About the speakers:
Dr. Manuel Casanova, made his residency training in neurology and then spent three years doing a fellowship in neuropathology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. This kindled his interest in developmental disorders of the brain. Dr. Casanova spent eight years helping to establish the Johns Hopkins Brain Resource Center and the Brain Bank Unit of the Clinical Brains Disorders Branch at the National Institutes of Mental Health. During his time at NIMH, Dr. Casanova was trained in psychiatry later joining the Medical College of Georgia as a full Professor in 1991 and then the University of Louisville in 2003 as the Kolb Endowed Chair in Psychiatry. Last June, he accepted a position as SMART State Endowed Chair in Childhood Translational Neurotherapeutics at the University of South Carolina Greenville Health System, where he is speaking to us today. His work includes studies that have looked for the presence of abnormalities of organization and lateralization in the brains of patients who exhibit language disturbances, including autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and dyslexia.
Dr. Emily Casanova earned her doctorate in Anatomy Science & Neurobiology from the University of Louisville’s Medical School. S She is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina’s School of Medicine at Greenville, working in close conjunction with Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at Prisma Health. She has a research background in neurobiology, developmental biology, some genetics, dermatology, and neuropathology, with particular focus on neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism and connective tissue disorders like Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)/Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD). Her current research foci/topics of interest include 1) functional classification of high-risk autism genes; 2) the characterization of genomic features common to autism risk genes and those genes’ roles in the evolution of animal morphology, and 3) etiological overlap between autism and EDS/HSD. In addition to her research interests in EDS/HSD, she is also a zebra herself and is passionate about patient advocacy. She blogs at Science Over a Cuppa.