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College of Arts & Sciences
South Carolina Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Consortium (SCAND)

2019 SCAND Research Symposium

The second South Carolina Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (SCAND) Symposium was held on Friday, March 1, 2019 in the Bioengineering Building Auditorium (Room 110) in the James E Clyburn Research Center at MUSC.



Scientific Retreat on Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research

Sponsored by the South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute (SCTR) and South Carolina Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (SCAND) Consortium


Friday, March 1, 2019
Bioengineering Building Auditorium (Room 110)

James E. Clyburn Research Center

Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)

Retreat Registration: 8:30AM

Retreat Program: 9AM - 5:00PM; Networking Reception: 5 - 6PM





8:30                  Retreat Registration, Poster Set-up and Continental Breakfast (Lobby)


9:00 - 9:05       Welcoming and Opening Remarks

Kathleen T. Brady, MD, PhD, Distinguished University Professor; Vice President of Research and Director and Principal Investigator, SCTR, MUSC


9:05 - 10:30     Session One:  From Bench to Bedside and Back Again:  Integrated Approach to Studying the Genetics of a Neurodevelopmental Disorder

Moderator: Christopher W. Cowan, PhD, Professor and W.E. Murray SmartState Chair in Neuroscience, Department of Neuroscience, College of Medicine, MUSC


9:05–9:25        At the Bench:  MEF2 Proteins Regulate Activity-Dependent Synapse Development

                        Chris Cowan, PhD


9:25–9:45        At the Bedside:   Human Genome Sequencing links MEF2C to Syndromic Autism

                        Steve Skinner, MD, Director of the Greenwood Genetics Center, Greenwood, SC


9:45–10:05      Back to the Bench:  Modeling MEF2C Haploinsufficiency Syndrome in mice

                        Adam Harrington, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Neuroscience, College of Medicine, MUSC


10:05–10:20    Into the Future:  Insights into brain pathology and potential therapeutic strategies

                        Catherine Bridges, BS, MSTP student, Department of Neuroscience, College of Medicine, MUSC


10:20-10:30     Session One Q&A


10:30-10:45     Networking Coffee Break


10:45               Keynote Speaker Introduction

                        Chris Cowan, PhD


10:45 - 11:45    Keynote Address: From Genes to Pathology: The Path Forward in Genetically Complex Neurodevelopment Syndromes

Matthew W. State, MD, PhD, Oberndorf Family Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco


11:45 - 1:00     Poster Session One and Working Lunch (BEB and DSB Lobbies)


1:00 - 2:30       Session Two:  From Bedside to Bench: Parental, Experimental and Treatment Perspectives for Anxiety in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

                        Moderator: Jane Roberts, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Carolina


1:10-1:25         How Fragile X and Anxiety Impact Our Family

Robin Blackwood, Fragile X Carrier, Mother to Son with FXS and Special Needs Advocate


1:25-1:45         Biobehavioral Indices of Anxiety in Autism and Fragile X Syndrome in Young Children

                        Abigail Hogan, PhD, Res. Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, USC


1:45-2:00         Evaluating Nicotinamide Riboside Supplementation in a Mouse Model of Autism

                        Linnea Freeman, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Furman University


2:00-2:20         The Why and the How of Transcranial Magnetic Therapy in Autism

Manuel F. Casanova, MD, Professor of Biomedical Sciences, SmartState Chair in Childhood Neurotherapeutics, USC Greenville


1:55-2:10         Session Two Q&A


2:30 - 3:30       Poster Session Two and Networking Coffee Break


3:30 - 4:30       Trainee Abstract Presentations:


3:30 - 3:45       A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial Demonstrates that Mavoglurant Increases Eye Gaze in

Fragile X Syndrome

Reshma Joshi, DO, Resident (PGY1), Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, MUSC


3:45 - 4:00       Investigating the role of EPHB2 in autism and autism-associated behaviors

                        Ahlem Assali, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Neuroscience, College of Medicine, MUSC


4:00 - 4:15       High Frequency rTMS in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Depression: A Pilot Study

                        Melanie Wiley, BS, MSTP student, Department of Neuroscience, College of Medicine, MUSC


4:15 - 4:30       Selective axonal translation of prenylated Cdc42 mRNA isoform supports axon growth

                        Matthew Zdradzinski, BS, Graduate student, Department of Biological Sciences, USC


4:30 - 4:45       Funding Successes and Opportunities:

                        Network Analysis of Collaborations

                        Jane Joseph, PhD, Professor, Department of Neuroscience, College of Medicine, MUSC


South Carolina Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)

                        Jeff Twiss MD, PhD, Professor and SmartState Chair in Childhood Neurotherapeutics, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts ad Sciences, USC

                        SCTR Pilot Project Program Funding Opportunities

                        Dayan Ranwala PhD, Research Assistant professor and Associate Director, SCTR Pilot Project Program and Team Science Program


4:45 - 5:00       Closing Remarks and Next Steps  

                        Chris Cowan, PhD and Jane Joseph, PhD


5:00 - 6:00       Networking Reception (Drug Discovery Building Lobby)   




Retreat Planning Committee Members

Manny Casanova, MD, USC Greenville

Chris Cowan, PhD, MUSC

Kevin Gray, MD, MUSC

Perry Halushka, PhD, MD, MUSC

Jane Joseph, PhD, MUSC

Dayan Ranwala, PhD, MUSC

Jane Roberts, PhD, USC

Rich Street, PhD, GGC

Jeff Twiss, MD, PhD, USC

Michael Watson, MA, MUSC



South Carolina Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Consortium (SCAND)