On Thursday, December 6, 2012, the inaugural Isabelle Rapin Conference on Communication Disorders was held in Einstein's Price Center/Block Research Pavilion. The event was established by Einstein's Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) and Children's Evaluation & Rehabilitation Center (CERC) to honor the contributions Dr. Rapin has made to the field – and continues to make – during a career spanning more than half a century.
"Dr. Rapin is a true pioneer in the field of child neurology and it was fitting to dedicate this conference to her," said Dr. Steven Walkley, director of the IDDRC, during introductory remarks. "Over her illustrious career at Einstein, she has expanded our knowledge and understanding of communication disorders while working with researchers, patients and their families. And she has mentored countless faculty and students."
The full-day conference began with a series of informative presentations focused on Williams Syndrome (WS), a rare developmental disorder that results from a small genetic deletion. Patients with WS are developmentally delayed in speech and have distinct facial features. Although bubbly and outgoing, patients suffer an array of health problems including high blood pressure, anxiety, and diabetes.
LeFrak Auditorium was filled to capacity for the event, requiring that an overflow room with a video feed also be put to use. Among those in attendance was the conference's namesake, who is professor emerita of neurology and retired earlier in 2012.
"I was truly heartened by the number of people who attended," said Dr. Walkley. It speaks to Dr. Rapin's influence in the field and the esteem in which she is held."
The seminar series was followed by interactive roundtable discussions among presenters, researchers and parents of individuals with WS. "Parents were able to obtain medical advice from clinicians and share stories with other families," reported Michelle Disco, a genetic counselor at Montefiore Medical Center who served as one of the discussion moderators.
Establishment of the annual conference was inspired by a special event, "Rare People and Rare Talents on a Rare Day," held in February 2012, and organized by Dr. Walkley along with Dr. Robert Marion, director of CERC and founder of Montefiore's Williams Syndrome Center. Among the featured performers that day was an individual with WS, recalled Dr. Walkley. "During the event we were surprised to learn that people, including clinicians, were unfamiliar with the disorder – especially since there is a substantial clinic for Williams Syndrome at Montefiore."
Thus motivated, Drs. Walkley and Marion determined to initiate an annual conference that could educate clinicians and researchers about rare communication diseases. "Our goal to establish synergy between departments and across disciplines, to drive research and treatment efforts, was achieved and we're looking forward to planning next year's conference," concluded Dr. Walkley.
Supporting Research on the Biology of Aging
Friday, July 18, 2014
New Einstein Club Uses Food for Thought to Address Malnutrition and Poverty
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Distinguished Ph.D. Alumnus Shares Insights from His Research
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
The Einstein Emerging Leaders Host Third Annual Gala
Thursday, July 03, 2014
Ceremony Marks Transition from Classroom to Clinical Wards
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Inaugural EiSci Conference Encourages Bronx Teens to Aim High
Thursday, June 26, 2014
From the United States to Uganda, Grand Rounds Goes Global
Friday, June 20, 2014
New Program Puts Einstein Students at Patients' Bedside
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Visit Offers Elementary Lessons on Nutrition and Exercise
Friday, June 13, 2014
Helping Scientists Elevate Their Online Professional Network
Thursday, June 12, 2014
< Previous | Next >