NEWS | October 10, 2013

UC Davis MIND Institute announces 2013-2014 Minds Behind the MIND speaker series


The 2013-14 season of the UC Davis MIND Institute's Minds Behind the MIND series begins in November with nationally recognized MIND Institute researchers partnering with community representatives to provide the latest information on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), one of many neurodevelopmental disabilities studied at the MIND Institute. Subsequent presentations focus on how technology can aid people with developmental disabilities and on new findings in autism treatments.  

MIND Institute Building MIND Institute Building

The first presentation in the series, “ADHD Grows Up: Transitions to Adulthood,” will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 20.  The participants will include representatives from the MIND Institute’s ADHD Program, including Director Julie Schweitzer, Clinic Director J. Faye Dixon, Medical Director Murat Pakyurek, Professor Khyati Brahmbhatt, child and adolescent psychiatrist, all from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Other participants will include Christine O’Dell, learning disabilities specialist with the UC Davis Student Disability Center, Jennifer Borenstein, a college counselor in private practice and Tomoko “TJ” Vidales, a professional coach and branch coordinator of Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) of Greater Sacramento.

After the presentation the attendees will be divided into two groups, one for teens and young adults with ADHD and one for their family members. Both groups will learn about the therapeutic uses of technology for people with ADHD. The teens and young adults will discuss myths about ADHD and the skills necessary for successful transition to adulthood; parents will discuss supporting their child with ADHD.

A discussion entitled “Using Technology,” will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 19. The members of the panel will be Maria Diez-Juan and Tasha Oswald, both fellows in the MIND Institute’s Autism Research Training Program, who are using electronic tablets as part of their research with children. MIND Institute research is indicating that use of this technology helps children with neurodevelopmental disabilities in reading comprehension and communication. Representatives of the UC Davis School of Education will demonstrate 'Navigate Autism,' a new website under development to disseminate information to families of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.    

April is Autism Awareness Month. On Wednesday, April 16, Sally Rogers, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Judy Van de Water, an immunologist and professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, will provide updates on their autism spectrum disorder research.

All of the discussions will be moderated by Robin Hansen, chief of the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics and director of the UC Davis MIND Institute’s Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

The Minds Behind the MIND presentations are held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the MIND Institute Auditorium. There is no charge for attendance and no reservations are required. From 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. information about research studies related to the evening's discussion topic will be available in the MIND Institute lobby. Free parking is available on the street and paid parking is available for $6 in the MIND Institute parking lot. For further information about the presentations, please contact Terri Contenti, MIND Institute community relations officer, at 916-703-0289;

The UC Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento, Calif., was founded in 1998 as a unique interdisciplinary research center where families, community leaders, researchers, clinicians and volunteers work together toward a common goal: researching causes, treatments and eventual preventions and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders. The institute has major research efforts in autism, fragile X syndrome, chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Down syndrome. More information about the institute and its Distinguished Lecturer Series, including previous presentations in this series, is available on the Web at