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.
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.
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.