The Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Speech and Language team were delighted to host their official launch in August.
The event brought together local, interstate and international guests from a range of disciplines including speech pathology, paediatric neurology, neuroscience and genetics to facilitate an afternoon of stimulating presentations and networking opportunities.
Professor Angela Morgan opened the afternoon providing an overview of the team’s work and journey towards the CRE to date and highlighted future research directions of the CRE, which aims to explain the genetic and neural bases of speech and language disorders.
Dr Frederique Liegeois, cognitive neuroscientist from the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, made her first visit to Australia to deliver the keynote address on the neurobiology of inherited speech and language disorders.
Dr Michael Hildebrand, molecular geneticist, then spoke on the approaches used to study the genetics of speech and language before Angela presented on gene pathways to childhood speech disorders that have been discovered to date.
Joining the afternoon via Skype, Professor Sheena Reilly, speech pathologist and Pro Vice Chancellor for Health at Griffith University, QLD, opened the second session with an engaging talk on the comorbidities of speech, language and literacy impairments.
Guests then heard from Professor David Amor who presented on gene pathways to intellectual disability in the context of speech and language development followed by leading expert in paediatric neurology and epilepsy, Professor Ingrid Scheffer who discussed the links between epilepsy and speech and language disorders.
Gillian Neumann closed the launch with perhaps the most anticipated talk of the day. Gillian is mother of a child with a genetic diagnosis for his apraxia who very kindly shared her family’s experience and journey of receiving her son’s genetic diagnosis and the lifelong impacts of the condition; her insights and contributions an invaluable and fitting way to round out the afternoon.
Thanks to everyone who came to the launch and we look forward to seeing you at our future events!