MIND Institute

Series kicks off October 11

Sacramento, Calif. – The UC Davis MIND Institute’s popular Distinguished Lecturer Series returns next month with a stellar lineup of experts who will discuss a variety of topics including research, interventions and social issues surrounding autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and more.

Seven experts will give insightful lectures as part of the long-running, free series that runs from October to June each year.


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“We have an all-star group of speakers this season. These are world-renowned, innovative thinkers doing leading-edge research and work in the community to improve lives.”

Cyndi Schumann, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Series kick off

The series kicks off on Oct. 11, with a talk by outgoing MIND Institute Director Leonard Abbeduto. His lecture, “Rethinking Treatment Studies in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities: Insights from 12 Years at the MIND Institute,” will include a call for more equity in research.
Camille Proctor, founder of The Color of Autism Foundation, an organization dedicated to serving people of color affected by autism, will talk about culturally grounded parent training and care. Claudia Buss, of UC Irvine and Charité – Universitätsmedizine in Berlin, Germany, will discuss the ways that maternal stress can shape fetal brain development. John Strang, of Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., will give a talk focused on the intersection of gender diversity and autism.

Other topics will include maternal mental health, personalized medicine and proven ADHD interventions being tested in schools.

“We will be covering an impressive variety of relevant, timely topics this season. I am excited for each and every speaker,” Schumann said. “We value this opportunity to share the work and wisdom of some of the foremost experts in the field with researchers, clinicians and the community. All are welcome! This series is really unique in that regard.”

Free admission

All talks are held at the UC Davis MIND Institute at 2825 50th St. in Sacramento and start at 4:30 p.m. No registration is required. Admission is free and seating is first come, first served. Refreshments are also offered.

Science MINDS podcast allows experts to share personal side

In addition to their lecture, speakers also record a video podcast at the MIND Institute that focuses more on their own personal story. The series is hosted by postdoctoral scholar Andrew Dakopolos, a researcher and former schoolteacher with a Ph.D. in autism and intellectual disability.

“My goal with Science MINDS is to allow us to learn more about the human side of these scientists,” Dakopolos explained. “I want to move beyond academia and have a casual conversation where we just get to know the person behind the science.”

YouTube Channel

More than a dozen Science MINDS episodes can be found on the MIND Institute’s YouTube channel, including previous Distinguished Lecturer Series speakers and current MIND Institute faculty.

“I always felt like there aren’t good ways to access the really interesting part of who researchers are, and the things that make them, and consequently, their science, special. This is my attempt at providing a space for that,” Dakopolos said.

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