First T21 Research Society conference in Paris

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is proud to announce that it has helped establish and is a Founding Member of T21 Research Society (T21RS) — the first international research society focused on Down syndrome.

Trisomy 21 Research Society

T21RS was founded to promote basic and applied research on Down syndrome, stimulate translational research and apply new scientific knowledge to develop improved treatments for people with Down syndrome and cures for diseases associated with the condition such as Alzheimer’s disease.

One of the society’s first major initiatives is the inaugural T21RS International Conference: Changing paradigms in Down syndrome, to be held in Paris from June 4 to 7 at the Brain and Spine Institute of the Salpêtrière hospital.

This conference will bring together renowned researchers, postdoctoral fellows and students from around the globe to share the latest scientific developments in the field of Down syndrome research. In addition, there will be a session with parents associations on Sunday, June 7.

“We are proud to have helped establish the Trisomy 21 Research Society. It is really an extension of Global’s commitment to greatly expand research benefiting people with Down syndrome,” said Michelle Sie Whitten, President and CEO of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. “We are confident this new society will dramatically increase the number of scientists working on Down syndrome and therefore increase the number of breakthroughs we can witness in our lifetime.”

Jean Maurice DelabarThe society will have a rotating presidency. The first president is Jean Maurice Delabar of Université Paris Diderot, who says the society’s membership is expected to double by the end of its second year after already exceeding its first-year goal in the initial six months.

Delabar will be followed by Roger Reeves, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome.

Roger ReevesReeves is a core faculty members of the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins and is considered one of the foremost experts in the field of gene expression in Down syndrome. Recent work by Reeves includes studies to identify what genetically contributes to the severity of cognitive and coordinative problems associated with Down syndrome in order to pursue therapies that could improve the lives of people with the condition.

Tom BlumenthalAlso serving on the society’s advisory board and one of the founders of the society is Tom Blumenthal, PhD, Executive Director of the Crnic Institute. Blumenthal’s lab studies the mechanisms of gene expression and how genes are organized on chromosomes. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies.

Katheleen GardinerThe Crnic Institute’s Katheleen Gardiner, PhD, serves on the society’s Program Committee. Gardiner’s research focuses on protein expression in mouse and human model systems of Down syndrome, and she has organized the last two international conferences on Down syndrome and the biology of human chromosome 21 in Washington, DC.

Besides Global, founding supporters of the society include the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, Lumind Foundation, Trisomy 21 France, and The Matthew Foundation.

Because Down syndrome research has generated findings that affect thinking regarding research on Alzheimer’s disease and solid tumor cancers, T21RS creates another forum for drawing attention to the need for further funding for Down syndrome research, which could in turn benefit everyone’s lives. Global and the Crnic Institute are at the forefront of this research and look forward to helping place a greater emphasis on collaborations worldwide.

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