The Baylor College of Medicine Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (BCM IDDRC) was established August 1, 1988, and has been continuously funded with the last renewal of funding July 1, 2009. The BCM IDDRC is committed to advancing research in intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to address the problems encountered by individuals with IDD and their families. Specifically, the mission of the BCM IDDRC are to identify as many causes of intellectual and developmental disability as possible, to understand the mechanisms mediating these disorders, to prevent these disorders, and to provide interventions that can improve the quality of life of affected individuals and ameliorate their disability whenever possible. The specific objectives are: 1) To enhance IDD research activities at BCM by encouraging and focusing research efforts on etiology, diagnosis, prevention, mechanism of pathogenesis, and the development of therapies to treat IDD, 2) To develop and provide innovative and critical core facilities to enhance IDD research at BCM, 3) To promote a multidisciplinary approach to IDD research by improving interactions between Center investigators and recruiting new investigators into the field of IDD research, and 4) To promote scientific and collaborative interactions with investigators outside BCM who have demonstrated a major commitment to study and treat IDD. The BCM IDDRC is structured around the major themes of discovering the genetic and genomic basis of IDD, developing disease models of IDD, performing detailed pathogenesis studies of IDD, and developing novel therapies for IDD. The mission and goals of the BCM IDDRC will be accomplished by providing innovative, important, and cost-effective research core services to support high quality investigators and research projects aligned with the mission, goals, and objectives of the IDDRC. The BCM IDDRC proposes A) an Administrative Core, B) a Clinical Translational Core, C) a Rodent Neurobehavioral Core, D) a Neurovisualization Core which includes Neuropathology, Confocal, and RNA in situ, and (E) a Neuroconnectivity Core which includes Viral Production, Optogenetics, and In vivo Physiology. Additionally, the BCM IDDRC will support an innovative preclinical research project entitled "Steps towards a paternal gene activation therapy for Angelman syndrome" that will develop novel, genetically based treatments for that neurodevelopmental disorder. These core resources will support 45 investigators and 56 NIH funded research projects. Over the last 25 years the BCM IDDRC has been remarkably successful in fostering the discovery of the causes of IDD, determining the pathophysiology of IDD, and developing treatments for IDD. Ongoing funding will allow the Center to continue to support and expand these efforts at BCM.
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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