We offer our warm congratulations to cognition research pioneer and DSRTF grant recipient Dr. Roger Reeves, the latest recipient of the 2012 Sisley-Jérôme Lejeune International Award for Translational Research in Intellectual Disabilities. This prize, granted by the Fondation Jérôme Lejeune, is given to “reward a researcher for his works concerning research with a therapeutic orientation on genetic diseases with intellectual disability,” according to the foundation, whose mission is to provide research, care, and advocacy to benefit those with genetic intellectual disabilities.
“This is an honor for me and for the many people who have contributed ‘at the bench’ in my lab over the years,” said Reeves. “But it is equally a tribute to those whose efforts demonstrate their support and encouragement for this work, without which nothing would have been accomplished at all.”
We thank Dr. Reeves for his continuing service to the field, and we’re proud to support him in his ongoing endeavors. “It has been, and will be, a wonderful experience,” he said, “to be part of this multi-faceted effort to promote research for Down syndrome.”
On Thursday evening, November 8, at Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, NJ, Research Down Syndrome(RDS) held its annual “Empower the Extraordinary” event at a dinner benefiting the Foundation and its mission to develop safe and effective drug therapies designed to improve memory, learning and communication in persons with Down syndrome. Committed corporate sponsors and generous event attendees contributed to the outstanding financial success of this gala. Genentech was the event underwriter, and a list of additional corporate sponsors may be found below.
The Foundation was privileged by the presence of the Honorable Cory A. Booker, Mayor of Newark. In his remarks, Mayor Booker noted how a “conspiracy of love” from family and friends assisted him in his growth, and that he hopes to return this support by leading Newark with a similar vision, creating an environment in the city that is nurturing and empowering for individuals and families.
Also in attendance and speaking were the Honorable Leonard Lance, Congressman of the 7th District of New Jersey, and the Honorable Mike Ferguson, former Representative of the 7th District.
During the event, RDS acknowledged Dr. Luca Santarelli, Head of Neuroscience and Small Molecule Research at F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd., for the creation of an industry-leading R&D department to discover and develop drugs for neurodevelopment disorders such as Down syndrome. In 2011, Roche initiated a clinical trial to evaluate a potential therapy designed to improve cognition in individuals with Down syndrome.
Congratulations, Dr. Reeves and laboratory at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine!
RDS received the news below from Dr. Reeves, whose laboratory is a recipient of RDS grants. Dr. Reeves’ studies include research into the mechanism by which a single dose treatment of a growth factor-like drug, SAG, early in the life of a Down syndrome mouse model, restores brain function involving learning and memory in adults. These investigations could lead to significant new therapeutic strategies. Additional studies are investigating abnormalities in brain cell circuitry caused by excitatory/inhibitory signal imbalance that might identify potential therapeutic drug targets.
Truly, as Dr. Reeves states, all RDS supporters should feel a share in this award.
I found out this morning that I am this year’s recipient of the Int’l. Sisley-LeJeune Award for Research in Intellectual Disability. This is an honor for me and for the many people who have contributed “at the bench” in my lab over the years. But it is equally a tribute to those whose efforts demonstrate their support and encouragement for this work, without which nothing would have been accomplished at all. I am truly thankful for your backing. It has been (and will be!) a wonderful experience to be part of this multi-faceted effort to promote research for Down syndrome. My lab and I will keep working to justify your support as we all work toward making a better life for people with Down syndrome.