Who We Are

The Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center is one of Einstein’s oldest research centers, having been established in 1968 following the creation of the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Kennedy Center Building
Rose F. Kennedy Center

The Center provides a forum through which both basic scientists and clinicians address intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) of children, through studies ranging from those using animal models, to translational and clinical investigations. The RFK IDDRC collaborators, representing nearly 100 labs and clinics at Montefiore Einstein, have a common goal of advancing disease discovery and understanding of disease mechanisms, pre- and postnatal diagnosis, prevention and treatment for IDDs affecting children.

The Center has a vibrant administrative program supporting new and productive collaborations at Einstein and Montefiore Medical Center by uniting basic scientists focused on normal and abnormal brain development and function with clinicians caring for children with IDDs.

The Center supports four cutting-edge scientific cores providing integrated support for biomedical, clinical and translational research focused on a host of IDDs. It also actively supports a number of research initiatives including studies on autism and 22q11.2D, as well as a personalized medicine program on IDD-linked genes called Operation IDD Gene Team.

A key purpose of the Rose F. Kennedy Center is to help develop the next generation of health professionals focused on IDD by training graduate students and postdoctoral and clinical fellows specifically in IDD-related conditions. This includes fostering direct interactions between basic science trainees with willing families impacted by these conditions along with their clinical care professionals.

The Center, through the generosity of the College, offers an annual Pilot and Feasibility Grant Initiative designed to stimulate and enhance IDD-related research and collaboration at Montefiore Einstein.

The Center has as a key objective to increase awareness of the importance of IDD research and clinical care in our Montefiore Einstein community, as well as in the broader Bronx community. The Center annually sponsors the Isabelle Rapin Conference on Communication Disorders, designed to foster cutting-edge basic and clinical research on IDD-related conditions, as well as hosts International Rare Disease Day. The Center also publishes a biannual newsletter and jointly sponsors seminars with basic science and clinical departments.

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