Inaugural Symposium on Brain Development Promotes Collaboration

A packed auditorium marked the inaugural Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) symposium held on Monday, April 30, 2013 at the Price Center/Block Pavilion.

Four internationally recognized experts in autism (Dr. Ralph-Axel Müller, San Diego State); Fragile X syndrome (Dr. Gary Bassell, Emory); cochlear implants and cortical plasticity (Dr. Anu Sharma, University of Colorado at Denver); and epigenetics and the brain (Dr. Janine LaSalle, University of California at Davis) made presentations, as did selected speakers from Einstein. And a poster session, featuring 30 abstract posters and 6 IDDRC scientific core posters, offered additional information on center members’ work.

Organizers designed the daylong symposium to bring IDDRC investigators at Einstein together with clinical partners from the College of Medicine’s University Hospital, Montefiore Medical Center, where they could learn about one another’s work and about collaboration opportunities. Attendees filled LeFrak Auditorium to capacity, with guests including Drs. John Constantino (Washington University School of Medicine), Marc Patterson (Mayo Clinic) and B.J. Casey (Weill Cornell), who serve on the IDDRC external advisory board.

"The goal of this inaugural symposium was to build a sense of community among faculty by strengthening relationships within and between our various research groups said Dr. Steven Walkley, director of Einstein’s IDDRC. "By sharing our successes and featuring the various projects within the labs and clinics associated with the center, we hope to foster new collaborations that can augment current research and ultimately provide better care to individuals with intellectual disabilities."

Founded more than 40 years ago, the IDDRC continues to serve as the core for Einstein’s research into normal and abnormal brain development and brain function, and as a partner to Einstein’s Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC) which provides clinical care to patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The event’s guest speakers (from left): Drs. Anu Sharma, Gary Bassell, Janine LaSalle and Ralph-Axel Müller
The event’s guest speakers (from left): Drs. Anu Sharma, Gary Bassell, Janine LaSalle and Ralph-Axel Müller
Event organizers and members of the external advisory board (from left): Drs. Marc Patterson, Steven Walkley, John Foxe, Vytautas Verselis, Robert Marion, John Constantino and B.J. Casey
Event organizers and members of the external advisory board (from left): Drs. Marc Patterson, Steven Walkley, John Foxe, Vytautas Verselis, Robert Marion, John Constantino and B.J. Casey
Lively discussion during a meeting of various research groups that were part of the day’s activities
Lively discussion during a meeting of various research groups that were part of the day’s activities
 

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