NIH directors, leading neuroscience researchers celebrate Kennedy Center’s 40th anniversary

A standing-room only crowd of over 700 heard from top federal officials and national academic leaders in mental health and human development about topics such as the history of mental retardation research and treatment, the social nature of autism, the interplay between nature and nurture and the new "Decade of Discovery" in mental health research at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center‘s 40th Anniversary Symposium Nov. 30.

Listen to the symposium welcome, overview and introductions by Chancellor Gordon Gee, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Harry Jacobson, and Kennedy Center Director Pat Levitt.

Listen to Dr. Duane Alexander, director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, discuss the history of the national Kennedy Center network and mental retardation research in his talk "If You Build It, They Will Come." (Introduction by Pat Levitt)

Listen to Dr. Fred Volkmar, Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry and professor of pediatrics at the Yale Child Center, discuss autism in his talk "Understanding the Social Nature of Autism." (Introduction by Pat Levitt)

Listen to Story Landis, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, discuss that agency’s current direction in her talk "Opportunities and Challenges for NINDS." (Introduction by Pat Levitt)

Listen to Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, discuss what he sees as future directions during this decade, which he calls the "Decade of Discovery," in his talk "Mental Health Reserach: Past, Present and Future." (Introduction by Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Deputy Director Elisabeth Dykens.)

Listen to Martin E.P. Seligman, Fox Leadership Professor of Pscyhology, University of Pennsylvania, discuss depression, optimism and hope as well as current public policy issues involving science and pscyholgy in his talk "Positive Psychology and Positive Interventions." (Introduction by Dr. Insel).

Listen to Pat Levitt’s closing remarks.

Media contact: Melanie Moran, (615) 322-NEWS

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