Keynote Speakers

SSBP 2021

Keynote Speakers

Keynote speakers at SSBP 2021 will include (in alphabetical order):

Allyson Berent
Dr Allyson Berent

New York, USA

Dr. Allyson Berent, DVM, DACVIM, is a veterinary internal medicine specialist who serves as the Director of Interventional Endoscopy Services at the largest animal hospital in the world, The Animal Medical Center, in New York City. After graduating from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine she completed an internship at the University of Minnesota and a residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine at the Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. After completing a fellowship in interventional radiology at the Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, a fellowship in Endourology at Thomas Jefferson University, and an Interventional radiology fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, she served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine and Interventional Radiology/ Interventional Endoscopy at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Berent has a particular focus on medical device development, stem cell therapy through regenerative medicine and selective arterial delivery, ureteral diseases, urinary incontinence and minimally invasive management of upper tract urinary obstructions and biliary obstructions.

In 2014 Dr. Berent’s daughter was diagnosed with a rare non-degenerative neurogenetic disorder called Angelman syndrome. In October of 2015 she joined to Board of Directors as a Scientific Director for the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST), and in March of 2016 became the Chief Science Officer for the Foundation. Dr. Berent helped to spearhead the development of a pre-competitive biomarker and outcome measure consortium in order to bring patient focused outcome measures forward for human clinical trials (Angelman Syndrome Biomarker and Outcome Measure Consortium-ABOM) and Co-Founded the International Angelman Syndrome Research Council (INSYNC). Through FAST, Dr. Berent collaborated with a consortium of scientists to encourage translational research opportunities, in order to help bring novel genetic therapies forward toward human clinical trials. Through this work, with the foundation, Dr. Berent co-founded GeneTx Biotherapeutics, a company singularly focused to advance an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) therapy through IND enabling studies and a phase 1/2 clinical trial. Dr. Berent currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of GeneTx Biotherapeutics, who partnered with Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals in August of 2019. The Phase 1/2 clinical trial started enrolling patients in February 2020 as the first intrathecally delivered ASO for Angelman syndrome, a study of safety and tolerability of GTX-102.
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Professor Elizabeth Berry-Kravis

Chicago, USA

Elizabeth Berry-Kravis MD, PhD is a Professor of Pediatrics, Neurological Sciences, and Biochemistry at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She established the Fragile X Clinic and Research Program in 1991, through which she provides care to over 700 patients with fragile X syndrome (FXS). She has studied medical issues, epilepsy and psychopharmacology in FXS, and has been a leader in translational research in FXS including development of outcome measures and biomarkers, natural history studies, newborn screening, and particularly clinical trials of new targeted treatments in FXS, and her laboratory studies the cellular role of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), relationship between FMRP and clinical function, and optimization of genetic testing methods. More recently she has expanded clinical and translational work to other neurodevelopmental disorders and genetic neurodegenerative diseases including autism spectrum disorders, Phelan McDermid syndrome, Rett syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Niemann-Pick type C, Battens disease, pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration, and creatine transporter deficiency. She has received the NFXF Jarrett Cole Clinical Award, FRAXA Champion Award, NFXF William and Enid Rosen Research Award, March of Dimes Jonas Salk Research Award, American Academy of Neurology Sidney Carter Award in Child Neurology and John Merck Fund Sparkplug Award.

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Professor Liz Pellicano

Sydney, Australia

Liz Pellicano is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Professor at Macquarie University, having previously been Professor of Autism Education and Director of the Centre for Research in Autism and Education at University College London. She trained as a developmental cognitive psychologist at the University of Western Australia, where she also completed a PhD on the cognitive profile of autistic children in 2005, before becoming a Junior Research Fellow in Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, and Lecturer in Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol. Best known for her theoretical accounts of autistic cognition and perception, her current research seeks to identify ways to bridge the gap between lab and life and open up scientific investigation to greater involvement of autistic people themselves, with the aim of generating discoveries that bring real benefits to autistic people and their families.

Professor Marjorie Solomon

Davis, USA

Dr. Marjorie Solomon is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California-Davis, Associate Director of the MIND Institute, and Associate Director of the Imaging Research Center. Dr. Solomon’s laboratory studies cognitive development in autistic children, adolescents, and young adults. Her work utilizes neuropsychological and cognitive neuroscience methods including fMRI. At SSBP, Dr. Solomon will present an overview of her work in the Autism Phenome Project longitudinal cohort that highlights the development of the intellectual ability level trajectories from early childhood through adolescence and the distal correlates of these trajectories related to adaptive communication and autism symptoms. This work is critical given that IQ is the strongest predictor of outcomes in individuals with autism and typical development, and that it constitutes the most significant source of heterogeneity within the ASD phenotype.

Professor André Strydom

London, UK

Dr André Strydom (MRCPsych, MSc, PhD) is a Professor in Intellectual Disabilities at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, where his research is focused on mental disorders in adults with neurodevelopmental conditions, including Down syndrome and other genetic disorders.

Professor Strydom is particularly interested in ageing-related conditions such as dementia in adults with Intellectual Disability and Down syndrome. He was the chief investigator of the LonDownS consortium, a collaboration on various aspects of  Alzheimer’s disease in Down syndrome. One of the important aims of ongoing work is to deliver the knowledge, tools and expertise that is necessary to enable clinical trials of treatment to prevent or delay the onset of dementia in individuals with Down syndrome.

He leads a partnership funded by NHSE’s National Learning disability and Autism programme to analyse data from LeDeR reviews of hospital deaths, and to identify quality improvements and better treatments to reduce health inequalities and premature mortality.  He also directs KCL’s Nerodevelopmental disorders clinical trials centre which hosts RCTs of medication treatments to reduce morbidity associated with intellectual disabilities and autism.

Professor Strydom works as a Consultant Psychiatrist in Intellectual Disabilities at the South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.