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Autism in Perspective: A Symposium in Honor of Dr. Isabelle Rapin and Her Numerous Contributions to the Field

December 13, 2006 - (BRONX, NY) - On Tuesday, December 19, 2006, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University will host an international symposium featuring the foremost authorities in the field of autism presenting on the latest research in the field. The all-day event will honor Dr. Isabelle Rapin, professor of neurology and of pediatrics at Einstein, in recognition of the many contributions she has made to our understanding of autism. The symposium will be held in Einstein's Robbins Auditorium beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Autism is a lifelong neurogenetic disorder whose symptoms appear during the first three years after birth. Scientists have identified a range of conditions commonly associated with autism that reflect impairment of certain areas of development, including social and communications skills.

Dr. Rapin, who founded and served for many years as the director of the Child Neurology Service and Fellowship Training Program at Einstein, has specialized in the study of neurogenetic disorders in children throughout her career, with a particular focus on communication disorders and autism. As a clinician, she also has made a substantial difference in the lives of hundreds of children with these disorders.

A native of Switzerland, Dr. Rapin joined the Einstein faculty in 1958, shortly after the medical school was founded. She had just completed a residency in neurology and a fellowship in pediatric neurology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, as well as an internship in pediatrics at NYU-Bellevue Medical Center. She received her medical degree from the University of Lausanne Medical School.

Dr. Rapin is widely published, with more than 135 papers and 75 book chapters to her name. She has been an invited lecturer at medical institutions throughout the world and has served on the board of a number of professional organizations including the Child Neurology Society, the International Child Neurology Association, the American Academy of Neurology and the International Neuropsychology Society. Among her many awards, Dr. Rapin has received the Autism Society of America's Award for Excellence in Autism Research and was named an Honorary Alumna of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

The symposium is being chaired by Dominick P. Purpura, M.D., Dean Emeritus of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and a world-renowned neuroscientist.

Speakers will include: Christopher Gillberg, M.D., Ph.D. professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Child Neuropsychiatry Centre of the University of Goteborg, in Sweden; Anthony P. Monaco, M.D., Ph.D., director and head of the neurogenetics group at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at Oxford University, in England; Huda Y. Zoghbi, M.D. professor of molecular genetics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, Texas; Mark F. Mehler, M.D., professor and chair of neurology and director of the Institute for Brain Disorders and Neural Regeneration at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Thierry Deonna, M.D., associate professor of neuropediatrics at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, in Lausanne, Switzerland; David G. Amaral, Ph.D., Beneto Foundation Chair and research director at the M.I.N.D. Institute at the Center for Neuroscience at the University of California, Davis;  Solomon L. Moshe, M.D., professor and vice-chair of neurology and director of pediatric neurology and clinical neurophysiology at Einstein; Shlomo Shinnar, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and of pediatrics at Einstein and director of the Montefiore/Einstein Comprehensive Epilepsy Management Center; Arthur W. Toga, Ph.D., professor of neurology and director of the Laboratory of Neuro-imaging at the UCLA School of Medicine, in Los Angeles; Michelle Dunn, Ph.D., associate professor of neurology at Einstein; and Robert W. Marion, M.D. professor of pediatrics and of obstetrics & gynecology and women's health and director of the Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center at Einstein.

In addition, Mrs. Doris Korey, the widow of Dr. Saul R. Korey, will offer "Reflections on The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology," in recognition of her late husband and his role in founding and serving as first chair of the neurology department at Einstein.

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