Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center

Overview (old)

Founded more than 40 years ago, the Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (RFK IDDRC) has long been at the forefront of research on brain development and function, while simultaneously providing clinical care for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). It is also one of the oldest designated University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Research, Education and Service (UCEDD) and, as such, has intimate links to Einstein’s UCEDD clinical arm - the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC).

CERC provides clinicians and investigators with the challenge and opportunity of working with large numbers of IDD-related conditions in the genetically diverse and socioeconomically compromised population of the Bronx.

Demonstrating further integration within Einstein’s RFK IDDRC, the UCEDD is also home to the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program, one of only 38 in the United States, which supports interdisciplinary clinical training for medical and allied health professionals who care for individuals with special healthcare needs.




Celebrating International Rare Disease Day
Location: Price Center/Forchheimer
Date: March 2, 2015

Einstein's 4th Annual Rare Disease Day celebration took place on Monday, March 2, 2015, in the Price Center's LeFrak Auditorium.  It was followed by an exhibition and live performance in Forchheimer, on Main Street. This year, the event focused on Lysosomal Storage Disorders (LSDs), marking the 50th Anniversary of the discovery of this group of diseases, and as such, featured two panels, the first of which was made up of three patients who very generously shared their clinical stories, and of a second, advocacy panel, made up of parents. Dr. Steven Walkley gave a brief history of LSDs and Dr. Robert Marion moderated the two panels.  The diseases represented by the patient guests were Gaucher, MPSVI, Fabry, Cystinosis, MPS IIIC and NPC. Following the program in Le Frak, there was a lively and well attended wine & cheese reception on Main Street, where selections from Levi Gershkowitz' "Living in the Light" project was displayed along with Genzyme Corporation's "Expressions of Hope" art exhibition. There was also a live singing performance by Alena Galan, a patient of Dr. Robert Marion.



Steven Walkley, DVM, PhD 
Albert Einstein College of Medicine 


Lysosomal Disease at Half Century: A New Era Emerges
January 23, 2015  
John D. Wiley Conference Center-University of Wisconsin

Dr. Steven Walkley, Einstein Professor of Neuroscience, Pathology and Neurology and Director of the Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, was chosen as the University of Wisconsin’s 2015 Harry Waisman Memorial Lecturer. Dr. Walkley’s talk, at the John D. Wiley Conference Center on January 23, 2015, entitled “Lysosomal Disease at Half Century: A New Era Emerges,” provided a historical overview of the challenges faced by researchers in the early years after discovery, of this group of devastating diseases.

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Related News & Features

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A Message From the Director

Dr Steven Walkley

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

Most intellectual and developmental disabilities, particularly those with genetic causes, not only predominantly affect children but are also rare—as defined by the Rare Disease Act of 2002, they affect about 1 in 1,500 people. There are estimated to be almost 7,000 rare diseases, most of which are in fact ultra-rare, read more... 


Watch video on Dr. Walkley's rare disease research.

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In the Media

Wall Street Journal interviews Drs. Kartik Chandran and Steven Walkley about the connection between the rare genetic disease Niemann-Pick Type C and Ebola. (subscription) (Monday, Nov 03, 2014)

Time features research led by Dr. Sophie Molholm suggesting that brain scans measuring how quickly children process sensory information could be used to diagnose autism. (Monday, Sep 22, 2014)

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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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