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Psychiatry Research Day, November 1, 2018 "Autism Across the Lifespan"


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Research Day 2018 "Autism Across the Lifespan" was an extremely successful departmental event that was 
held on November 1, 2018
. There were 135 attendees including staff, faculty, and community partners. The
program started with a welcome and opening remarks by Sheldon Benjamin, MD, Professor and Interim Chair,
Dept of Psychiatry; followed by Michael Gustafson, MD, MBA, President, UMass Memorial Medical Center.

The Keynote Speaker was Wendy Chung, MD, PhD. Dr Chung is a clinical and molecular geneticist, the Kennedy
Family Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Columbia University, and the Director of Clinical Research for SFARI
at the Simons Foundation. In a captivating and upbeat presentation, Dr Chung described her foundation's work in genotyping over 50,000 people with ASD, and then hosting a series of weekend gatherings for individuals from across
the country with variant syndromes to allow families to learn from one another and to meet researchers interested
in their disorders. Her presentation was titled:

“SPARKing New Paradigms in Translational Autism Research

Wendy Chung

Wendy Chung, MD, PhD


Following Dr. Chung's presentation awards were presented by Sheldon Benjamin, MD, Professor and Interim Chair. Congratulations to the Following Winners!

Staff Excellence Awards:                         Diane George and Denise Barrett

Clinical Excellence Award:                       Syeda Nuzhat, MD

Douglas M. Ziedonis Award                       Mary Ahn, MD
for Career Development

Steven Banks for Research                       David Kennedy, PhD

After the presentation of awards the event included 10 10-minute presentations spanning basic science to medical and psychosocial treatments for ASD and neurodevelopmental disorders. After the presenters there were panel discussions.

The presenters and titles of their presentations are notated below:

Michael Green, MD, PhD:                        Pharmacological Reactivation of Epigenetically Silenced FMR1 as a Therapeutic Approach for Fragile X Syndrome

Jeanne Lawrence, PhD
:                          Silencing Chromosome 21 in Trisomy: A New Approach to Down Syndrome Translational Research

Andrew Zimmerman, MD
:                       Sulforaphane Treatment of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Marsha Ellison, PhD:
                               Forging Career Pathways for Individuals with Autism and Co-Occurring Mental Health Conditions

Jean Frazier, MD
:                                   Neuropsychiatric Outcomes in Individuals Born Extremely Preterm

Beth McCormick, PhD
:                           The ABC's of Microbial Regulation of Lipid Immuno-Modulators in Intestinal Health and Disease
Roula Choueiri, MD
:                               The Rapid Interactive Screening Test for Autism (RITA-T) in Toddlers: New Models and Earlier Detection of Autism

Julie LeMoine
:                                       Immersive Reality Research: Creating "good digital helpers" as part of an Augmented Reality framework to provide assistance to Teens with ASD

Carol Curtin, PhD
:                                 Obesity in Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

David Cochran, MD, PhD
:                       The Role of Neuroimaging Biomarkers in the Development of Novel Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders

The event concluded with a Poster Session and Reception illustrating research by departmental faculty and trainees in the UMass Chan Medical School new lobby.

The winner of Best Trainee Poster was Janette Abramowitz, MD, and the winner of Best Faculty Poster was David Cochran, MD, PhD.

Link To Research Day Posters

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