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54th Gatlinburg Conference 2021

April 5-8, 2021

Gatlinburg Icon - child with brain and links and energy


KU Life Span Institute       Baylor College of Medicine logo

Why attend the Gatlinburg Conference?

The Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is one of the premier conferences for behavioral scientists conducting research in intellectual and developmental disabilities.  It has a rich history that started in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in 1967, and the name of its original location remained.  Each year, Gatlinburg Conference brings together researchers and scientists from across the country and the world gather to discuss research and collaborations in the field.

Years of Gatlinburg Conferences
Poster Sessions
Cups of Coffee
Child stacking blocks with teacher

Theme: Interventions and Clinical Treatments for Intellectual Disabilities

Welcome to the 2021 Gatlinburg Conference in its 54th year.  This year’s conference will be entirely online and will be using Hopin Conference Platform.  This conference is packed with activities and sessions
  • Two pre-conference sessions (listed below)
  • 21 symposia
  • 136 poster presentations
  • Graduate student symposia
  • Funding Updates from NIH


Pre-Conference Workshops
Maggie Koerth

Maggie Koerth

Senior Science Writer, FiveThirtyEight

Maggie Koerth is an award winning science journalist.  Her work covers diverse topics ranging from electric infrastructure to panda sex to COVID-19.

Science Communications and the Importance of Talking to Non-Scientists

Monday, April 5, 12:00-1:15 PM (CDT)

Register to Attend Workshop
Neda Sadeghi

Neda Sadeghi, PhD

Data Scientist,
Section of Clinical and Computational Psychiatry: Comp-Ψ
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institutes of Health

Effective Data Visualization

Visualization tools are essential for data exploration and scientific discovery. In this workshop, we explore basic design principles that lead to effective visualizations. We will cover guidelines and demonstrations of these techniques that can be utilized in your own research.

Monday, Wednesday, April 5, 1:30-2:45 PM (CDT)

Register to Attend Workshop
Plenary Speakers
Nancy Brady

Nancy Brady PhD

Chair, Speech-Language-Hearing Dept,
Scientist, Life Span Institute,
University of Kansas

Successes and Challenges in Treating Severe Communication Disorders

Tuesday, April 6 9:30-10:30 AM (CDT)

Elizabeth Berry-Kravis

Elizabeth M. Berry-Kravis, MD, PhD

Professor, Neurology and Pediatrics
Rush University Medical Center

Wednesday, April 7, 10:40-11:40 AM (CDT)

Jessica Duis

Jessica Duis, MD

Assistant Professor, Pediatrics-Clinical Genetics and Metabolism,
University of Colorado

Road to Therapeutics from A to Z: Lessons Learned from Chromosome 15

Jessica Duis’s talk will be about the steps to therapeutics and how to set up a rare disease for clinical trials. It will focus on outcome measures, natural history, disease concept modeling, partnership for relevant translational studies.

Thursday, April 8, 10:40-11:40 (CDT)

Graduate Student Symposium

Sponsors of the 54th Annual Gatlinburg Conference

Thank you for your support

Level 5

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Level 2

Level 1

University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill