Richard H. Finnell, Ph.D., director of the Institute of Biosciences and Technology of The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, is co-organizer of the Third International Conference on Neural Tube Defects, to be held September 27-30, 2003, at the Seabrook Conference Resort at Seabrook Island, South Carolina.
Drs. Helga Toriello, Marcy Speer, Ed Lammer and Gary Shaw are the other co-organizers. All are world-recognized for their contributions to understanding the pathogenesis, molecular biology, and epidemiology of neural tube defects. They were instrumental in designing and implementing the previous two conferences, which were held in Schlangenbad, Germany, in 2000, and in 2002 at Seabrook Island.
The purpose of the 3rd International Conference on Neural Tube Defects is to continue the work that started with the first conference and to support the Healthy People 2010 goal of reducing the number of infants born with spina bifida and other neural tube defects to three new cases per 10,000 live births. To meet this goal, this conference will bring together researchers from various disciplines to discuss findings and to form small discussion groups to establish new collaborations for future research that includes sharing of biological samples. The principal areas and topics to be addressed are embryology, epidemiology, molecular biology, mouse models, teratology, and other aspects of neural tube defects.

The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its five components located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology and the School of Rural Public Health.

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