Biological and Cultural Perspectives on the Family: Implications for IDD

New discoveries in biological markers have clear implications for early detection, prevention and treatment of conditions associated with intellectual and developmental and disabilities (IDD).  Indeed, there is increased recognition of the critical role of biomarkers in increasing the precision with which we understand a spectrum of conditions in this era of “personalized medicine.” However, the relationship between biomarkers and behavior is complicated and our understanding of complex traits such as IDD will be best understood when the influence of culture, race, and ethnicity are integrated with biology within a family systems perspective. A family systems perspective recognizes the myriad roles that families play. Within this perspective, we also acknowledge both the biological aspects of families and the importance of families as socializing agents. The plenary talks at the 51st annual Gatlinburg Conference will cover a range of topics germane to biological and cultural perspectives on the family, including family factors associated with early detection of IDD; the intersection of culture, race, and ethnicity in shaping the family; and behavioral and neural markers of impairment in individuals with IDD. Our plenary speakers are leading scholars who will be sharing their findings and approaches regarding biology, genetics, neuroscience, culture, and family studies as they relate to the field of IDD. Our plenary speakers represent diverse disciplinary perspectives and they are engaged in impactful translational research. We encourage the same disciplinary diversity in submissions from our conference participants.