Professor, Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience
Professor, Department of Pathology
Professor, The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology
Director, Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center
A Message from the Director
While the Rose F. Kennedy Center has a 40-year history as an NIH-sponsored Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, it is now experiencing a veritable renaissance in its programs and outreach to scientists and clinicians at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and its affiliated hospitals. For this center without walls, newly facilitated efforts by the Kennedy Center leadership are underway to bridge the disciplines of neuroscience and genetics and build productive collaborations between basic scientists and clinicians whose activities involve intellectual and developmenal disabilities in children. New ties have been forged between basic scientists in the Kennedy Center program and clinicians within Einstein’s largest pediatric care center, known as CERC (Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center), whose patient outreach encompasses the genetically diverse and socioeconomically compromised community of the Bronx.
Within the new Kennedy Center program, modern approaches to understanding how the brain develops, how it learns and how it functions in both health and disease are being coupled with new tools in genetic and epigenetic research, in modern brain imaging and in sophisticated cell biology approaches. Through such efforts, unprecedented opportunities are being created for disease discovery and diagnosis, for gene mutation identification and pathophysiological pathway elucidation, and for translational studies toward new therapies.
Although the challenge of understanding and treating intellectual and developmental disabilities of children is substantial, the opportunities for advancement in understanding brain development and disease, and in developing new interventional therapies, have never been greater. The mandate of the Kennedy Center program is to do all it can to foster these collaborations and to advance scientific discoveries and clinical efforts that will pave the way toward improvements in the lives of children with intellectual and developmental disorders.