition).
  • 1990 Humanitarian Award, Mobile Association for Retarded Citizens.
  • 1991 Nominee, Kiwanis World Service Medal.
  • 1996 Professional of the Year Award, Alabama State Office, Association for Retarded Citizens of Alabama.
  • 1997, 2004, 2006 Peter Leibert Community Prevention Action Award bestowed by the Association of Retarded Citizens of Alabama.
  • 1998 Distinguished Service Award, American Dermatoglyphics Association.
  • 1998 Honorary Professor, Kharkov State University, School of Fundamental Medicine.
  • 1999 Franklin Smith Award for Distinguished Service, State of Alabama.
  • 2016 Distinguished service award by the University of South Alabama Medical Alumni Association[8]


Among others, he is a member of:

Selected scientific publications[edit]

(highlighted are the earliest and the most recent articles. For complete bibliography please see [9] below)

  • Foglia, V.G., Fernandez-Collazo, E.L., Wesley, O.R., Wertelecki, W., Granillo, R.: Trastornos de la Reproduccion de La Rata Macho Diabetica. Rev. Soc. Argent. Biol. 37:127 (1961).
  • Wertelecki, W; Schindler, A.M; Gerald, P.S (1966). "Partial Deletion of Chromosome 18". The Lancet. 288 (7464): 641. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(66)91964-7.
  • Kennedy Jr, J. L; Wertelecki, W; Gates, L; Sperry, B. P; Cass, V. M (1967). "The early treatment of phenylketonuria". American Journal of Diseases of Children. 113 (1): 16–21. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1967.02090160066004. PMID 6016173.
  • Wertelecki, W., Lawton, T.J.: A Computer Program for Gathering Family History. Eighth IBM Medical Symposium, p. 165 (1967).
  • Wertelecki, W; Mantel, N (1973). "Increased Birth Weight in Leukemia". Pediatric Research. 7 (3): 132–8. doi:10.1203/00006450-197303000-00005. PMID 4511339.
  • Niswander, J. D; Wertelecki, W (1973). "Congenital malformation among offspring of epileptic women". Lancet. 1 (7811): 1062. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(73)90699-5. PMID 4122140.
  • Wertelecki, W; Graham Jr, J. M; Sergovich, F. R (1976). "The clinical syndrome of triploidy". Obstetrics and Gynecology. 47 (1): 69–76. PMID 1246396.
  • Wertelecki, W; Superneau, D. W; Blackburn, W. R; Varakis, J. N (1982). "Neurofibromatosis, skin hemangiomas, and arterial disease". Birth Defects Original Article Series. 18 (3B): 29–41. PMID 6814548.
  • Wertelecki, Wladimir; Rouleau, Guy A; Superneau, Duane W; Forehand, Lois W; Williams, John P; Haines, Jonathan L; Gusella, James F (1988). "Neurofibromatosis 2: Clinical and DNA Linkage Studies of a Large Kindred". New England Journal of Medicine. 319 (5): 278–83. doi:10.1056/NEJM198808043190505. PMID 3134615.
  • Wertelecki, Wladimir; Smith, Lynne T; Byers, Peter (1992). "Initial observations of human dermatosparaxis: Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type VIIC". The Journal of Pediatrics. 121 (4): 558–64. doi:10.1016/S0022-3476(05)81144-8. PMID 1403389.

More recent publications:

Current special projects[edit]

Wertelecki initiated ongoing investigations of population rates of congenital anomalies (CA) in Chernobyl ionizing radiation impacted regions in Ukraine. He established OMNI-Net, an international not-for-profit organization with a focus on birth defects. Subsequently, investigations of alcohol impacts and prenatal development were initiated in partnership with Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders CIFASD conducted by investigators coordinated by Dr. C. Chambers from UCSD and implemented in Ukraine by an OMNI-Net team directed by Wertelecki.

Other OMNI-Net priorities in Ukraine included the establishment of websites stressing the role in Clinical Medicine in the early visual recognition of Developmental Disorders[10] – of teratogens (causes of developmental disorders)[11] – and the importance of Medical Humanities as a basis of Medical Ethics.[12] Evidence of epidemic rates[13][14] of Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) (Spina Bifida and Anencephaly) in Ukraine (3–4 fold above Western Europe rates) and in particular in Polissia, a region impacted by Chernobyl's chronic ionizing radiation, prompted an initiative urging Ukrainian Public Health authorities to implement folic acid flour fortification policies to reduce prevailing NTD rates as the most effective public health prevention intervention.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "State birth defects surveillance programs directory". Teratology. 64: S47–S116. 2001. doi:10.1002/tera.1099.
  2. ^ Wertelecki, W (2006). "Birth defects surveillance in Ukraine: A process". Journal of Applied Genetics. 47 (2): 143–9. doi:10.1007/BF03194614. PMID 16682756.
  3. ^ "Birth Defects in Ukraine, Ukrainian Alliance, Birth Defects Program". www.ibis-birthdefects.org.
  4. ^ "Academia Nacional de Medicina". www.acamedbai.org.ar.
  5. ^ "Wertelecki Wladimir".
  6. ^ "Список почесних докторів НаУКМА". 24 December 2017 – via Wikipedia.
  7. ^ "Почесні доктори Університету". www.meduniv.lviv.ua.
  8. ^ University of South Alabama Medical Alumni Association – Medical Alumni Reunion Weekend 2016
  9. ^ Search Results for author Wertelecki W on PubMed.
  10. ^ "Clinical Eye Openers – Signs – Provocative Images – Videos". ceo.medword.net.
  11. ^ "Українська тератологічна інформаційна система". utis.in.ua.
  12. ^ "Pandora Word Box: MEDICINE - TERMINOLOGY - ETYMOLOGY". www.pandorawordbox.com.
  13. ^ Wertelecki, Wladimir; Chambers, Christina D.; Yevtushok, Lyubov; Zymak-Zakutnya, Natalya; Sosyniuk, Zoriana; Lapchenko, Serhiy; Ievtushok, Bogdana; Akhmedzhanova, Diana; Komov, Oleksandr (1 January 2017). "Chornobyl 30 years later: Radiation, pregnancies, and developmental anomalies in Rivne, Ukraine". European Journal of Medical Genetics. 60 (1): 2–11. doi:10.1016/j.ejmg.2016.09.019. PMID 27697599.
  14. ^ Norton, Amy. "Higher birth-defect rate seen in Chernobyl area".