Dave and Randy
John Greally
Murmar Awards
Sasha Djukic

Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center


The Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (RFK-IDDRC) and its programs represent the hub of Einstein’s research labs and patient clinics focused on intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). Founded more than 40 years ago, the RFK-IDDRC has long been at the forefront of research on normal and abnormal brain development and function, and of clinical care for children with IDDs. With state-of-the-art equipment and techniques, RFK IDDRC scientists are leading the way in research on autism, Rett, 22q11.2DS, Fragile X, Niemann-Pick C, seizure disorders, deafness etc. and on understanding the impact of the environment and nutrition on brain development and maturation and other genetic and neurometabolic disorders. Bridges built between RFK-IDDRC investigators and clinicians also are allowing advancement of translational studies designed to bring bench research discoveries to the bedside in the form of new and innovative therapies.


The Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center at Einstein is one of the oldest designated University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Research, Education and Service (UCEDD). As a UCEDD, the RFK IDDRC is also home to the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program and to the UCEDD's clinical arm - the Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC). The Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (RFK IDDRC) is one of only a handful of centers in the nation with connections to all three of these important programs, and together they represent the hub of Einstein’s IDD research labs and patient clinics.


An integral part of Einstein’s RFK IDDRC’s outreach is our newsletter, which is published bi-annually and distributed both electronically and on paper. Typically, the publication features a cover story highlighting a notable IDDRC related event or speaker and other significant accomplishments by the IDDRC Membership.read our newsletters > 

Einstein often features notable discoveries, interesting projects, opinion pieces, interviews and even human interest stories by doctors and researchers around campus and these are typically disseminated via press releases. The RFK IDDRC, being large and multi-disciplinary frequently has individual members highlighted. learn more > 


Einstein’s RFK IDDRC is composed of five Cores: an Administrative Core (ADM) and four (4) scientific Cores. The scientific cores are as follows: the Human Clinical Phenotyping Core (HCP), the Neurogenomics Core (NGEN), the Neural Cell Engineering and Imaging Core ( NCEI), and the Animal Phenotyping Core (AP). Each Core is tightly linked to the others and the ADM Core . learn more > 

The RFK IDDRC, through the ADM Core, maintains a sustained effort to bring nationally and internationally recognized speakers to Einstein/Montefiore across a variety of venues. These include the annual Isabelle Rapin Conference on Communication Disorders and Rare Disease Day, both of which we organize. learn more > 


A Message From the Director

Dr Steven Walkley

Steven U. Walkley, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Intellectual and developmental disabilities, particularly those with genetic causes, not only predominantly affect children but are also rare read more... 




Anna Francesconi, Ph.D. (PI) 
Metabotropic glutamate receptor functions in autophagy
NIH R01 MH108614 
07/1/2016 – 06/30/2021

Mark Mehler, Ph.D. (PI) 
Molero, Aldrin
Huntington's disease: a novel developmental oligodendrogliopathy
NIH R01 NS096144
04/01/16 – 03/31/21

Eliana Scemes, Ph.D. (PI)
Importance of pannexin to astrocyte and neuronal ATP signaling
NIH R01 NS092786  
07/1/2016 – 06/30/2021

Steven U. Walkley, D.V.M., Ph.D. (PI)
Gene therapy studies in Mucolipidosis IV disease
ML4 Foundation
06/01/16 – 05/31/17

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Funding Announcements

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Past funding announcements 

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Research Round-Up

Elective ServiceDr. Susan Band Horwitz was elected to serve as one of the members of the AACR Nominating Committee for the 2012 to 2014 term. Founded in 1907, the AACR (American Association for Cancer Research), is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. Its membership includes 34,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 countries. Dr. Horwitz is distinguished university professor and co-chair of molecular pharmacology at Einstein, as well as associate director for therapeutics for the Albert Einstein Cancer Center and the Rose C. Falkenstein Professor of Cancer Research. She also is an AACR past president and currently serves as a member on the Council of Scientific Advisors.

Good Reading Dr. U. Thomas Meier was awarded a $1.2 million grant over four years by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to study how cells assemble small nucleolar RNA-protein complexes that function in the modification of ribosomal and other RNAs, thereby fine-tuning protein synthesis and pre-messenger RNA processing.  Dr. Meier’s laboratory will use novel approaches to shed light on these basic cellular processes, thus providing the foundation for understanding what goes wrong in certain genetic diseases and cancers.  Dr. Meier is professor of anatomy and structural biology.

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