Vanderbilt Kennedy Center News and Videos Friday, June 22, 2018

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The eighth annual ACM Lifting Lives® Music Camp is in session this week in Nashville with campers from around the country participating in a week of activities and excursions around Music City.

ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp 2017 kicks off

Last Updated: 6/26/2017 1:55:23 PM


Vanderbilt University’s Office of the Provost has recognized 13 faculty proposals with Discovery Grants, one of Vanderbilt’s primary means of investing in advancing the discovery of knowledge in its core disciplines and strengthening the university’s scholarly profile.

13 faculty proposals earn Discovery Grants

Last Updated: 6/22/2017 8:52:02 AM



Graduate student Mark Crowder, right, presents the Teacher of the Year Award to Ronald Emeson, Ph.D., at last week’s 26th annual Joel G. Hardman Student-Invited Pharmacology Forum. Emeson is now a three-time winner of the award; he previously received it in 2003 and in 1995, the first year it was awarded.

Pharmacology top teacher

Last Updated: 6/16/2017 9:22:17 AM


New News Item

Tom Cheetham, M.D., honored with AADMD Award

Last Updated: 6/14/2017 10:19:20 AM



Summer is an ideal time to make plans to take part in Fall training opportunities that will enhance your knowledge of disability-related topics and issues. Training will be offered by the Volunteer Advocacy Project and by Tennessee Disability Pathfinder.

Plan now for Fall training

Last Updated: 6/13/2017 3:20:33 PM












Thirty-two retiring faculty members were recognized during Vanderbilt’s Commencement ceremony May 12, when the university honored their years of service and bestowed on them the title of emeritus or emerita faculty

Vanderbilt University honors 32 as emeriti faculty

Last Updated: 5/15/2017 1:36:25 PM




I count myself very fortunate to have been able to attend the annual Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C., again this year, March 20-22, and to make visits to our Tennessee Congressional Delegation on Capitol Hill. As we chanted at the Seminar: “This is what democracy looks like.”

Making our voices heard in our nation’s capitol

Last Updated: 5/3/2017 8:48:20 AM



Mood and anxiety disorders are on the rise, and effective new treatments are critically needed.

Regulating anxiety in the brain

Last Updated: 5/1/2017 10:10:26 AM













Since January, the VKC has provided training on legislative advocacy, facilitated the sharing of personal stories with Tennessee legislators and policymakers, and used social media to broaden access to Disability Day on the Hill.

Educating for public policy advocacy

Last Updated: 3/3/2017 11:55:17 AM



Innovation characterizes the Shirley F. and Stuart W. Speyer Discovery Grant and the two Nicholas Hobbs Discovery Grants awarded for 2017, which were announced by Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D., Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) director and Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair.

2017 VKC Discovery Grants announced

Last Updated: 3/3/2017 11:51:59 AM


Women who have had repeated depressive episodes tend to pay more attention to negative emotional information than those who have not experienced major depression. When shown negative images during a brain scan, the emotional centers of these women’s brains also “light up” to a greater extent.

Clues found to recurrent depression

Last Updated: 3/3/2017 10:49:07 AM




There is a strong, bi-directional link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Fiona Harrison, Ph.D., and colleagues tested whether the effects of obesity on diabetic status and cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease are permanent or reversible.

Dementia linked to diet

Last Updated: 2/7/2017 1:25:37 PM


<p>(January - June at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center)</p> <p>The exhibit <em>Breaking Ground at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center</em> showcases original work, reproductions of art, and poetry by and about Tennesseans with disabilities that are featured in the annual arts issue of Breaking Ground, the magazine of the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities.</p>

Breaking Ground at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Last Updated: 2/6/2017 11:24:19 AM



Researchers at Vanderbilt have identified what may be a genetic “smoking gun” for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) — a mutation in the gene for the critical neuronal protein CaMKII.

Gene mutation discovery may hold autism clues

Last Updated: 2/2/2017 3:22:40 PM



The duration of exposure to daylight, or the “photoperiod,” may affect development of seasonal affective disorder by programming serotonin neurons in the brain, according to Vanderbilt University researchers.

Amount of daylight may impact serotonin programming

Last Updated: 1/20/2017 2:24:01 PM


Edward "Warren" Lambert, Ph.D., age 71, passed away on January 13, 2017. Warren was long-time statistical consultant at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) where he assisted countless VKC researchers and their graduate students and research assistants with complex quantitative issues.

Remembering Warren Lambert, statistician and friend

Last Updated: 1/20/2017 11:49:38 AM


Cognitive and attention deficits observed in children following surgery before age 5 to repair congenital heart defects likely will persist into their teens and young adulthood, Lori Jordan, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues report.

A heart-brain connection

Last Updated: 1/19/2017 1:41:44 PM














Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) are one step closer to understanding what causes early-onset epileptic encephalopathy, a rare form of childhood epilepsy that is difficult to treat and has poor developmental outcomes.

New clues emerge in rare form of childhood epilepsy

Last Updated: 12/16/2016 1:42:38 PM


Colleagues of Vivien Casagrande, Ph.D., celebrated her distinguished career in the visual sciences with a “Lifetime of Vision” symposium* on Nov. 18.

Symposium honors Casagrande’s career

Last Updated: 12/8/2016 2:15:45 PM


A new longitudinal study conducted by Vanderbilt has found that children’s math knowledge in preschool is related to their later achievement—but not all types of math knowledge were related equally.

Early math knowledge related to later achievement

Last Updated: 12/8/2016 8:20:03 AM


Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) faculty, staff, and trainees participated in the 2016 Conference and Annual Meeting of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) held December 4-7 in Washington, D.C. The theme for this year’s conference was Navigating Change and Building Our Future Together.

VKC at the 2016 AUCD Conference

Last Updated: 12/7/2016 9:04:13 AM


Nine Vanderbilt University faculty members have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science this year.

Nine Vanderbilt faculty members elected AAAS fellows

Last Updated: 11/28/2016 3:57:09 PM



GABA-A receptors bind gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian brain, and are composed of five subunits. Mutations in GABRG2, the gene that encodes the gamma2 subunit, have been associated with epilepsy and febrile seizures of differing severities. Some of these mutations result in a truncated or shortened form of the gamma2 subunit, but how these mutations affect protein structure and function is not well understood.

Protein structure and epilepsy severity

Last Updated: 11/22/2016 12:08:00 PM






For Erin Barton, child’s play is serious business.

Taking playtime seriously

Last Updated: 11/8/2016 8:39:42 AM






GABA-A receptors – ion channel receptors composed of five protein subunits – maintain inhibitory tone in the brain, and mutations in single subunit genes (GABRs) are associated with inherited forms of epilepsy. Many variations have been identified in GABRs, but molecular characterization of their contribution as susceptibility alleles for sporadic genetic epilepsies is missing.

Culprits in genetic epilepsies

Last Updated: 10/14/2016 10:36:56 AM


In what could be a way to predict which children might be vulnerable to anxiety disorders, a Vanderbilt study has shown that an altered prefrontal cortex function in the brain marks a heightened anxiety risk in children.

Study may help predict anxiety risk in children

Last Updated: 10/14/2016 10:33:27 AM



The extraordinary academic achievements of nine Vanderbilt University faculty members who hold endowed chairs were recognized during a celebration Sept. 26 at the Student Life Center.

Celebration honors nine endowed chair recipients

Last Updated: 9/29/2016 2:27:53 PM





<p>Read how gifts from Jackson have helped struggling readers by providing scholarships for Vanderbilt Reading Clinic and have supported TRIAD’s Community Engagement partnerships with cultural organizations to welcome participation of families whose children have autism or other developmental disabilities. </p>

Building Promising Futures for All

Last Updated: 9/16/2016 10:24:53 AM


<p>Read how multi-year gifts from the Academy of Country Music Lifting Lives charitable arm have affected not only the lives of persons with Williams syndrome but so many others.</p>

The Gift of Pure Joy & a Grateful Heart

Last Updated: 9/16/2016 10:03:43 AM



<p>( October - December at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center)</p><p>Sponsored by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, this free annual exhibit features works of art by artists with a wide range of abilities/disabilities and ages.</p><p><a href="http://www.tpac.org/visiting/directions.asp">Tennessee Performing Arts Center Lobby</a>, 505 Deaderick Street, Nashville, TN; call (615) 782-4000 for hours</p>

Creative Expressions XXII

Last Updated: 9/12/2016 2:26:27 PM










Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a rare genetic disease characterized by intellectual deficits, compulsivity, hyperphagia, obesity, growth hormone deficiencies and short stature.

Growth hormone for Prader-Willi

Last Updated: 8/26/2016 9:08:57 AM











Tyler Reimschisel, M.D., director of the Division of Developmental Medicine and the Center for Child Development, has been selected for the 2016 Class of Macy Faculty Scholars.

Reimschisel selected as a Macy Faculty Scholar

Last Updated: 7/25/2016 3:46:57 PM












The students of Next Steps at Vanderbilt received the Perry Wallace Courage Award presented by Vanderbilt Athletics to a group or individual on campus exemplifying the courage and fortitude of Perry Wallace, the first black scholarship athlete in the SEC.

Next Steps students celebrate courage and dreams

Last Updated: 7/7/2016 8:19:02 AM











VKC TRIAD enhanced and widened the reach of its programming in 2015 and shows no sign of slowing in 2016. From partnerships with the TN Department of Education to the design of innovative telemedicine models of service delivery, TRIAD continues to make a profound impact on improving access to autism services in TN.

A growth spurt for TRIAD

Last Updated: 7/6/2016 4:10:23 PM




Two new diversity and equity efforts are underway through the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s LEND and UCEDD programs.

Addressing diversity and equity

Last Updated: 7/6/2016 3:57:06 PM







Two artists who have exhibited work at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center took part in an arts mentoring program with local artist and curator Lain York to prepare for their Fall 2015 solo exhibits.

Artists take part in VKC mentoring program

Last Updated: 7/6/2016 3:46:58 PM













Researchers collected supplemental alternate assessment data on 7,440 students with intellectual disabilities to measure reading performance, to identify variables associated with differences in performance, and to explore the potential utility of the alternate assessment to guide improvements in reading instruction.

Examining reading skills of students with ID

Last Updated: 7/6/2016 2:18:06 PM


Innovation and an interest in “big data” characterize the three Nicholas Hobbs Discovery Grants awarded for 2015-16, which were announced by Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D., Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) director and Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair.

2015 Hobbs Discovery Grants announced

Last Updated: 7/6/2016 2:16:25 PM


The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) has awarded a 5-year, $10-million training grant to Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD), continuing a 16-year partnership to provide education and training opportunities for school personnel throughout the state.

Autism training for TN educators expands

Last Updated: 7/6/2016 2:14:37 PM


Every time you make a memory, somewhere in your brain a tiny filament reaches out from one neuron and forms an electrochemical connection to a neighboring neuron. VKC investigator Donna Webb heads a team of biologists who study how these connections are formed at the molecular and cellular level.

New insight into how the brain makes memories

Last Updated: 7/6/2016 2:13:12 PM







Vanderbilt Kennedy Center researchers are adapting a parent advocacy curriculum to improve transition from high school for youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as they pursue postsecondary education and/or employment.

Improving transition for youth with autism

Last Updated: 7/6/2016 12:50:45 PM








A child’s ability to distinguish musical rhythm is related to his or her capacity for understanding grammar, according to a recent study by Reyna Gordon, Ph.D., a research fellow in the Department of Otolaryngology and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center.

Researchers explore links between grammar, rhythm

Last Updated: 7/6/2016 12:42:27 PM


In June 2013, Governor Bill Haslam signed Executive Order No. 28 establishing state support for the Employment First initiative and directing the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) to convene the Employment First Task Force. Vanderbilt Kennedy Center faculty and staff were among a group of key stakeholders charged with identifying the barriers to employment that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities typically face in Tennessee and with developing recommendations for eliminating those barriers.

Expect employment for people with disabilities

Last Updated: 7/6/2016 12:42:06 PM



Depression is a common yet serious condition in children and adults with and without disabilities. In one study, a psychiatrist/neuroscientist explores an innovative diagnostic approach. In another study, a psychologist and colleagues investigate effectiveness of combining cognitive therapy with antidepressant medicine.

Investigating depression diagnosis and treatment

Last Updated: 7/6/2016 12:40:46 PM





<p>(July - September 2016 at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center)</p><p> This exhibit features work by Next Steps at Vanderbilt students and their Ambassadores created during Spring 2016 Creative Art Workshops led by Jamshid Khoshnoodi, LEND/UCEDD Trainee, and Leandra Desjardins, UCEDD Trainee.</p>

Interactivity and Creativity

Last Updated: 7/1/2016 9:40:05 AM


Former Peabody psychology chair Phil Schoggen dies

Former Peabody psychology chair Phil Schoggen dies

Last Updated: 6/27/2016 10:06:21 AM






Alzheimer’s risk gene in younger adults

Alzheimer’s risk gene in younger adults

Last Updated: 6/6/2016 11:04:27 AM




VKC at 2016 Tennessee Disability MegaConference

VKC at 2016 Tennessee Disability MegaConference

Last Updated: 5/24/2016 1:36:33 PM


2016 Science Day set for Sept. 19;

2016 Science Day set for Sept. 19

Last Updated: 5/24/2016 11:34:37 AM






Farran named ‘Children’s Champion’ by NAAEYC

Farran named ‘Children’s Champion’ by NAAEYC

Last Updated: 4/13/2016 11:31:17 AM


The proof is in the pizza

The proof is in the pizza

Last Updated: 4/8/2016 11:00:59 AM



<p>(April - June 2016 at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center)</p><p>In collaboration with <a href="http://www.thegoodluckgallery.com/exhibitions/past/noah-erenberg/">The Good Luck Gallery</a> in Los Angeles and the VKC Arts and Disabilities program, this free exhibit features works by Noah Erenberg. He works in a variety of mediums, and his art has been shown internationally for over 20 years. Art displayed April to June 2016. A reception honoring his art will be Monday, April 18, 4-6 p.m., at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. </p>

Drawings and Paintings by Noah Erenberg

Last Updated: 3/25/2016 9:35:40 AM







Next Steps students celebrate courage and dreams

Next Steps students celebrate courage and dreams

Last Updated: 3/4/2016 1:59:00 PM







Face recognition and social anxiety

Face recognition and social anxiety

Last Updated: 2/19/2016 9:50:14 AM







Study shows brain function differs in obese children

Study shows brain function differs in obese children

Last Updated: 1/26/2016 11:50:00 AM


2016 Hobbs Discovery Grants announced

2016 Hobbs Discovery Grants announced

Last Updated: 1/21/2016 9:05:06 AM



Remembering Norma Morris, VKC Graphics Artist

Remembering Norma Morris, VKC Graphics Artist

Last Updated: 1/21/2016 8:45:14 AM


Mark Wallace named dean of the Graduate School

Mark Wallace named dean of the Graduate School

Last Updated: 1/7/2016 11:09:46 AM



<p>(January – March 2016 at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center)</p><p>Sponsored by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, this free annual exhibit features works of art by artists with a wide range of abilities/disabilities and ages.</p><p><a href="http://www.tpac.org/visiting/directions.asp">Tennessee Performing Arts Center Lobby</a>, 505 Deaderick Street, Nashville, TN; call (615) 782-4000 for hours</p>

Creative Expressions XXI - Local Inspiration

Last Updated: 1/4/2016 3:28:07 PM



Gore named fellow of National Academy of Inventors

Gore named fellow of National Academy of Inventors

Last Updated: 12/15/2015 11:37:59 AM


Ten Vanderbilt faculty members elected AAAS fellows

Ten Vanderbilt faculty members elected AAAS fellows

Last Updated: 11/30/2015 8:38:11 AM





VKC at the 2015 AUCD Conference

VKC at the 2015 AUCD Conference

Last Updated: 11/19/2015 9:31:28 AM




VKC Representation at the SOA Conference

Next Steps at Vanderbilt at the 2015 SOA Conference

Last Updated: 11/16/2015 8:55:55 AM



New curriculum brings more science and math to pre-K

New curriculum brings more science and math to pre-K

Last Updated: 11/9/2015 11:49:28 AM




Study explores nicotine patch to treat memory loss

Study explores nicotine patch to treat memory loss

Last Updated: 10/30/2015 12:54:24 PM








Opening Doors, Transforming Lives

Opening Doors, Transforming Lives

Last Updated: 10/15/2015 1:44:59 PM








Pre-K in TN: How can we sustain the gains?

Pre-K in TN: How can we sustain the gains?

Last Updated: 9/28/2015 3:43:18 PM


<p>(October – December 2015 at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center)</p><p>Anne Ambrose started doing art by doodling as a way to express herself. From an early point, she wanted to render things that had to do with unity and inclusiveness. Many of her paintings have a psychological story and include fairies, angels, spirits, and bright colors. The first <em>Dolls Tea Party</em> painting is now in the collection of the Tennessee State Museum. </p><p>Over the years, Ambrose' style='margin:10px;Float:left;'/>

Anne Ambrose - Dolls Tea Party

Last Updated: 9/28/2015 1:30:49 PM






VKC Welcomes AOD Commissioner Aaron Bishop

VKC welcomes Aaron Bishop from AOD

Last Updated: 9/17/2015 9:09:37 AM






Hudson, Emeson top faculty honorees at fall assembly

Hudson, Emeson top faculty honorees at fall assembly

Last Updated: 8/31/2015 11:04:25 AM


Remembering Terri Urbano

Remembering Terri Urbano

Last Updated: 8/28/2015 3:35:36 PM







Origins of neuroblastoma

Origins of neuroblastoma

Last Updated: 8/13/2015 1:49:02 PM








Grant enhances mental illness drug research efforts

Grant enhances mental illness drug research efforts

Last Updated: 7/16/2015 1:58:02 PM


Signals of schizophrenia

Signals of schizophrenia

Last Updated: 7/10/2015 10:39:51 AM


A little jolt helps the brain get back on track

A little jolt helps the brain get back on track

Last Updated: 7/9/2015 9:41:31 AM


<p>(July - September 2015 at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center)<br><p> Preston Vienneau is a self-taught artist on the autism spectrum who dabbled in art from a young age, often creating his own comic books and creatures that were inspired by his passion for movies. He recently returned to painting as a form of self-expression. He has work featured in The ArtAble Collection of Village Green Hills, a luxury apartment building featuring gallery-curated works by artists with disAbilities. He was featured as one of three artists in Emerging: Works of Three Young Artists with Disabilities at the Shimai Gallery at the Loveless Café in Nashville, Tennessee.</p>

Preston Vienneau - Coalesce

Last Updated: 7/6/2015 4:38:32 PM




Study: Feedback can hinder kids’ math outcomes

Study: Feedback can hinder kids’ math outcomes

Last Updated: 6/22/2015 10:31:56 AM





VKC at Tennessee Disability MegaConference

VKC at Tennessee Disability MegaConference

Last Updated: 5/29/2015 9:51:34 AM


VKC Represents at 2015 IMFAR

VKC Represents at 2015 IMFAR

Last Updated: 5/28/2015 11:18:30 AM








Gauthier selected 2015 Professor of the Year by SEC

Gauthier selected 2015 Professor of the Year by SEC

Last Updated: 4/30/2015 11:20:40 AM



New insight into how brain makes memories

New insight into how brain makes memories

Last Updated: 4/28/2015 9:02:22 AM
















Inclement weather cancelations

Inclement Weather Cancellations

Last Updated: 2/17/2015 9:32:53 AM


Report calls for new chronic fatigue guidelines

Report calls for new chronic fatigue guidelines

Last Updated: 2/13/2015 10:38:28 AM


Inaugural Chancellor Faculty Fellows named

Inaugural Chancellor Faculty Fellows named

Last Updated: 2/12/2015 1:46:59 PM


Blakely Lab named Greenest Group on Campus

Blakely Lab named Greenest Group on Campus

Last Updated: 2/12/2015 1:46:20 PM





Disability Day on the Hill raises awareness

Disability Day on the Hill raises awareness

Last Updated: 2/5/2015 11:08:51 AM



Event honors new holders of endowed chairs at VU

Event honors new holders of endowed chairs at VU

Last Updated: 2/4/2015 8:22:33 AM








New view of dopamine heteromers

New view of dopamine heteromers

Last Updated: 1/23/2015 3:04:21 PM


Awards recognize crucial efforts of research staff

Awards recognize crucial efforts of research staff

Last Updated: 1/15/2015 2:16:26 PM







Blood pressure gene tied to cognitive decline

Blood pressure gene tied to cognitive decline

Last Updated: 12/5/2014 12:17:26 PM


Goldman awarded TASH Emerging Scholar

UCEDD Trainee Receives TASH Emerging Scholar Award

Last Updated: 12/5/2014 10:02:05 AM







Overcoming obstacles and inspiring young minds

Overcoming obstacles and inspiring young minds

Last Updated: 11/26/2014 10:14:48 AM



Twelve Vanderbilt faculty elected AAAS fellows

Twelve Vanderbilt faculty elected AAAS fellows

Last Updated: 11/24/2014 2:10:27 PM


Next Steps at State of the Art Conference

Next Steps at the State of the Art Conference on PSE

Last Updated: 11/21/2014 2:22:49 PM


Last Updated: 11/21/2014 2:22:06 PM







Researchers explore links between grammar, rhythm

Researchers explore links between grammar, rhythm

Last Updated: 10/31/2014 11:18:25 AM









Neuronal culprit in genetic disease

Neuronal culprit in genetic disease

Last Updated: 10/17/2014 10:53:22 AM


Seizure mutation impairs receptor

Seizure mutation impairs receptor

Last Updated: 10/3/2014 10:26:50 AM






National education official visits Susan Gray School

National education official visits Susan Gray School

Last Updated: 9/15/2014 10:17:08 AM


New York Times: When the caregivers need healing

New York Times: When the caregivers need healing

Last Updated: 9/15/2014 9:19:05 AM



Celebration honors nine new faculty chair holders

Celebration honors nine new faculty chair holders

Last Updated: 9/8/2014 2:52:07 PM



Skin biopsy to diagnose depression?

Skin biopsy to diagnose depression?

Last Updated: 8/29/2014 10:16:26 AM


VU receives grant renewal from Autism Speaks

VU receives grant renewal from Autism Speaks

Last Updated: 8/29/2014 9:30:22 AM






Is math hard because we

Is math hard because we're teaching it wrong?

Last Updated: 8/15/2014 11:53:40 AM


Conn lands Javits Neuroscience Investigator award

Conn lands Javits Neuroscience Investigator award

Last Updated: 8/8/2014 11:46:35 AM


ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp 2014

Last Updated: 8/8/2014 9:57:41 AM




Reversing stress-induced anxiety

Reversing stress-induced anxiety

Last Updated: 7/22/2014 12:03:52 PM



Developmental class for babies creates good vibes

Class for babies creates good vibes

Last Updated: 7/21/2014 9:11:52 AM



Sanders named new TRIAD Medical Director

Sanders named new TRIAD Medical Director

Last Updated: 7/11/2014 2:52:20 PM


Next Steps Summer Institute kicks off July 13

Next Steps Summer Institute kicks off July 13

Last Updated: 7/10/2014 8:48:08 AM



VKC welcomes Tennessee congressional staff

VKC welcomes Tennessee congressional staff

Last Updated: 7/1/2014 11:17:57 AM





<p>(June 11 - August 2014)</p><p>Grace Walker Goad was diagnosed with moderately severe autism with intellectual disAbilities and severe speech/language disorder at just under age three, in 1997, and has been painting since she was four. Because autism subtly affects the muscle tone of portions of her grasp, her work is largely abstract. Yet, her advanced use of color and composition has been lauded in gallery exhibits in Tennessee and other states. See <a href="http://www.GraceGoad.com">www.GraceGoad.com</a> and on Facebook <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grace-Goad-Autism-Art/323835837658358">Grace Goad | Autism Art</a>.</p>

Grace Walker Goad - Two Decades in Color

Last Updated: 6/6/2014 3:31:55 PM



Russell the Robot goes to Washington

Russell the Robot goes to Washington

Last Updated: 5/23/2014 10:49:41 AM




The Tennessee Arts Commission invited VKC UCEDD Programmer Laurie Fleming as a panelist to review and advise.

Fleming serves on State of TN arts panel

Last Updated: 5/5/2014 11:43:54 AM


Sixth Annual TABS Conference

Highlights from the 2014 TABS Conference

Last Updated: 5/2/2014 2:42:47 PM




Andrea McDermott Sanders, Vanderbilt special education alumna, ran in her tenth and final Country Music Marathon to raise support for the Team William Scholarship for students in the Vanderbilt Kennedy Reading Clinic.

Ten Years of Team William

Last Updated: 4/29/2014 11:14:40 AM


Camilla P. Benbow has been reappointed as dean of Vanderbilt Peabody College of education and human development. The reappointment is for a five-year term, beginning July 1, 2015.

Benbow reappointed as dean of Peabody College

Last Updated: 4/22/2014 11:49:28 AM




A deficiency of peripheral myelin protein-22 (PMP22) – a protein expressed by the cells that “wrap” myelin around nerve axons to speed signaling – causes an inherited neuropathy (HNPP) that results in focal sensory loss and limb paralysis.

Myelin junctions key to conduction

Last Updated: 4/11/2014 2:36:45 PM



Patient-centered outcomes research is the focus of a $3.3 million, five-year, institutional K12 training grant awarded to Vanderbilt University Medical Center by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Grant bolsters patient-centered outcomes research

Last Updated: 4/7/2014 11:09:30 AM



Common psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and addiction, likely result from changes in brain circuitry.

Mapping brain circuitry

Last Updated: 3/28/2014 10:27:13 AM





<p>The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center hosted the 2014 Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, March 5-7, 2014, in Chicago.</p>

<p>For more information about the Gatlinburg Conference, visit <a href="http://vkc.mc.vanderbilt.edu/gatlinburg/">the conference website</a>.</p>

2014 Gatlinburg Conference Photo Gallery

Last Updated: 3/18/2014 10:25:56 AM


<p>The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center hosted the 2014 Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, March 5-7, 2014, in Chicago.</p>

<p>For more information about the Gatlinburg Conference, visit <a href="http://kc.vanderbilt.edu/gatlinburg/index.html">the conference website</a>.</p>

2014 Gatlinburg Conference Photo Gallery

Last Updated: 3/18/2014 10:25:56 AM


The site lists local events in April dedicated to ASD awareness.

VKC TRIAD announces Autism Awareness Month website

Last Updated: 3/18/2014 9:43:28 AM


The winner of Vanderbilt’s version of American Idol is Sarah Jennings, a third-year master’s student at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Jennings won the Vanderbilt Star songwriting contest on March 14 at Ingram Hall with her winning song “Addicted to You.”

WATCH: A star is born... Vandy-style

Last Updated: 3/14/2014 11:56:18 AM


Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego and Vanderbilt University have discovered a “missing link” in the structure of a transmembrane receptor that could lead to new treatments for autism, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

'Missing link' may spur new brain disorder drugs

Last Updated: 3/14/2014 11:49:22 AM




Nashville Mayor Karl Dean visited the Vanderbilt campus March 12 for Spread the Word to End the Word, an annual event presented by the award-winning Vanderbilt chapter of Best Buddies.

Mayor Karl Dean signs pledge at Best Buddies event

Last Updated: 3/13/2014 9:23:59 AM



The 2014 Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award of the American Educational Research Association has been awarded to the research team of Doug Fuchs and Lynn Fuchs.

Vanderbilt research team earns top AERA award

Last Updated: 3/12/2014 9:34:51 AM




The Tennessean’s Ms. Cheap (alter ego for Mary Hance) had lunch today with Next Steps students and VKC staff who contributed to the success of the Penny Drive benefitting Second Harvest Food Bank. We talked about ways to save money especially when that helps us be more generous, how employers can benefit by hiring persons with disabilities, and no-cost VKC programs that help families who have a family member with a disability.

Tennessean's 'Ms. Cheap' visits the VKC

Last Updated: 2/28/2014 10:27:14 AM



For one magical week in June, music-making dreams came true in a unique partnership between the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and ACM  Lifting Lives, the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music.

ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp 2013

Last Updated: 2/24/2014 2:40:00 PM



Many of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s researchers, faculty, staff, and students participated in the 2014 Partners in Education Conference: A Continuum of Services for ALL Children on February 11-13, 2014.

VKC at the Partners in Education Conference

Last Updated: 2/17/2014 2:13:33 PM


Smith-Lemli-Optiz syndrome (SLOS) is a rare single-gene disorder that causes multiple congenital malformations, impaired cognitive function and behaviors of the autism spectrum disorder.

Antioxidants promising for rare disorder

Last Updated: 2/12/2014 9:48:09 AM








The IDD Toolkit, a website devoted to information for the primary care of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is now available online.

IDD Healthcare E-Toolkit now available online

Last Updated: 1/30/2014 8:58:41 AM





Ann Kaiser, premier scholar in child language intervention, has been selected to receive the prestigious J. E. Wallace Wallin Lifetime Achievement Award of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Kaiser to receive CEC Lifetime Achievement Award

Last Updated: 1/24/2014 9:03:24 AM







Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are a common source of distress in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but the relationship between GI symptoms and autism-related behavior is unclear.

Brain-gut connection in autism

Last Updated: 1/10/2014 9:43:39 AM





Gifted children are likely to be the next generation’s innovators and leaders—yet the exceptionally smart are often invisible in the classroom, lacking the curricula, teacher input and external motivation to reach full potential.

Are gifted children getting lost in the shuffle?

Last Updated: 1/8/2014 10:14:27 AM



Tamoxifen – commonly known as a medicine used to treat and prevent breast cancer – improves cognitive performance in post-menopausal women, Vanderbilt researchers have found.

Cancer drug enhances cognition

Last Updated: 12/17/2013 11:24:10 AM





The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Chapter of Best Buddies will be celebrating Intellectual Disabilities (ID) Awareness Week with a collection of educational and fun events the week of Dec. 9.

Next Steps students celebrate with holiday party

Last Updated: 12/10/2013 3:52:50 PM


Vanderbilt University’s Danny Winder, Ph.D., professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, is among 15 scientists nationwide to receive NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grants this fall for their “cutting-edge” research.

Brain research foundation lands VU's Winder, Park

Last Updated: 12/6/2013 1:46:55 PM




Variation in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) – the genetic material of the cell’s energy factories – impacts human characteristics and disease. Current models posit that mtDNA variation within an individual (called heteroplasmy) results from inherited or random spontaneous mutations.

Mitochondrial mutations not random

Last Updated: 12/2/2013 10:24:20 AM


Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are largely unresponsive to social rewards, such as smiling faces. The source of this unresponsiveness is related to differences in how the brain’s reward system functions in people with ASD and those with typical development (TD).

Autism narrows brain's reward response

Last Updated: 12/2/2013 10:18:31 AM


Eighteen academic and administrative leaders at Vanderbilt University have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) this year.

Vanderbilt celebrates 18 elected fellows of the AAAS

Last Updated: 11/26/2013 11:18:53 AM


Many of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s researchers, faculty, staff, and students participated in the 2013 Conference and Annual Meeting of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) held November 17-20 in Washington, D.C.

VKC at the 2013 AUCD Conference

Last Updated: 11/19/2013 1:55:05 PM



The pioneering research of Jon Kaas has formed one of the foundations of modern neuroscience and has provided the basis for improved therapies for brain injury.

Jon Kaas wins major neuroscience award

Last Updated: 11/15/2013 9:58:35 AM









Ellen Wright Clayton, M.D., J.D., the Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics and professor of Law at Vanderbilt University, has won the David Rall Medal from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) for “exemplary” service to the institute.

Institute of Medicine honors Vanderbilt's Clayton

Last Updated: 10/22/2013 3:54:23 PM


TennesseeWorks Hosts Inaugural Employment Summit

TennesseeWorks Hosts Inaugural Employment Summit

Last Updated: 10/21/2013 1:25:12 PM



Disability Mentoring Day

Disability Mentoring Day

Last Updated: 10/16/2013 1:34:03 PM



<p>(October 2013 - January 2014)</p><p>Co-sponsored by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Nashville Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities, this annual exhibit features works of art by artists with a wide range of abilities/disabilities and ages. Since its inception in 1976, the Mayor’s Advisory Committee has promoted public education and awareness, and advocated for persons with disabilities and their family members.</p>

Creative Expressions XIX - Nashville

Last Updated: 10/8/2013 2:57:13 PM


A Faculty Senate meeting was delayed briefly Oct. 3 by a surprise guest—Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos—who interrupted the session to award the 2013 Chancellor’s Cup, now in its 50th year. The recipient was Joe Wehby, associate professor of special education at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development.

Wehby named Chancellor's Cup recipient

Last Updated: 10/7/2013 9:28:42 AM


The Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program (VVRP) has received a contract from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue its work as one of the nation’s Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEU).

Vaccine Research Program lands major NIH renewal

Last Updated: 9/27/2013 9:58:12 AM









See VKC Investigator Lynn Walker discuss tummy aches and anxiety, and VKC Member Niru Madduri explains My Routine, a visual support system for doctor

VUCast: When is it more than just a tummy ache?

Last Updated: 9/3/2013 3:31:00 PM







Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who also have gastrointestinal dysfunction (GID) are more likely than others with autism to have severely disrupted metabolic function, according to researchers at Vanderbilt University and the University of Southern California.

Oxidative stress in autism

Last Updated: 8/16/2013 10:01:49 AM






<p>(August - September 2013) </p><p>This exhibit features works of art produced by the artists of Pacesetters, Inc. An interest in protecting these species in Tennessee—or, for elephants, in the world—led to the exhibit focus. For the owls, an inspiration has been the story “Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears.” </p> <p> Pacesetters, Inc., is a nonprofit agency with five centers providing services to persons with disabilities. Pacesetters’ “Painting the Tale” art program is led by visual artists Merritt Ireland, Ramie Nunley and storyteller Marcia Donovan as artists-in-residence. “Painting the Tale” began in 2000 with a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission. Since 2007, the program has been completely supported by Pacesetters, Inc. </p>

Sandhill Cranes, Owls, and Elephants

Last Updated: 8/2/2013 10:52:29 AM





In Memoriam: Brenda Dillon

Last Updated: 7/18/2013 9:54:03 AM



Jeanne Gavigan's TPAC Story

Last Updated: 7/11/2013 3:56:49 PM




<p>(April - July, 2013)</p><p>The ART of AUTISM features artists from around the world.
Their mission is to find places and spaces for artists on the
spectrum to be seen and heard. This exhibit at the Vanderbilt
Kennedy Center organized by The Art of Autism features
participating artists from Tennessee and neighboring states.</p><p>
The ART of AUTISM (www.the-art-of-autism.com) is a socialentrepreneurship
project that connects artists and performers
of all ages on the autism spectrum with opportunities and
venues to showcase their varied talents. They help artists
through mentorships, building resumés, portfolios, and direct
work experience in the arts.</p><p>
By showcasing the artistic gifts of people on the spectrum,
the ART of AUTISM inspires the general public, gives hope
to parents of children on the spectrum, and provides selfadvocates
with tools for professional development.</p>

The Art of Autism

Last Updated: 4/2/2013 9:57:21 AM



<p>(January - April, 2013)</p><p>Paul Miktarian discovered his artistic talent when he created
his first cats 8 years ago for “Painting the Tale,” an art program
organized by Pacesetters, Inc. A Sparta resident, Miktarian
applied for a small vocational grant for art supplies and set up
a home studio. Today he is a successful artist whose paintings
of cats, dogs, owls, other animals, and especially his houses are
purchased by collectors. He has had four one-person exhibits.
His honors include Best of Show in WAVES’ exhibit “Through
the Artist Window” and being selected for the “Artists Voices”
exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville.</p><p>
Pacesetters, Inc., is a nonprofit agency with five centers serving
persons with disabilities. Pacesetters’ “Painting the Tale” art
program is led by visual artists Merritt Ireland, Ramie Nunnley,
and storyteller Marcia Donovan as artists-in-residence.</p>

KALEIDOSCOPE - Art of Paul Miktarian

Last Updated: 1/14/2013 4:52:07 PM



<p>Read how the McCoy-Jespersen Family’s gift for research in positive psychology is a living memorial to their son Martin’s positive, joyful spirit</p>

Joy of Discovery

Last Updated: 11/1/2012 3:36:42 PM


<p>Read how Linda Brooks helps Next Steps take some next steps</p>

Linda Brooks Helps Next Steps at Vanderbilt

Last Updated: 11/1/2012 3:33:35 PM


<p>Read how the Team William helped children with Down syndrome learn to read</p>

Team William Runs for Down Syndrome

Last Updated: 11/1/2012 3:29:50 PM



Fall 2012 Leadership Council Meeting Photo Gallery

Fall 2012 Leadership Council Meeting Photo Gallery

Last Updated: 9/21/2012 9:14:20 AM


<p>(September 1 - December 31, 2012)</p><p>Jointly sponsored by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the
Nashville Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with
Disabilities, this annual exhibit features work in a variety of
media by artists with a wide range of abilities/disabilities and
ages. Since its inception in 1976, the Mayor’s Advisory
Committee has promoted public education and awareness,
and advocated for persons with disabilities and their family
members. Selected works will be exhibited and artists will
be recognized at the 31st Annual Awards Celebration of the
Mayor’s Advisory Committee.</p>

Creative Expressions XVIII

Last Updated: 9/1/2012 4:52:40 PM



<p>(June - August 2012)</p><p>In 2011, with VSA national funding, VSA Tennessee began a
“dream” project: a fashion design course for young people with
autism focused on creating Superhero costumes. In March
and April, 23 youth attended sessions in the Human Sciences
Department of Middle Tennessee State University. The youth
created hand sketches and renderings, worked on Adobe
Illustrator and InDesign, operated Brother Innovis 500D sewing
machines, and presented a public style show of their costumes.</p><p>
VSA Tennessee (<a href="www.vsatn.org">www.vsatn.org</a>) provides opportunities for
people with disabilities to participate in and express themselves
through the arts and arts education. It is an affiliate of VSA
(<a href="www.vsarts.org">www.vsarts.org</a>), a part of the John F. Kennedy Center for the
Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and was founded in 1974
by Jean Kennedy Smith.</p>

Superheroes

Last Updated: 5/31/2012 12:44:40 PM


<p>(Februrary - May 2012)</p> <p>Jerry Adams and Matthew Drumright are artists whose creative
expression in various media provokes fresh insights. Each artist
has a developmental disability. Thus their art also provokes us
to see ability beyond disability. They are entrepreneurs who
have focused their careers on art.</p>
<p>View their art in this exhibit and on the artists’ websites:
</p>
<p>Jerry Adams <br/>
<a href="http://www.midtnads.com/Adams.shtml">www.midtnads.com/Adams.shtml</a>
</p><p>Matthew Drumright<br/>
<a href="http://www.matthewdrumrightphotography.com">
www.matthewdrumrightphotography.com</a></p>

Provocateurs Entrepreneurs

Last Updated: 5/21/2012 1:50:31 PM


<p> (September 1 - December 31, 2011)</p><p> Jointly sponsored by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Nashville Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities, this annual exhibit features work in a variety of media by artists with a wide range of abilities/disabilities and ages.</p>

Creative Expressions XVII

Last Updated: 8/29/2011 10:09:55 AM


<p> (April - August 2011)<p>This exhibit features works of art published in Birds of Tennessee + One,
an alphabet book produced by artists and writers of Pacesetters, Inc.
The book illustrates 40 bird species native to Tennessee and features
poems, text, and images for each letter of the alphabet.</p>

BIRDS OF TENNESSEE + ONE: A “Painting the Tale”

Last Updated: 4/11/2011 7:54:02 AM


<p> (January - April 2011)</p><p>This exhibit features works in collage created by students from the first
class of Next Steps at Vanderbilt, a 2-year postsecondary certificate
program for students with intellectual disabilities. The students created
these images during a workshop held with visiting artist-in-residence
Elizabeth Garlington at Sarratt Art Studios during the spring of 2010.
There will be a panel discussion at 5:30 p.m. and an opening reception
at 6:15 p.m. on January 24 at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. The
public is welcome. Please check the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center website
at kc.vanderbilt.edu for details.</p>

Reflections in Collage / Reflections in College

Last Updated: 12/28/2010 9:44:55 AM


<p> (September 2010 - January 2011)</p><p>Jointly sponsored by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Nashville
Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities, this annual
exhibit features work in a variety of media by artists with a wide range of
abilities/disabilities and ages. Since its inception in 1976, theMayor’s
Advisory Committee has promoted public education and awareness, and
advocated for persons with disabilities and their family members. The
artists will be recognized at the 29th Annual Awards Celebration of the
Mayor’s Advisory Committee. </p>

Creative Expressions XVI

Last Updated: 9/23/2010 2:47:04 PM



<p>(April - August 2010) </p><p>This exhibit of photographs and decorated wood guitars is the result of the 2009 Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Music Camp.</p>

Guitart From the 2009 VKC Music Camp

Last Updated: 4/1/2010 8:53:44 AM




<p>Read how Robb and Mary Jane Swaney were able to make a huge impact on the lives of children with and without developmental disabilities</p>

A Passion for the Arts, a Passion for Service

Last Updated: 10/1/2009 2:41:15 PM


<p>Read how Lorie and John Lytle brought music to the lives of people with developmental disabilities</p>

Music of the Heart

Last Updated: 10/1/2009 2:22:32 PM