Dave and Randy
John Greally
Murmar Awards
Sasha Djukic

Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center


Founded nearly 50 years ago, the Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) has long been at the forefront of research on normal and abnormal brain development in children. Recent developments, including the Einstein-Montefiore merger, bode well for the Center’s future as it approaches its second half century.

Our closest clinical partner – the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC), is now revitalized and under new leadership with its clinics fully consolidated in the Van Etten building adjacent to Kennedy. This move has also made available additional research space in the Kennedy building, facilitating a planned expansion and revitalization of Einstein’s Neuroscience program. In addition, new recruitments and a continued expansion of our Montefiore clinical partner, the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM), has set the stage for ever-expanding translational studies linking basic science expertise at Einstein with specific neurodevelopmental disorders seen at CHAM clinics, including Rett and Williams syndromes, Niemann-Pick and other lysosomal diseases, neurocutaneous disorders, infantile and childhood seizures, and others.

A key objective of the Rose F. Kennedy IDDRC leadership is to further expand and enhance research collaborations between its basic science investigators and its clinical partners at CERC and CHAM. Through such collaboration we hope to advance understanding of the causes and consequences of neurodevelopmental disorders and to enhance translational studies designed to bring bench research discoveries to the bedside in the form of new and innovative therapies.



An integral part of Einstein’s RFK IDDRC’s outreach is our newsletter, which is published bi-annually and distributed both electronically and on paper. Typically, the publication features a cover story highlighting a notable IDDRC related event or speaker and other significant accomplishments by the IDDRC Membership.read our newsletters > 

Einstein often features notable discoveries, interesting projects, opinion pieces, interviews and even human interest stories by doctors and researchers around campus and these are typically disseminated via press releases. The RFK IDDRC, being large and multi-disciplinary frequently has individual members highlighted. learn more > 


Einstein’s RFK IDDRC is composed of five Cores: an Administrative Core (ADM) and four (4) scientific Cores. The scientific cores are as follows: the Human Clinical Phenotyping Core (HCP), the Neurogenomics Core (NGEN), the Neural Cell Engineering and Imaging Core ( NCEI), and the Animal Phenotyping Core (AP). Each Core is tightly linked to the others and the ADM Core . learn more > 

The RFK IDDRC, through the ADM Core, maintains a sustained effort to bring nationally and internationally recognized speakers to Einstein/Montefiore across a variety of venues. These include the annual Isabelle Rapin Conference on Communication Disorders and Rare Disease Day, both of which we organize. learn more > 


A Message From the Director

Dr Steven Walkley

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

One could readily, and I believe successfully, argue that the topic of fetal and early postnatal development of the human brain is one of the most important, yet least studied areas of Neuroscience and Pediatrics. The developing brain, both before and after birth, is sensitive to many insults – from genetic mutations causing disease, to infections, trauma, environmental toxins, and so on. Yet while vulnerable, read more... 



RFK-IDDRC Internal Advisory Committee Member and regular member, Kamran Khodakhah, has just been named the Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Neuroscience! Click here for full story.  

We are pleased to announce that RFK-IDDRC member Noboru Hiroi was awarded the 2016 Lilly Neuroscience Basic Research Award by the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP). Dr. Hiroi will be honored at the opening ceremony of the CINP congress held in Seoul, Korea July 3-5th, 2016.

May 10, 2016 Nature interviews RFK-IDDRC NGEN Core director, John Greally about his criticism of a recent New Yorker article on epigenetics. 

New Grants 

Steven U. Walkley, D.V.M., Ph.D. (PI)
Gene therapy studies in Mucolipidosis IV disease
ML4 Foundation
06/01/16 – 05/31/17

Anna Francesconi, Ph.D. (PI) 
Metabotropic glutamate receptor functions in autophagy
NIH R01 MH108614 
07/1/2016 – 06/30/2021

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Funding Announcements

No announcements for now 

Past funding announcements 

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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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