The Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) was established on August 1, 1988 and has been continuously funded with the last renewal of funding dated July 1, 2004. The specific objectives are: 1) To enhance intellectual disabilities activities at BCM by encouraging and focusing research efforts on etiology, diagnosis, prevention, pathogenesis, and intervention of IDD. 2) To continue to promote a multidisciplinary approach to IDD research by improving interactions among Center investigators, and by continuing to develop and to apply leading edge technologies. 3) To enhance the productivity of project investigators through effective and efficient research core units and to facilitate translational research efforts. 4) To recruit new investigators into the field of IDD research through scientific interactions with center investigators and by providing the infrastructure for a multidisciplinary approach through the BCM-IDDRC Cores. 5) To promote scientific and collaborative interactions with investigators outside Baylor who have demonstrated a major commitment to study and treat IDD. The research projects will be supported by the Administrative Core (A), and by seven research cores: High Throughput Genomic &RNA Analysis (B), Genome-Wide RNAi Analysis (C), Gene Expression Analysis which includes Neuropathology, Confocal, and RNA in situ (D), Tissue Culture (E), Stem Cell (F), Mouse Neurobehavior (G), and Mouse Physiology (H). There are 48 faculty participants, including 41 research project investigators and 73 research projects. The scope of research at the BCM-IDDRC will include the following ten topic areas: 1) Neurobiology, cellular &molecular aspects of brain development;2) Inborn errors of metabolism;3) Genetic &epigenetic basis of diseases;4) Innovative technologies for diagnosis &screening IDD;5) Animal models for pathogenesis &for developing and testing therapeutics;6) Pathways that affect function of nervous system;7) Molecular, behavioral &therapeutic studies in IDD including fragile X, Angelman, Prader-Willi, and Rett syndromes;8) Definition of clinical phenotypes in genetically diagnosed populations;9) Studies of aggression, social behavioral problems and stereotypies;and 10) Neurobiology, genetics, pathogenesis &pharmacological approaches in autism spectrum disorders.
The overall goals of the Baylor IDDRC are to identify as many causes of intellectual and developmental disabilities as possible, to prevent these disorders, and to provide interventional schemes that can improve the quality of life of afflicted individuals and ameliorate their disability whenever possible.
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