Past Events

Advances in Autism Conferences


Our annual Advances in Autism Conference, established in 1996, brings together academic, parent, and community groups to participate in thoughtful and informative presentations. The goals of the conference are to teach participants about recent advances in understanding the causes of autism, brain development in people with autism, and current treatments for autism.

24th Annual Advances in Autism Conference 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 conference was virtual. The program focused on Profound Autism. Autism is a spectrum, affecting each person diagnosed with the disorder in unique ways. Individuals who are more severely affected may have a lack of verbal and nonverbal communication skills, sensory challenges, cognitive difficulties, and often have simultaneous conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety or gastrointestinal diseases.

Our accomplished speakers presented material to help attendees further understand the needs of profoundly affected individuals and tailor support.

View and Download Online 2020 Conference Program
2020 Conference Schedule

The presentations from the conference were recorded and are available to replay on the conference portal through April 2021.

23rd Annual Advances in Autism Conference 2019

The topic for the 2019 Conference was Drug Discovery and Development in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. From determining genetic factors to target for treatment – to completing pre-clinical research and clinical trials - there are a variety of stakeholders who have key roles in this process. The speakers at the Conference represented biotech, pharma, academia and family foundations – who explained the many facets of the drug discovery and development process.

Joseph D. Buxbaum, PhD - Genetics and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Director, Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment
Vice Chair for Research, Seaver Autism Center Professor and Deputy Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai

Stormy J. Chamberlain, PhD - Development of Targeted Therapeutics for Angelman Syndrome
Associate Professor, Genetics and Genome Sciences at University of Connecticut Health Center

Omar Khwaja, MD, PhD Novel Therapeutic Modalities for Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Chief Medical Officer and Head of Research and Development at Voyager Therapeutics

Ana Kostic, PhD - Drug Discovery and Development at the Seaver Autism Center
Director, Drug Discovery and Development, Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment
Associate Professor, Psychiatry, Mount Sinai

Christine McSherry, RN - One Parent’s Journey
Founder, Jett Foundation

William J. Polvino, MD - What does it take to make a medicine? The Process and Perspectives from an Optimist
CEO, Bridge Medicines

Jordi Serrats, PhD Patient-focused Approaches to Drug Discovery in Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Associate Director; Neuroscience Drug Discovery Unit at Takeda

Moderator: Bharat Ramani - Tech Innovation in Autism Panel
Panelists: Jack Vanden Heuvel, PhD, Christopher Dudick, Julie LeMoine

22nd Annual Advances in Autism Conference 2018

In 2018, the Advances in Autism Conference provided an overview of precision medicine approaches in autism, focused on genetics, neurophysiology and other means to group autism into biological subgroups for optimal treatments. Advances in several rare genetic disorders related to autism (Fragile X, Rett, Phelan-McDermid, ADNP, FOXP1, and DDX3X syndromes) were described.

Meet the 2018 Speakers

  • Joseph D. Buxbaum - Drug Discovery in Autism: A Precision Medicine Approach
  • Randall L. Carpenter, MD - Translating Basic Science Discoveries into Therapeutics for Idiopathic Autism
  • Monica Coenraads - Rett Syndrome: Roadmap to a Cure
  • Silvia De Rubeis, PhD - A Translational Approach to DDX3X Syndrome
  • Elodie Drapeau, PhD - Genetic, Molecular and Phenotypic Characterization of FOXP1 Syndrome
  • Alex Kolevzon, MD - Biomarker Discovery in Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Strategies for Clinical Trial Readiness
  • Paige Siper, PhD - ADNP Syndrome: From Genes to Behavior

21st Annual Advances in Autism Conference 2017

Meet the 2017 Speakers

  • Shelli Avenevoli, PhD - SCIENTIFIC KEYNOTE PRESENTATION - Autism Research: Advances and Future Directions
  • Catalina Betancur, MD, PhD - The Genetics of Autism: From Gene Discovery to Understanding the Underlying Neurobiological Mechanisms
  • Elizabeth Burns, PhD – FAMILY KEYNOTE PRESENTATION - Fact and Fiction: My Daughter, Autism and Me
  • Carissa Cascio, PhD - Sense and Sensibility: Sensory Differences in Autism from Clinical and Neuroscience Perspectives
  • Alex Kolevzon, MD - From Genes to Treatment: Using Rare Genetic Disorders to Develop Novel Therapeutics

Past Annual Fundraisers

Sipping for Seaver: Virtual Wine Tasting – Thursday, October 15, 2020

Attendees sampled a variety of wines from Long Island’s North Fork wine country and supported the Seaver Autism Center’s research from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Supporters received wine packages delivered to their doors. Certified Sommelier and Master of Wine candidate, Gabriella Macari of Macari Vineyards, introduced three of Macari Vineyards’ newly released wines, while she took attendees behind the scenes of the vineyard on a virtual tour and answered the audience’s questions about the tasting, winemaking, and viticulture.

Second Annual Seaver Celebration Luncheon - Thursday, October 31, 2019

Commemorating another year of the ground-breaking research and advances, the Center brought together a group motivated to advance the field of autism research beyond what is known today to improve the lives affected individuals and deliver treatments.

We presented a special award to the founding director of the Seaver Autism Center, Kenneth L. Davis, MD. At a time when there was virtually no research happening for the disorder, Dr. Davis readily accepted the challenge to establish what is known today as the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai. Thanks to the groundwork he laid, the Seaver Autism Center continues to expand knowledge and discoveries to develop better treatments for individuals with autism and related rare genetic disorders.

25th Annual Seaver Anniversary Celebration - Thursday, November 1, 2018

The milestone celebration marked 25 years of our ground-breaking work conducting progressive research studies and providing comprehensive, personalized care to children and families affected by autism.

A special award was presented to John Cohen and Hirschell Levine, trustees of The Beatrice & Samuel A. Seaver Foundation, for their leadership and commitment to Seaver Autism Center and the children and families who take part in and benefit from our work.