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Lewis Ball Holmes, MD

Emeritus Unit Chief, Medical Genetics, Pediatric Service

Emeritus Director, Genetic Counseling & Screening Services,

Perinatal Diagnostic Unit, Obstetrics Program

  • Phone: 617-726-1742
Department of Pediatrics


  • MassGeneral Hospital for Children
  • Genetics
Clinical Interests
Epidemiology of malformations
Hereditary malformations
Causes of malformations
Prenatal Testing and Diagnosis
Birth defects
Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Medical Education
MD, Duke University School of Medicine
Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital
Board Certifications
Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics
Clinical Genetics (M.D.), American Board of Medical Genetics
Patient Age Group
Adult and pediatric
Accepting New Patients
Not Accepting New Patients

ResearchFor the past 40 plus years, I have worked on two major research projects: 1) searching for the causes of congenital malformations in infants; 2) determining the fetal effects from exposures during pregnancy.  The first project was explored for 40 years (1972-2012) in the evaluation of all malformed liveborn and stillborn infants born at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.  The focus of the second project has been on the effects of anticonvulsant drugs taken by pregnant women, as well as several other exposures.


  1. Gold NB, Westgate MN, Holmes LB. Anatomic and etiological classification of congenital limb deficiencies. Am J Med Genet (Part A) 155:1225-1235, 2011.
  2. Holmes LB, Westgate MN. Inclusion and exclusion criteria for malformations in newborn infants exposed to potential teratogens. Birth Def Res (Part A): Clin Mol Teratol 91:807-812, 2011.
  3. Gardiner DM, Holmes LB. Hypothesis: terminal transverse limb defects with "nubbins" represent a regenerative process during limb development in human fetuses.  Birth Def Res (Part A): Clin Mol Teratol 94:129-133, 2012.
  4. Hernandez-Diaz S, Smith CR, Shen A, Mittendorf R, Hauser WA, Yerby M, Holmes LB.  Comparative safety of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy.  Neurology 78:1692-1699, 2012.
  5. Mehta U, Clerk C, Allen E, Yore M, Sevene E, Singlovic J, Petzold M, Mangiaterra V, Elefant E, Sullivan FM, Holmes LB, Gomes M.  Protocol for a drug exposure pregnancy registry for implementation in resource-limited settings.  BMC Pregnant Childbirth 12:89, 2012.
  6. Maheshware A, Athale S, Lekhra OP, Tela K, Hernandez-Diaz S, Holmes LB.  Comparative safety of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy.  80:689-690, 2013.
  7. Holmes LB.  Common Malformations, Oxford University Press, NY, 2012.

Human Teratogens: Environmental Factors Which Cause Birth Defects

This course is designed for obstetricians, geneticists, genetic counselors, nurse midwives, nurse in obstetrics, nurse practitioners, pediatricians, family practitioners, and internists. At the end of this course, participants will be able to: • Analyze the scientific data available to determine whether an exposure in utero poses a potential risk for damage to the fetus. • Use online databases and published articles as a resource to gain information on the effect of various teratogens on the unborn fetus and use these sources in practice. • Counsel your patients who have experienced an environmental exposure so they understand the possible risks to the fetus in utero.

Medical Genetics Unit/MGHfC
175 Cambridge Street
Fifth floor
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-1742
Phone 2: 617-726-1745
Fax: 617-724-1911

Medical Genetics Unit/MGHfC
175 Cambridge Street
Fifth floor
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-1742
Phone 2: 617-726-1745
Fax: 617-724-1911

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