The goal of the Workshop on Cognition in Down Syndrome—Molecular, Cellular and Behavioral Features and the Promise of Pharmacotherapies is to encourage new collaborations and expanded research directions relevant to cognition in DS and pharmacotherapies for cognition in DS. We invite investigators with interest or expertise in one or more of the following topics to attend: the biology of one or more HSA21 genes; the biology of pathways or cellular processes relevant to the DS cognitive phenotype and in which HSA21 genes function; development and analysis of DS model systems, including segmental trisomy mouse models and neurally differentiated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs); pharmacology relevant to DS cognitive deficits; and assessment of DS neurological and cognitive abnormalities. Questions for discussion include but are not limited to the following:
1. What functions of HSA21 genes will influence, positively or negatively, phenotype and drug responses in full trisomy 21? What pathways may be impacted by overexpression of multiple genes distributed throughout HSA21? How can contributions to the phenotype from non-genic sequences and allelic variation be assayed?
2. What is the common molecular basis for successes of diverse pharmacological treatments in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS?
3. What model systems, mouse, human or others, and what molecular, cellular, electrophysiological or behavioral assays in these systems, will be most reliable for testing of pharmacotherapies and prediction of outcomes of clinical trials?
4. What should be the role of iPSC lines and how can access to required reagents and techniques be fostered?
5. How can the breadth of potential pharmacological agents be efficiently sampled?
6. How can outcomes of clinical trials best be evaluated? What additional components of the DS cognitive/behavioral phenotype need to be explored? What role do anxiety, stress and abnormal sleep patterns play in cognition in DS?
7. What are current and future needs for a DS registry and biobank and how can these needs be met quickly and efficiently?
The format of the workshop will include platform presentations by invited speakers and additional platform presentations, poster symposia and poster sessions chosen from submitted abstracts. All interested investigators are encouraged to submit abstracts to be considered for presentations (abstract deadline: 1 March 2013).
The workshop program will start with an opening reception and abstract book pickup on Friday evening, 12 April. Scientific sessions will start at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, 13 April, and end by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 15 April.