James Louis Mills, M.S.,M.D.

Senior Investigator

Epidemiology Branch


6710 Rockledge Dr. Wing B 3117



Research Topics

Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes, Particularly Birth Defects

We conduct a range of research related to birth defects and other adverse pregnancy outcomes. The two main areas we cover are nutrition and genetics. In particular we have studied folate and related vitamins as they relate to birth defect risk, particularly neural tube defects. We also conduct large scale studies of the relationship between genetic variants and birth defects. Other interests include the effect of nutrition on pregnancy outcomes and genetic asssociations with endocrine diseases.


Dr. Mills is trained in Pediatrics (Cornell and Children's Hospital of Phila.-University of Pennsylvania), Pediatric Endocrinology (Children's Hospital of Phila.-University of Pennsylvania) and Epidemiology (University of Pennsylvania). He has been at the NICHD, NIH for 35 years,over 30 as a senior investigator and later senior biomedical research service scientist. He has conducted research on many pregnancy related problems including diabetes mellitus, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, folate-neural tube defects, and genetic factors in numerous birth defects.

Selected Publications

  1. Purdue-Smithe AC, Männistö T, Bell GA, Mumford SL, Liu A, Kannan K, Kim UJ, Suvanto E, Surcel HM, Gissler M, Mills JL. The Joint Role of Thyroid Function and Iodine Status on Risk of Preterm Birth and Small for Gestational Age: A Population-Based Nested Case-Control Study of Finnish Women. Nutrients. 2019;11(11).
  2. Mills JL, Ali M, Buck Louis GM, Kannan K, Weck J, Wan Y, Maisog J, Giannakou A, Sundaram R. Pregnancy Loss and Iodine Status: The LIFE Prospective Cohort Study. Nutrients. 2019;11(3).
  3. Mills JL, Reische EC, Kannan K, Gao C, Shaw GM, Sundaram R. Newborn Iodine Status Is Not Related to Congenital Hypothyroidism. J Nutr. 2020;150(9):2429-2434.
  4. Molloy AM, Mills JL. Folic Acid and Infant Allergy: Avoiding Rash Judgments. J Nutr. 2021;151(6):1367-1368.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Friday, August 4, 2017