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Rett Syndrome Symposium and Workshop

October 28 and 29, 2019

Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute 
1250 Moursund St. 
Houston, TX 77030

This fall marks the 20th anniversary of the discovery of the genetic basis of Rett syndrome. In honor of this important milestone, Drs. Adrian Bird and Huda Zoghbi are co-hosting a Rett Syndrome Symposium and Workshop Monday and Tuesday, October 28 and 29, at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute in Houston. The International Rett Syndrome Foundation and the Rett Syndrome Research Trust are generously co-sponsoring this special event. Leading investigators from around the world will gather to help identify key issues that must be addressed in order for us to be in a position to advance effective therapeutic interventions and hopefully celebrate success by the 25th anniversary.

Our invited guests include scientists and physicians, NIH and foundation representatives, members of the lay public with a special interest in these disorders, and representatives from the pharmaceutical industry. We envision the meeting as an interactive forum. As much time is dedicated to discussion framing new ideas as is dedicated to talks. The first day will open with a charge to the attendees and invited guests regarding the overall goals of the symposium:  identifying key challenges facing Rett syndrome and MeCP2 disorders and how to proceed to bring us closer to understanding mechanisms and developing potential therapies. The panel discussions and plenary session Tuesday morning, October 29, will adjourn by 12 noon.

The symposium is free-of-charge, but online registration is required due to limited seating. A continental breakfast will be provided both days, as well as a boxed lunch and reception Monday, for all registered attendees.

Speakers, Workshop Participants, and Special Guests

Nurit Ballas, PhD
Stony Brook University

Peter Beal, PhD
UC Davis

Margarita Behrens, PhD
Salk Institute / UCSD

György Buzsáki, MD, PhD
New York University

Qiang Chang, PhD
University of Wisconsin

Stuart Cobb, DPhil
University of Edinburgh

Ronald Crystal, MD
Weill Cornell Medicine

Ricardo Dolmetsch, PhD

Joseph Ecker, PhD
Salk Institute / UCSD

James Ellis, PhD
SickKids / University of Toronto

Diana Gallagher, MD

Viviana Gradinaru, PhD

Nathaniel Heintz, PhD
The Rockefeller University

Rudolf Jaenisch, MD, PhD
Whitehead Institute / MIT

Story Landis, PhD
Director Emerita NINDS

Helen Leonard, MBChB
Telethon Kids Institute

Laura Mamounas, PhD
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Elly Nedivi, PhD

Jeffrey Neul, MD, PhD
Vanderbilt University

Melissa Parisi, PhD
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Alan Percy, MD
Children’s of Alabama

Kathrin Plath, PhD

Frank Rigo, PhD
Ionis Pharmaceuticals

Mustafa Sahin, MD, PhD
Boston Children’s Hospital / Harvard

Sameer Sheth, MD, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine

Bernhard Suter, MD, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine

Rebekah Tillotson, PhD
SickKids / University of Toronto

Robert Tjian, PhD
UC Berkeley

Gary Westbrook, MD
Vollum Institute / OHSU

Feng Zhang, PhD
Broad Institute / MIT

Zhaolan (Joe) Zhou, PhD
University of Pennsylvania

Young Investigators

Oliva Azahara, PhD
Columbia University

Sameer Bajikar, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine

Lisa Boxer, PhD
Harvard Medical School

Qiping Dong, PhD
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Harrison Gabel, PhD
Washington University
School of Medicine

Amy Hauck, PhD
University of Pennsylvania
Perelman School of Medicine

Lingjie He, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine

Xin Jin, PhD
Broad Institute / MIT

Matthew Lyst, PhD
University of Edinburgh

Philipp Reautschnig, PhD
University of Tuebingen


Who is the intended audience?

Scientists, physicians, trainees, parents, and others interested in Rett Syndrome.  Please note this is a scientific symposium and child care services are not available.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Houston's light rail runs along Fannin Street, with stops at Memorial Hermann/UT/Houston Zoo and The Methodist Hospital/Dryden/TMC. The Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute is one block east of Fannin, at Moursund St. and Bertner Avenue (1250 Moursund St). Parking, for a fee, is available in any of the Texas Medical Center garages. The closest garages are 15 (Commons garage, accessed from Bertner Ave), 7 (accessed from John Freeman Blvd), and 6 (accessed from Moursund Street). 

What hotels are nearby meeting location?

Houston Marriott Medical Center HotelIntercontinental Houston - Medical CenterWyndham Houston - Medical Center 
Zaza Hotel Houston Medical Center / Museum District

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please send an email to

Friday, August 2, 2019