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Can a mouse have ADHD or Autism – and why should we care?

November 19, 2019 @ 8:30 am - 10:00 am

Insights from Dr. Randy Blakely at the FAU Brain Institute on leveraging neuroscience in a search for mechanisms and treatments for human developmental disorders. Dr. Blakely will review how research at the Institute is targeting brain dopamine and serotonin in a search for potential treatments of these disorders and how genetically modified mice can be used to search for brain mechanisms and new treatments.

Coffee and light bites will be served


Randy D. Blakely, a native of Columbus, Georgia, is Professor in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University (FAU, http:///ww.blakelylab.org) and the founding Executive Director of the FAU Brain Institute (http://www.ibrain.fau.edu). Prior to his arrival at FAU in 2016, he held the Allan D. Bass Professorship in Pharmacology & Psychiatry at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine from 1995-2016. At Vanderbilt, Blakely directed the Vanderbilt/NIMH Silvio O. Conte Center for Neuroscience Research, and the Vanderbilt/NIMH Postdoctoral Training Program in Neurogenomics.

Blakely’s research has appeared in more than 300 publications in leading journals including Science, Nature, The New England
Journal of Medicine, Neuron and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. He has served on multiple editorial boards including the Journal of Neuroscience and Molecular Pharmacology. His expertise has drawn appointments to multiple federal, foundation advisory scientific advisory boards including a chairmanship stint on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the NIMH and his current position as a member of the NIMH National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC).

In recent years, Blakely’s work has focused on the generation and characterization of animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism, OCD, ADHD and depression, with a major focus on rare, penetrant mutations that alter neurotransmitter signaling and/or drug recognition. Using these models, he has developed novel therapeutic strategies and identified paths to reduce off-target drug action. Dr. Blakely’s research and mentorship have garnered multiple honors
including the Daniel Efron Award from the ACNP, two Distinguished Investigator Awards from the Brain and Behavioral Research Foundation, a MERIT Award from the NIMH, a Zenith Award from the Alzheimer’s Association and and the Astellas Award for Research from the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET).

His contributions to science have also been recognized through receipt of more than 250 invitations to lecture at national and international conferences/universities, as well as more than 25 honorary, endowed, and plenary lectureships, including four Grass lectureships (British Columbia Chapter of the Society for
Neuroscience, East Tennessee State University, Ohio State University, University of Mississippi), the F.C. Macintosh Endowed Lectureship from McGill University, and the Founders Lecture for the American Academy of Adolescent and Child Psychiatry.

Blakely holds a dozen patents for his gene discoveries, animal models and potential therapeutic interventions, and he continues to pursue translation of his fundamental research findings into novel animal models and therapies and has served on scientific advisory boards for philanthropic organizations (Brain & Behavioral Research Foundation, Palm Health Foundation). In 2009, Dr. Blakely was elected a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and in 2019, into the National Academy of Inventors.