Science Day

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Science Day

2022 VKC Science Day -- Tuesday, November 1, 2022

2021 Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Science Day will take place Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Vanderbilt University Student Life Center. Posters will be hung in the Commodore Ballroom from 10:00-11:30 a.m. with the program beginning at 11:30 a.m. in the Commodore Ballroom. Science Day festivities will include lunch, two poster sessions, a keynote, and a Data Blitz, closing with a wine/cheese reception.

Congratulations to our 2022 VKC Science Day Poster Competition winners!

Undergraduate Overall:

  • Rincon Jagarlamudi, "A FMRP-dependent pathway for the glial phagocytosis of brain neurons" (PI: Kendal Broadie)

Clinical, Behavioral, Education, and Intervention Research:

  • Graduate: Leighton Durham, "Association between Brain Volume and Polygenic Risk for Externalizing Problems during Development" (PI: Antonia Kaczkurkin)
  • Postdoc: Noah Fram, "Children with and without autism use different predictive strateties when engaging with temporally unpredictable child-directed singing" (PI: Miriam Lense)

Systems Neuroscience:

  • Graduate: Andrea Burgess, "Executive function-related neural activity and connectivity during word reading predict later rading ability" (PI: Laurie Cutting)
  • Postdoc: Jacob Feldman, "Resting State EEG Predicts Later Language in Infant Siblings of Children with and without Autism" (PI: Tiffany Woynaroski)

Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience:

  • Graduate: Sudiksha Rathan Kumar, "Fighting the Fire: HIKESHI-meditated hypomyelinating leukodystrophy" (PI: Kevin Ess)
  • Postdoc: Adriana Tienda, "Manganese exposure in risk mechanisms for neuropsychiatric disorders" (PI: Fiona Harrison)

>2022 VKC Science Day Keynote Speaker:
We're excited to welcome VKC researcher Paul Newhouse, M.D., Jim Turner Professor of Cognitive Disorders, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Pharmacology, and Medicine, and Director, Vanderbilt Center for Cognitive Medicine, as our 2022 VKC Science Day keynote speaker.

The Brain Cholinergic System and Cognitive Impairment: From Alzheimer's Disease to Down Syndrome
This presentation will focus on the relevance of brain systems that rely on acetylcholine as a neurotransmitter to cognitive impairment that emerges with neurodegenerative disorders. Clinical investigation that began in the 1970s culminated in the first generation of cognitive enhancing medications that modulated cholinergic activity. However, a full understanding of how brain cholinergic systems impact cognitive function and how best to modulate that system remain areas of active investigation. Dr. Newhouse will review human-based experimental cholinergic pharmacology studies focused on understanding the role of the systems on cognitive performance and will discuss how involving individuals with IDD in this research, particularly older adults with Down syndrome, will benefit our progress in understanding and treating neurodegenerative disorders.

2022 VKC Science Day Agenda:

10:30 a.m.: Registration and Poster Hanging Opens (boxed lunches available)

11:30 a.m.: Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Carissa Cascio, Ph.D., Science Day Chair
  • Jeff Neul, M.D., Ph.D., Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Director

12:00 p.m.: Keynote Address: The Brain Cholinergic System and Cognitive Impairment: From Alzheimer's Disease to Down Syndrome

  • Paul Newhouse, M.D., Jim Turner Professor of Cognitive Disorders, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Pharmacology, and Medicine, and Director, Vanderbilt Center for Cognitive Medicine

1:00 p.m.: Poster Session 1

2:00 p.m.: Poster Session 2 (wine and cheese reception opens at 2:30 p.m.)

3:00 p.m.: VKC Data Blitz

  • Introduction: Carissa Cascio, Ph.D., Science Day Chair
  • Data Blitz Presenters:
    • Jennifer Markfeld (Clinical/Behavioral/Educational/Intervention Research): “Associations Between Caregiver Stress and Language Outcomes in Infants with Autistic and Non-Autistic Siblings”
    • Camila Alviar (Clinical/Behavioral/Educational/Intervention Research): “Trajectories of Visual Attention to Infant-Directed Song and Speech Across Development in Autism and Typical Development”
    • Michelle Piazza, (Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience): “Evaluation of the therapeutic potential of ketamine in a mouse model of Rett syndrome"
    • Hee Jung Jeong (Systems Neuroscience): “Functional Network Topology and Environmental Stressor”
    • Jacob Feldman (Systems Neuroscience): “Resting State EEG Predicts Later Language in Infant Siblings of Children with and without Autism”

    4:00 p.m.: Appreciation, Announcement of Science Day Poster Award Winners, and Closing Remarks

    • 2022 VKC Science Day Committee Members:
      • Carissa Cascio, Ph.D. (Undergraduate, Science Day Chair), Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
      • Sasha Key, Ph.D. (Systems Neuroscience), Research Associate Professor of Hearing & Speech Sciences and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences; Director, VKC Psychophysiology Lab
      • Rebecca Ihrie, Ph.D. (Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience), Associate Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology and Neurological Surgery
      • Jeff Hine, Ph.D. (Clinical/BehavioralEducation/Intervention Research), Assistant Professor of Pediatrics; TRIAD Director of Primary Care Outreach/Training
    • Jeff Neul, M.D., Ph.D., VKC Director

    4:30 p.m.: Posters Removed

    2022 Science Day Abstracts and Poster Session Assignments

    Click here to view the 2022 VKC Science Day poster abstracts. Abstracts are in alphabetical order by presenter last name. To find a particular abstact, use the Ctrl+F feature on your computer to search for the presenter's last name.

    Click here to view the 2022 VKC Science Day poster map.

    Click here to view the 2022 VKC Science Day agenda.

    Click here to view the 2022 VKC Science Day program book.

    VKC Science Day: 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.

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

    Poster Sessions:
    More than 100 posters will be presented by undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research faculty, and research staff conducting research in labs or research programs of VKC members. Poster submittals are divided among three Science Day research themes (*NEW* definitions of each at the bottom of this page):

    • Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience
    • Clinical, Behavioral, Educational, & Intervention Research
    • Systems Neuroscience

    Following Science Day, all poster presenters (first authors) are eligible to submit a request for VKC travel award funding ($250 maximum) to present at a scientific or professional conference before the next Science Day (date TBD). Posters presented at other scientific or professional meetings within the last year are eligible for submission. More information on travel award eligibility may be found here.

    Data Blitz Consideration:
    Presenters who enter the Science Day Poster Competition also submit their abstract for consideration for the Science Day Data Blitz. Following the submission deadline, Science Day Program Committee members review the submitted abstracts in each theme and, based on ABSTRACT QUALITY, select in advance a small number of presenters to share brief research presentations with the Science Day audience, with time for Q&A.

    Science Day Poster Competition:
    Presenters who opt into in the Poster Competition will have two faculty judges visit their poster during their assigned poster session to review the poster and ask questions. Judges will issue scores based on PRESENTATION QUALITY and COMPREHENSION OF THE RESEARCH. Scores will be tabulated at the end of the second poster session.

    Up to seven winners will be chosen: one graduate and postdoctoral presenter from each of the three themes (Systems Neuroscience; Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience; and Clinical, Behavioral, Educational, & Intervention Research), as well as one overall undergraduate presenter. The winners will each receive a $250 Warren Lambert Award, in the form of a cash prize or supplemental travel funds to present their research at a scientific meeting during the year.

    Science Day Themes and Their Definitions:
    Science Day posters are divided into three themes. Please read the definitions of each theme below to determine the category that best fits your poster research:

    • Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience: Posters within this theme feature studies of model organisms, tissues, cells, molecules, or organelles using molecular biology, flow cytometry, imaging cytometry, and/or pharmacological or genetic tools.
    • Clinical, Behavioral, Educational, & Intervention Research: Posters within this theme feature research involving human participants, some of which may be designed to evaluate the effects of an educational or behavioral intervention. The effect of the intervention being evaluated should be a health-related, biomedical, educational, or behavioral outcome. This can include knowledge and quality of life outcomes. The intervention in this case can be defined as a manipulation of the participant's environment for the purpose of modifying one or more of these outcomes. Examples can include delivery systems, medications, devices/instruments, procedures/techniques, therapeutic interventions, treatment/prevention/diagnostic strategies, or implementation strategies of any of the above.
    • Systems Neuroscience: Posters within this theme feature research on the nervous system at the level of circuits or entire networks, with the goal of understanding neural mechanisms supporting sensory and motor function, multisensory interactions, learning and memory, attention, emotion, and decision-making. Many studies in this category are translational, involving both neurotypical participants and individuals with disabilities (congenital or acquired), as well as animal models. Research methods in this category tend to include functional imaging techniques such as (f)MRI, EEG/ERP, fNIRS, PET, etc.

For more information contact Science Day coodinator Elizabeth Turner.