Science Day

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Science Day

Science Day goals

  • Promote “centeredness” by providing a scientific forum.
  • Provide an opportunity to present significant research findings.
  • Encourage research collaboration.

A Tradition With Innovation

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center supports basic/molecular, applied, and clinical research and training. The VKC has more than 300 faculty researchers, staff, and affiliate members working together across disciplines to create basic and clinical scientific discoveries, to translate research into best practices, and to train the next generation of researchers and practitioners. The ultimate goal is to make positive differences in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

2021 Virtual VKC Science Day -- Friday, November 5, 2021

2021 Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Science Day took place virtually on Friday, Nov. 5. Live Science Day activities included a keynote address, Data Blitz presentations, and research presentations modified and pre-recorded for an online format. Learn more about 2021 Virtual Science Day details here.

All Science Day poster presenters who participated in this year's Science Day are now considered VKC Affiliates and are eligible to request VKC Travel Awards up to $250 to present their research at a professional research conference within the next two years (extended a year due to COVID). More information on the travel award request process may be found here.

Presenters had the option to participate in a Science Day Competition, which awarded cash prizes to one graduate and postdoctoral presenter from each of the three themes (Systems Neuroscience; Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience; and Clinical, Behavioral, Intervention Research), as well as one overall undergraduate presenter. In addition to the $250 VKC travel award they're eligible to receive by presenting at Science Day, prize winners can choose between a $250 cash prize or an additional $250 Warren Lambert Travel Award to present their research at a scientic meeting during the next two years (extended due to COVID-19).

Congratulations to this year's winners of the Warren Lambert Memorial Awards:

Undergraduate Overall (TIE):

Clinical, Behavioral, and Intervention Research:

Systems Neuroscience:

Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience:

In addition, prizes were awarded for additional categories such as Best Interdisciplinary/Cross-Lab Research, Best Plain Language Presentation, and the Lucius Davis Memorial Awards for Research on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Congratulations to this year's winners:

Best Use of Plain Language (Apple AirPods Pro with Wireless Charging Case):

Best Demonstration of Interdisciplinary Collaboration (Amazon Kindle Paperwhite):

Lucius Davis Memorial Awards for Research on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Apple iPad, Nintendo Switch video game console, “Smash Bros.” -- Lucius’ favorite video game)

2021 Data Blitz Participation:

The 2021 Science Day Committee reviewed all the competing graduate and postdoctoral abstracts submitted and selected two of the best abstracts from each of the three research themes to present as part of this year's Science Day Data Blitz. Each selected presenter had 3-5 minutes to share their research, with time for Q/A from audience members in the chat box.

Congratulations go to this year's 2021 VKC Sciece Day Data Blitz presenters:

  • Mary Chalkey: Non-canonical functions of TSC2 protein in Mitotic Division (presenter link)
  • Qian Yang: Activity-dependent clustering of L-type calcium channel complexes with Shank3 and CaMKII (presenter link)
  • HyeonSeung (Hanson) Lee: Abnormal Bodily Self Experiences in Schizophrenia; a comparative study of South Korea and USA (presenter link)
  • Saramati Narasimhan: Differences Between Left and Right Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Using Resting-State Network fMRI and SEEG Connectivity (presenter link)
  • Gabrielle Reimann: Atypical Functional Network Topology Emerges During Rest and Task Performance in Children with ADHD Symptoms (presenter link)
  • Hernan Gonzalez: Relationships of Neurocognition & Abnormal Functional MRI Connectivity Between Subcortical Arousal Structures & Intrinsic Connectivity Networks in Patients with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (presenter link)

Pre-Recorded Poster Presentations:

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Science Day has moved to an online format this year. During the Call for Presentations, participants each submitted a research abstract as well as a 3- to 5-minute pre-recorded presentations and a digital poster (PDF) file. Each presentation is now available for viewing at

For more information contact:

Elizabeth Turner