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RTI’s Don Bailey named to National Academies committee that will recommend ways to modernize newborn screening

Bailey is a Distinguished Fellow at RTI and an internationally known expert on young children with disabilities and newborn screening

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Don Bailey, Ph.D., a Distinguished Fellow at nonprofit research institute RTI International, has been named to a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) that will examine the current landscape of newborn screening systems, processes and research in the U.S. Newborn screening identifies babies with serious health conditions that must be treated early, before symptoms become obvious.

Bailey, an internationally known expert with an extensive record of research related to newborn screening, will join other committee members in recommending ways to modernize newborn screening at the state and federal levels. Areas of focus will include system capacities to consider screening for new conditions and using new technologies, and positioning newborn screening and follow-up systems to be nimble, coordinated, and sustainable.

“This is a unique opportunity to shape the future of newborn screening policy with an evidence-based approach,” said Bailey. “I’m excited and honored to be part of this work and look forward to getting started.”

The committee’s work will culminate in a list of short-term options to strengthen existing newborn screening programs that could be implemented over the next 2 to 3 years and a roadmap for the future of newborn screening that addresses the next 5 to 15 years.

Bailey has been a Distinguished Fellow at RTI since 2006. For 27 years, he was on the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a W.R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor and, for 14 years, director of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute.

At RTI, he led the creation of Early Check, a research project that offers voluntary additional newborn screening shortly after birth as a supplement to the standard newborn screening conducted in North Carolina. He now serves as a senior advisor to Early Check, as the project has expanded to study the potential use of whole genome sequencing shortly after birth.