The overarching goal of the Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (RFK-IDDRC) is to improve the lives of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities through research and clinical outreach. Forty years of distinguished history in basic research and clinical care as one ofthe flagship IDDRCs of NICHD, coupled with important recent faculty recruitments and facility developments at Einstein have, in concert, sown the seeds of a rennaissance in the Kennedy Center IDD program. Critical to this process is a new Kennedy Center leadership team providing a vision of cooperation and collaboration whereby bench scientists and clinicians work intertwined toward the common goal of translating studies in simple systems to clinical insight and therapies with direct relevance to patient health. Four research themes embodying both the basic science strengths at Einstein and critical IDD-related clinical issues inherent in the Bronx and surrounding populations have been identified, as have key scientific cores essential for supporting research advances in these areas. Research themes are focused on the overlapping and ail-important areas of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Neurogenetic and Seizure Disorders, Nutritional and Environmental Determinants of Brain Development, and Deafness and Communication Disorders. Six scientific cores are designed to provide the means for both human and animal phenotyping, neuron and whole brain imaging, cell and tissue manipulation, and genetic analyses, with each centered strategically to provide advancements in bench research and patient care. Partners in this effort include the powerful research engines of Neuroscience and Genetics and other key academic departments at Einstein along with the Kennedy Center's clinical affiliates - the Children's Evaluation and Rehabiltiation Center (CERC) and the Children's Hospital At Montefiore (CHAM). These clinical centers and their contributing clinical departments serve one of the neediest urban populations in the country, where intellectual and developmental disabilities occur in economically deprived, and underserved racially-mixed minority populations. These remarkable research and clincial resources, coupled with a reinvorgorate and inspired leadership and program, provide the basis for a new era for the Rose F. Kennedy Center as it strives toward its goal of improving the lives of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) represent one of the most significant categories of health impact involving children, affecting hundreds of thousands of individuals in the US alone. The purpose of this proposal is to establish an IDD research center, the Rose F. Kennedy IDDRC, as a means to promote a program of cutting-edge scientific and translational research in neuroscience and genetics coupled with dedicated, indepth clinical efforts focused on diagnosis and patient care.
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