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Autism: Integrating Genes, Brain and Behavior

It has become increasingly clear that the diverse developmental symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorders are a complex product of biological determinants and environmental factors. Accordingly, efforts to promptly identify autistic individuals and provide treatments that can improve their quality of life will require a concerted effort from experts working in diverse areas of basic and clinical research.

The 23rd Annual International Symposium of the Hunter College Center for Gene Structure and Function, held in New York on 15 January, 2010, brought together leaders in fields ranging from cell biology and neuroscience to developmental psychology and public health, with the common aim of describing ongoing progress – and yet-unmet challenges – in building a comprehensive picture of autism. Although the talks were divided into two distinct sections, one focused primarily at the cellular and molecular level and the other at the diagnostic and therapeutic level, all the presentations were nevertheless linked by the recognition that true breakthroughs in understanding and controlling the negative impact of this family of developmental disorders will ultimately require parallel progress in both areas.

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Autism: Integrating Genes, Brain, and Behavior Genes, brain, and behavior: development gone awry in autism? <pdf>

Symposium Planning Committee: 

Chair: Maria Figueiredo-Pereira
Professor of Biological Sciences, Hunter College, CUNY

Jason Dictenberg
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, Hunter College, CUNY

Delcia O. Grenald
Administrative Manager, Clinical and Translational Research Unit, Weill Cornell Medical College

James Gordon
Professor of Psychology, Hunter College, CUNY

Beth Jaffe
Graduate Student, Hunter College, School of Education

Samie Jaffrey
Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Weill Cornell Medical College

Julia Kaltschmidt
Assistant Member, Developmental Biology Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Michael Lewis
Professor of Biopyschology, Hunter College, CUNY

Michael Siller
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Hunter College, CUNY

Sebastian Shaffer
Graduate Student, Weill Cornell Medical College

Tricia Striano
Associate Professor of Psychology, Hunter College, CUNY

Program Leadership: 

Robert Dottin
Professor of Biological Sciences, Hunter College, CUNY
Director, Center for Study of Gene Structure and Function

Julianne Imperato-McGinley
Associate Dean of Translational Research, Weill Cornell Medical College

CTBR Staff: 

Denise Charles, Symposium Coordinator and Program Administrator for Communications and Outreach

Leah Abraha, Program Coordinator, Evaluation Liaison
Megan Anderson, Program Administrator
Carlos Lijeron, Internet2 Facility Manager
Raul Morales, Network Facility Manager
Christine Gonzalez, Associate Program Manager
Marlin Guerrero, Grant Accounts Specialist
Jeanne Waxman, Program Manager