Science Day

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Science Day

Friday, Nov. 5, 2021

2021 Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Science Day will take place virtually on Friday, Nov. 5, beginning at 11:45 a.m. over Zoom. Science Day activities will include a keynote address, Data Blitz presentations, and research presentations modified and pre-recorded for an online format. See important links below.

Register to attend 2021 Virtual VKC Science Day,

Registration is required to receive the Zoom connection link. This includes presenters as well as general participants.

View all 2021 VKC Virtual Science Day posters and pre-recorded presentations ahead of Nov. 5 by visiting https://scienceday.vkcsites.org/.

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 VKC Science Day Keynote Lecture: Improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research

The VKC is happy to have Brian Boyd, Ph.D., director of the Juniper Gardens Children's Project and associate professor in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas, to serve as this year's keynote speaker.

The dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racism have served as stark reminders of longstanding inequities in our society. These pandemics have exacerbated disparities for more vulnerable and marginalized groups, including those occupying the intersection of race and disability. This is also true for the ongoing disparities in autism that we must reckon with and that have contributed to differential access to a timely diagnosis, experiences with services, and ultimately worse outcomes for children and families who are racially and linguistically diverse. This presentation will address how structural racism and implicit bias have likely contributed to these disparities as well as pose potential solutions and next steps for the field to address these vexing issues.

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 will have 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)
  • Samarati 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 advance viewing ahead of Friday, Nov. 5, at https://scienceday.vkcsites.org.Those electing to compete in the Science Day Poster Competition had their materials reviewed by volunteer faculty judges to determine exemplary work in research presentation.

Out of those who chose to compete, 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, 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).

In addition, prizes will be awarded to three presenters in the following categories:

  • Best Interdisciplinary/Cross-Lab Research
  • Best Plain Language Presentation
  • Best Research on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Live Breakout Room Discussions:

During the live portion of Science Day on Monday, Nov. 5, presenters will have the ability to participate in one of four consecutive rounds of 30-minute live chat sessions, where presenters will be assigned to breakout rooms based on poster topic. Presenters can chat among their fellow presenters and with guests who pop into the rooms.

2021 VKC Science Day Agenda:

NOTE: Plans are underway, and details are tentative. Check back often for updates.

11:30-11:45 a.m.: Log into Zoom link, check connections

11:45 a.m.: Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Tiffany Woynaroski, Ph.D., Science Day Chair
  • Jeff Neul, M.D., Ph.D., Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Director

12:00 p.m.: Keynote Address: Improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research

  • Brian Boyd, Ph.D., Director, Juniper Gardens Children’s Project; Associate Professor of Applied Behavioral Science, University of Kansas

Break until top of hour

1:00 p.m.: Data Blitz presentations with Q/A:

  • 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)
  • Samarati 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)

Break until top of hour

2:00 p.m.: Presentation Breakout Rooms: Presenters will be assigned a 30-minute session time to discuss their research round-robin style with fellow presenters with similar research interests as well as with other guests who join the rooms. Presenters are asked to familiarize themselves with their fellow presenter's work ahead of Science Day:

  • Session 1: 2:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Session 2: 2:30-3:00 p.m.
  • Session 3: 3:00-3:30 p.m.
  • Session 4: 3:30-4:00 p.m.

4:00 p.m.: Notification of Award Winners and Closing Remarks

Register to attend:

Abstract submission does not mean that you are registered to participate in Science Day. Advance registration is required to receive the Zoom link for Science Day. Registration will open on June 28 and will close on WEDNESDAY, NOV. 3. Thank you.

For more information contact:

Elizabeth Turner