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Neuroscience and Society Series: The Adolescent Brain

1200 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC

What are They Thinking? Exploring the Adolescent Brain

Advances in neuroscience have enabled researchers to learn more about how the adolescent brain functions, from the everyday behavior of teenagers to how they cope with the challenges of disease, learning problems, and social cues. Speakers at this event will address the development of the adolescent brain, the diseases and learning difficulties that seem to correlate with adolescence, and the policy initiatives undertaken by the federal government in response.

Speaker Biographies

Alan I. Leshner has been Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Executive Publisher of the journal Science since December 2001. Before coming to AAAS, Leshner was Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He also has served as Deputy Director and Acting Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, held a variety of senior positions at the National Science Foundation, and served as a professor of Psychology at Bucknell University. Leshner received an undergraduate degree in psychology from Franklin and Marshall College, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physiological psychology from Rutgers University.

Elizabeth Albro is the Associate Commissioner for the Teaching and Learning Division of the National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Education. She recently served as Acting Commissioner for the National Center for Education Research and has been a federal program officer for several IES research grant programs. As program officer for the IES Cognition and Student Learning research grants program, Dr. Albro oversaw the preparation of an IES Practice Guide, Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning, which identified a set of instructional principles for use in schools and classrooms that emerged from basic research on learning and memory. Prior to joining IES, Dr. Albro was a professor at Wheaton College in Norton, MA and at Whittier College in Whittier, CA. She holds a B.A. in Behavioral Sciences, a M.A. in the Social Sciences and a Ph.D. in Psychology, with a focus on Cognition and Communication, from the University of Chicago.

Jay Giedd received his M.D. from the University of North Dakota in 1986. He received his training in adult psychiatry at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, KS, and his Child and Adolescent Psychiatry training at Duke University in Durham, NC. He is board certified in General, Child and Adolescent, and Geriatric Psychiatry. Currently, he is the Chief of the Unit on Brain Imaging in the Child Psychiatry Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). His research at NIMH focuses on the biological basis of cognitive, emotional and behavioral disorders. Dr. Giedd’s research team seeks to use cutting edge technologies to explore the relationship between genes, brain and behavior in healthy development and in neuropsychiatric disorders of childhood onset.

Elaine Walker is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Emory University. She leads a research laboratory that is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to study risk factors for psychosis and other serious mental illnesses. Her research is focused on the behavioral and neuromaturational changes that precede psychotic disorders. She has published over 230 scientific articles and 6 books. Dr. Walker attended Washington University in St. Louis and received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1979. She then joined the faculty of Cornell University, moving to Emory University in 1985. Dr. Walker is the recipient of the WT Grant Faculty/Scholar Award, two Career Development awards from the NIMH, the Zubin Memorial Award from the New York Psychiatric Institute, the Gralnick Award from the American Psychological Society, the Cattell Foundation Award, the Joseph Zubin Award for life-time achievement, the James McKeen Cattell award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Emory Scholar-Teacher award.

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