The goal of this postdoctoral training program is to train young scientists and promote careers focused on understanding and developing treatments for developmental brain disorders. Multidisciplinary training is planned in scientific disciplines relevant to the study of neurodevelopmental disorders. Thus, 23 training faculty have been selected from 4 departments. They include: 3 MDs, 7 MD/PhDs and 13 PhDs. There are: 12 Professors, 5 Associate Professors and 6 Assistant Professors. There are currently 95 postdoctoral students training in laboratories of the faculty and include 7 MD/PhDs, 11 MDs and 77 PhDs. Dr. John Swann will continue to serve as the Program Director and will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the program. Drs. Huda Zoghbi and Jeff Noebels will continue to serve as co-directors. Major areas of training include the genetic and molecular basis of neurodevelopmental disorders including but not limited to: Rett syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Fragile X syndrome and Autism. Another concentrated area of training is in epilepsy where the molecular bases of the inherited as well as acquired epilepsies are studied. All labs employ cutting edge biotechnology to create and study relevant animals models of disease in order to not only understand the biological basis for these disorders but to screen potential new therapies that could lead to clinical trials and eventually enter clinical practice. Over the past years of support, 24 postdoctoral students have thus far entered our training program and 8 have accepted faculty positions at major universities. These include 4 MD/PhD child neurologists that have been awarded K08 grants and are now pursuing research careers. Three training tracks are offered. One is for MD/PhDs and MDs with substantial research experience. Another is for less experienced MDs where training is more formal and includes laboratory rotations and graduate courses. PhDs receive substantial training in clinical aspects of neurodevelopmental disorders through dinner discussions, clinical conferences and subspecialty clinics. The opening of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (The NRI) is the most recent and dramatic demonstration of the commitment of Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine to the study of the neurobiology of developmental disorders. This training program is now based in the NRI, which promises to become a major center for the study of and training in developmental brain abnormalities. By training outstanding research scientists, we feel new understandings and treatments for the devastating neurological disorders of infants and young children will emerge.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of this postdoctoral training program is to train young scientist so that they can devote their careers to understanding the molecular mechanisms responsible for neurological disorders in children. This training program is a key component of a growing academic/research infrastructure at Baylor College of Medicine devoted to understanding and developing new therapies for devastating neurological disorders of brain development.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZNS1-SRB-P (63))
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Korn, Stephen J
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Baylor College of Medicine
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