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J.P.Kennedy Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Center

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The University of Chicago Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (MRDDRC) is based in the Joseph P. Kennedy Mental Retardation Research Center. The MRDDRC has been designated a University-wide institute, expanding the community of University of Chicago scientists who are committed to brain and behavioral development research and the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with afflictions leading to mental retardation and disabilities. To this end the MRDDRC includes 47 researchers from the University of Chicago and other Chicago institutions who have received federal support for over 80 projects.

The objective of this MRDDRC is to advance the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and amelioration of mental retardation and developmental disabilities by incorporating a range of research approaches from the biomedical and behavioral sciences. The specific objectives of this applicant are to 1) expand the research base in MRDD, 2) promote a multidisciplinary approach and enhance collaboration, 3) increase the productivity of Center investigators by providing cost effective, innovative core facilities, 4) foster education, training and communication in MRDD research, and 5) promote interaction and share expertise, approaches and patients with investigators outside the University of Chicago who have demonstrated a strong commitment to MRDD. These objectives will be fostered by the Administrative Core, and three scientific cores: Genomics and Bioinformatics Core, Model Organisms Core and Neuroscience Core.

The scope of the J.P. Kennedy MRDDRC research portfolio is remarkably broad, encompassing genetic, biochemical, cellular, physiological and behavioral studies of brain development as well as translational and clinical research on specific developmental disabilities including epilepsy, autism, cerebellar malformations, neural tub defects, aggression/explosive disorder, drug addiction, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, neurogenerative diseases, and Batten's disease. The overarching goal of this Center application is to promote, through core facility infrastructure and trans-institutional interactions, the quality, depth and translational relevance of Chicago-area research into mental retardation and developmental disabilities.
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