1 Molholm Autism Video
John Foxe
John Greally

Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center


Founded more than 40 years ago, the Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (RFK IDDRC) has long been at the forefront of research on brain development and function, while providing clinical care for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs).  With state-of-the-art equipment and techniques, RFK IDDRC scientists are leading the way in research on autism, Rett, Fragile X, Niemann-Pick C and other genetic and neurometabolic disorders, bringing bench research discoveries to the bedside in the form of new and innovative therapies.

The RFK IDDRC is one of the oldest designated University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Research, Education and Service (UCEDD).  UCEDD is home to the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program and to UCEDD's clinical arm - the Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC). The RFK IDDRC is one of only a handful of centers in the nation with connections to all three of these important programs, and together they represent the hub of Einstein’s IDD research labs and patient clinics.




Celebrating International Rare Disease Day
Location: Price Center/Forchheimer
Date: March 2, 2015

Einstein's 4th Annual Rare Disease Day celebration took place on Monday, March 2, 2015, in the Price Center's LeFrak Auditorium.  It was followed by an exhibition and live performance in Forchheimer, on Main Street. This year, the event focused on Lysosomal Storage Disorders (LSDs), marking the 50th Anniversary of the discovery of this group of diseases, and as such, featured two panels, the first of which was made up of three patients who very generously shared their clinical stories, and of a second, advocacy panel, made up of parents. Dr. Steven Walkley gave a brief history of LSDs and Dr. Robert Marion moderated the two panels.  The diseases represented by the patient guests were Gaucher, MPSVI, Fabry, Cystinosis, MPS IIIC and NPC. Following the program in Le Frak, there was a lively and well attended wine & cheese reception on Main Street, where selections from Levi Gershkowitz' "Living in the Light" project was displayed along with Genzyme Corporation's "Expressions of Hope" art exhibition. There was also a live singing performance by Alena Galan, a patient of Dr. Robert Marion.



Steven Walkley, DVM, PhD 
Albert Einstein College of Medicine 


Lysosomal Disease at Half Century: A New Era Emerges
January 23, 2015  
John D. Wiley Conference Center-University of Wisconsin

Dr. Steven Walkley, Einstein Professor of Neuroscience, Pathology and Neurology and Director of the Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, was chosen as the University of Wisconsin’s 2015 Harry Waisman Memorial Lecturer. Dr. Walkley’s talk, at the John D. Wiley Conference Center on January 23, 2015, entitled “Lysosomal Disease at Half Century: A New Era Emerges,” provided a historical overview of the challenges faced by researchers in the early years after discovery, of this group of devastating diseases.

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Related News & Features

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A Message From the Director

Dr Steven Walkley

Steven U. Walkley, D.V.M., Ph.D.


Most intellectual and developmental disabilities, particularly those with genetic causes, not only predominantly affect children but are also rare—as defined by the Rare Disease Act of 2002, they affect about 1 in 1,500 people. There are estimated to be almost 7,000 rare diseases, most of read more... 


IDDRC Newsletter

summer/spring 2014read our newsletter >> 


In the Media

The New York Times features Dr. John Greally and the artist who works with Einstein’s genetic researchers to help visualize “big data.” (Friday, Mar 27, 2015)

Wall Street Journal interviews Drs. Kartik Chandran and Steven Walkley about the connection between the rare genetic disease Niemann-Pick Type C and Ebola. (subscription) (Monday, Nov 03, 2014)

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Research Round-Up

Elective ServiceDr. Susan Band Horwitz was elected to serve as one of the members of the AACR Nominating Committee for the 2012 to 2014 term. Founded in 1907, the AACR (American Association for Cancer Research), is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. Its membership includes 34,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 countries. Dr. Horwitz is distinguished university professor and co-chair of molecular pharmacology at Einstein, as well as associate director for therapeutics for the Albert Einstein Cancer Center and the Rose C. Falkenstein Professor of Cancer Research. She also is an AACR past president and currently serves as a member on the Council of Scientific Advisors.

Good Reading Dr. U. Thomas Meier was awarded a $1.2 million grant over four years by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to study how cells assemble small nucleolar RNA-protein complexes that function in the modification of ribosomal and other RNAs, thereby fine-tuning protein synthesis and pre-messenger RNA processing.  Dr. Meier’s laboratory will use novel approaches to shed light on these basic cellular processes, thus providing the foundation for understanding what goes wrong in certain genetic diseases and cancers.  Dr. Meier is professor of anatomy and structural biology.

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