Robert Guthrie Symposium

Picture of Dr. Robert Guthrie.

Dr. Robert Guthrie, known as the "Father of Newborn Screening," checks on one of the infants who benefited from his work in this 1982 photo. Courtesy UB Archives.

The Guthrie Symposium on newborn screening and metabolic disorders is a half-day educational event honoring the life and legacy of Robert Guthrie, MD, PhD, and his attachment to the University at Buffalo and Oishei Children's Hospital.

This annual symposium is a forum for world-renowned physicians and scientists to share their knowledge with providers, families and community stakeholders. Our speakers will discuss pioneering research and clinical practices in genetic and metabolic disorders.

Inaugural Symposium

The inaugural Guthrie Symposium was held virtually on June 28, 2021, the date that would be Dr. Guthrie's 105th birthday.

  • 5/7/21
    Robert Guthrie was born on June 28, 1916, in Marionville, Missouri. His education as a physician and a scientist was circuitous but extensive, resulting in his earning six degrees across two institutions, including his MD in bacteriology in 1945 and his PhD in biochemistry in 1946 from the University of Minnesota.
Robert Guthrie.



8:00 am - 8:20 am

Opening Remarks

Michael E. Cain, MD
Vice President for Health Sciences and
Dean, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Steven E. Lipshultz, MD
A. Conger Goodyear Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics
Pediatric Chief-of-Service, Kaleida Health
Medical Director of Pediatric Services Business Development, Oishei Children's Hospital
President, UBMD Pediatrics

Stephen J. Turkovich, MD
Chief Medical Officer, Oishei Children’s Hospital
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics

8:20 am - 8:40 am

"My father makes every baby cry"

Patricia Guthrie, MA
Independent journalist, Seattle, Wash.

8:40 am - 9:10 am


Newborn Screening is the Guthrie Legacy

Harvey Levy, MD
Senior physician in Medicine/Division of Genetics and Genomics, Boston Children's Hospital
Professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

9:10 am - 9:40 am

Patient panel discussion on benefits of newborn screening

Margaret McGlynn, MBA
President of the board, HCU Network America

9:40 am - 10:00 am


10:00 am - 10:30 am

Current status of newborn screening in New York

Michele Caggana, ScD, FACMG
Deputy Director of the Division of Genetics
Chief of the Laboratory of Human Genetics
Director of the Newborn Screening Program, New York State Department of Health's Wadsworth Center

10:30 am - 11:00 am


Current status of newborn screening in the world

R. Rodney Howell, MD
Emeritus Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics
Emeritus member, Hussman Institute for Human Genomics
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

11:00 am - 11:30 am

Metabolic Medicine: The Evolution of a Medical Specialty

Mark Korson, MD
Director of Physician Support Service and Director of Education, VMP Genetics

11:30 am - 12:00 pm

The Potential Impact of Gene Therapy on Metabolic Disorders

Taosheng Huang, MD, PhD
Professor and Division Chief, Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, University at Buffalo
Director of Medical Genetics, Oishei Children's Hospital

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm

Panel Discussion


  • Taosheng Huang, MD, PhD


  • Patricia Guthrie, MA
  • Harvey Levy, MD
  • Margaret McGlynn, MBA
  • Michele Caggana, ScD, FACMG
  • R. Rodney Howell, MD
  • Mark Korson, MD
  • Thomas J. Langan, MD



  • 6/24/21
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  • 6/24/21
    Patricia Guthrie is Dr. Robert Guthrie's daughter and one of the special guest speakers at this year's Symposium. She is an independent journalist from Seattle, Washington, specializing in writing about public health, chronic diseases, and social issues surrounding healthcare. Her writing has frequently appeared in the Huffington Post, Bloomberg News, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and the Nursing Association Journal. She has received multiple awards for her work on these subjects, including the Don Bolles Award and the Scripps-Howard Award. In 1988, she received the George Polk Award for Local Reporting for a series she co-wrote for the Albuquerque Tribune on chronic alcoholism in Gallup, NM. She was also a Kiplinger Fellow at The Ohio State University, where she earned a master's degree in journalism. She has made it one of her primary goals to memorialize and celebrate her father's contributions to newborn screening and treating metabolic disorders. As part of these efforts, she has founded the The Robert Guthrie Legacy Project in 2016 to help document and promote Dr. Guthrie's legacy to the broader community.
  • 6/24/21
    Dr. Harvey Levy is senior physician in Medicine/Division of Genetics and Genomics at Boston Children’s Hospital and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Over his long and storied career, he has made multiple seminal contributions to the diagnosis, treatment, and scientific understanding of metabolic disorders. Following his graduation from the Medical College of Georgia in 1960, Dr. Levy trained in pediatrics at Boston City Hospital, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, and Johns Hopkins Hospital. After his pediatrics training, he briefly rejoined the Boston City Hospital as chief resident of pediatrics before taking a position at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) as a research fellow in metabolism and pediatric neurology research under Dr. Mary Efron, a pioneer in metabolism and metabolic disease. After completing this fellowship, Dr. Levy joined the faculty of the MGH and Harvard and also served as a consultant in metabolism to the Massachusetts newborn screening program. In 1978, Dr. Levy moved to Boston Children’s Hospital to found and serve as the first director of the metabolic program.
  • 6/24/21
    Margaret (Margie) McGlynn is an alumna of the University at Buffalo and a major donor to the Margaret Hempling McGlynn Endowed Chair in Clinical Pharmacy in the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She received both her BS in pharmacy and her MBA in marketing from the University at Buffalo. During her career in the private sector, Margie spent 26 years at Merck, where she served in leadership roles in marketing, new product development, and managed care. Her final position at Merck was as President, Global Vaccines and Anti-Infectives. After retiring from Merck, Margie served for 4 years as president and chief executive officer of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), a product development partnership that helps accelerate HIV vaccine development by bridging government and philanthropic funding with academic and industry vaccine research and development capabilities. Margie also serves on the boards of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Amicus Therapeutics, Orphan Technologies, and Air Products and Chemicals.
  • 6/24/21
    Dr. Michele Caggana is chief of the laboratory of human genetics and director of the newborn screening program at the New York State Department of Health's Wadsworth Center. She is the deputy director for the division of genetics and co-lead of the genetic testing section for the clinical laboratory evaluation program. Dr. Michele Caggana joined the Wadsworth Center in 1996, after receiving her doctoral degree from the Harvard School of Public Health and completing her post-doctoral work in molecular virology (also at the Wadsworth Center) and clinical molecular genetics at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.
  • 6/24/21
    Dr. R. Rodney Howell is a professor of pediatrics and chair emeritus of pediatrics at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. He is also emeritus member of the Hussman Institute for Human Genomics. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The author of more than 150 original articles and abstracts on genetic disorders in children, Dr. Howell’s pioneering work has benefited countless infants and children worldwide. Dr. Howell's skill in advancing the genetic and genomic medicine agenda has improved global public health.
  • 6/24/21
    Dr. Mark Korson graduated from the University of Toronto School of Medicine and completed his pediatric residency nearby at The Hospital for Sick Children. After his fellowship in genetics and metabolism at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, he became director of the metabolism clinic there until 2000. In 2000, Dr. Korson became director of the metabolism service at Tufts Medical Center’s Floating Hospital for Children and associate professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine until 2014. 

Planning Committee

  • Chair: Taosheng Huang, MD, PhD
    Professor and Division Chief, Genetics
    Department of Pediatrics
  • Kathy Swenson
    Senior Director of Advancement, University at Buffalo
  • Amy Lachuk
    Grant Manager, Children's Hospital of Buffalo Foundation
  • Margaret McGlynn, MBA
    President, HCU Network America
  • Emily Mazur
    UBMD Pediatrics
  • Kathy Rygg
    UBMD Pediatrics
  • Jesse Slone
    UBMD Pediatrics


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