The Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is an annual scientific meeting at which an interdisciplinary group of investigators present and discuss cutting-edge biobehavioral theory and research on intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The conference focuses on the causes, consequences, and treatments and interventions for specific disorders as well as processes underlying IDD more generally. Each year's conference has a scientific theme which is explored through keynote presentations, but the theme does not constrain the symposia or poster sessions, which span a broad range of topics, from basic to translational and applied science.
The specific aims are: 1. to foster the infusion of perspectives, methods, and theories from related fields into IDD research and to promote the exchange of scientific information, theoretical perspectives, and methodological innovations relevant to IDD. 2. to promote collaborative research on IDD, bringing together an interdisciplinary group of investigators ranging from behavioral and social scientists to those specializing in genetics, brain structure and function, and molecular biology. 3. to serve as a unique training and career development resource for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and other early career scientists entering the field of IDD research by providing them with access to cutting- edge scientific presentations, opportunities for networking, and exposure to NIH program and review leadership, particularly those associated with the IDD Branch of NICHD.
The field of IDD is increasingly interdisciplinary, biobehavioral, and aiming to have an impact on the lives of individuals with IDD and their families by translating research results into treatments and interventions. The Gatlinburg Conference provides a unique venue where new scientific collaborations relevant to IDD are initiated, where research results are presented and discussed, and where the careers of researchers interested in IDD are supported. Ultimately, the conference endeavors to shape the biobehavioral scientific agenda of the field of IDD and to advance efforts to translate research results into therapeutic innovations.