Morning Session Speakers
The Washington University NF Center will be hosting its third biennial NF Center Symposium on April 1, 2016 in the Eric P. Newman Education Center on the Medical School Campus. In addition to our two keynote speakers, Dr. Alcino Silva and Dr. David Largaespada, we are delighted to showcase research highlights from select researchers in the Washington University NF Center.
In the morning session, we will be hearing talks from Dr. John Constantino, Dr. Kimberly Johnson, and Dr. Matthew Dobbs.
John Constantino, MD received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his medical degree from Washington University. Following training in Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Child Psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he completed a fellowship in psychiatric epidemiology at Washington University under Dr. Richard Todd. Dr. Constantino is currently the Blanche F. Ittleson Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics and Director of the William Greenleaf Eliot Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. In addition, he serves as the Director of the Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Center at Washington University. Dr. Constantino is internationally respected as one of the Best Doctors in America, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2014 American Academy of Children and Adolescent Psychiatry Irving Philips Award for Prevention.
Based on his expertise in autism, Dr. Constantino joined the Washington University NF Center Clinical Research Team, where he led one of the largest studies of autism in individuals with NF1. He then leveraged this experience to co-direct a multi-investigator international consortium to define the clinical characteristics of autism in NF1 and to identify potential risk factors for this common problem in children with NF1. We are delighted to have Dr. Constantino speak today about new insights into NF1-associated autism.
Kimberly Johnson, MPH, PhD received her PhD in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota, and following post-doctoral research training was recruited to the Washington University Brown School of Social Work. Dr. Johnson’s research focuses on elucidating the causes of childhood cancer using interdisciplinary approaches. Specifically, she is interested in how early life exposures, both genetic and environmental, can influence cancer risk. She is currently the Principal Investigator of the Washington University NF Center NF1 Patient Registry Initiative, an international patient registry of individuals with NF1 for epidemiology research. She has published extensively on the use of this one-of-a-kind registry coupled with outcomes-based administrative claims data to identify risk factors for brain tumors in children and adults with NF1. In addition, Dr. Johnson works closely with her colleagues at the McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University to apply new analysis tools to discovery genomic risk factors for cancer in children and adults.
Dr. Johnson has been a vital member of the Washington University NF Center Clinical Research Team, where she mentors medical students interested in clinical epidemiologic research. We are delighted to have Dr. Johnson speak today about the use of novel population-based research approaches to define risk factors for brain tumors in children and adults with NF1.
Matthew Dobbs, MD received his medical degree and his residency training in Orthopedics from the University of Iowa before coming to St. Louis for a fellowship in Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery. Dr. Dobbs is an international expert in pediatric foot disorders and cares for children with NF1-associated bone defects, like tibial pseudarthrosis. In addition to his clinical expertise, Dr. Dobbs also directs a basic research laboratory focused on defining the genetic basis for leg deformities (club foot) and scoliosis. He also designed a specific brace for the treatment of children with clubfoot. Dr. Dobbs has received many awards for his excellence, including the 2002 Hunterian Society Gold Medal.
Dr. Dobbs has been an integral member of the Washington University NF Center Clinical Care Team, and manages the complex bone abnormalities that can develop in children with NF1. He will direct the upcoming Neurofibromatosis Clinical Trials Consortium Trial using Bone Morphogenetic Factor-2 (BMP-2) to improve healing after surgery for tibial pseudarthrosis. We are delighted to have Dr. Dobbs speak today about the management of bone defects in children with NF1.
To learn more about the event and register to attend, visit the NF Center Research Symposium event page. Also be sure to check back for our next news article where we will be featuring information about our esteemed afternoon session presenters!