Storming the ivory tower: How to make autism interventions work in schools

  • Autism Research
Speaker David S. Mandell, Sc.D.
University of Pennsylvania
Date & Time


Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium
160 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10010 United States

Autism Research

Autism Research lectures bring together scientists and scholars to discuss diverse and important topics related to autism.

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On 11 November 2015, David S. Mandell talked about why autism interventions rarely are implemented in community practice and why they fail to achieve the same outcomes as those observed in clinical trials.

His talk was part of the Simons Foundation Autism Research lecture series.

About the Lecture

A growing body of research shows the efficacy of interventions for children with autism. These interventions rarely make their way into community practice, however. When they do, they usually do not produce the same results as those observed in clinical trials.

In this lecture, David S. Mandell will talk about why autism interventions rarely are implemented in community practice and why they fail to achieve the same outcomes as those observed in clinical trials. He will review the policy environment for improving quality of care and evidence suggesting that recently enacted policies may be necessary but are not sufficient to improve practice. He also will present research that more directly attempts to improve quality of care and associated outcomes for children with autism.

About the Speaker

David S. Mandell, Sc.D., is associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. The goal of his research is to improve the quality of care that individuals with autism receive in their communities. He examines the effects that different state and federal strategies to organize, finance and deliver services have on service use patterns and outcomes. He also conducts experimental studies to determine the best ways to successfully implement proven-efficacious practices in community settings.

Past Lectures

Image of Kelsey MartinLeonard Mlodinow headshot

How emotions shape our memories

Kelsey C. Martin, M.D., Ph.D.Executive Vice President, Autism and Neuroscience
Leonard Mlodinow, Ph.D.Physicist and Author

Have you ever contemplated the difference between a feeling, a thought and a memory? And how do all these things fit together in making us who we are?

Leonard Mlodinow is a theoretical physicist and best-selling author. In his latest book, “Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking,” he unpacks the role emotions play in our thinking and mental well-being.

Kelsey Martin, director of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) and the foundation’s neuroscience collaborations, has spent much of her career as a neuroscientist seeking to understand better how experiences change brain connectivity to store long-term memories.

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What do we mean by ‘autism risk genes’?

David Ledbetter, Ph.D.
Chief Clinical Officer, Dascena

Joseph Buxbaum, Ph.D.
Director, Seaver Autism Center
Professor, Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Genetics and Genomic Sciences
Vice Chair for Research and Vice Chair for Mentoring, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Heather Mefford, M.D., Ph.D.
Full Member, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

David Ledbetter and Joseph Buxbaum discussed whether there are genes for which mutations confer risk specific to autism or whether these genes are really conferring general risk of disrupted brain development. The discussion was moderated by Heather Mefford.

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Small molecules, genes and antisense oligonucleotides: Industry perspectives on treatment development for ASD

Federico Bolognani, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice President, Head of Clinical Science, Axial Therapeutics

Stuart Cobb, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer, Neurogene; Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh

Yael Weiss, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice President, Business Development, Ultragenyx

Randy Carpenter, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, Rett Syndrome Research Trust; Co-Founder, Allos Pharma

Federico Bolognani, Stuart Cobb, and Yael Weiss joined a panel to discuss new industry developments on the use of small molecules, gene therapy and antisense oligonucleotides as treatment approaches for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The panel discussion was moderated by Randall Carpenter.

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