Annual Symposium

Annual Symposium

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Simpson-Ramsey Neurodevelopment Symposium

The overall goal of the Simpson-Ramsey Neurodevelopment Symposium is to highlight translational research in developmental disabilities across the lifespan and from a multidisciplinary perspective. This event attracts a broad audience of academics, professionals, trainees, families, and self-advocates and is hosted by the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities with support from the LEND, UCEDD, Civitan International Research Center (CIRC), and UAB Department of Pediatrics, Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics. This is a full-day CE event with an agenda highlighting local and national speakers as well as current and former trainees.

The Simpson-Ramsey Symposium has featured distinguished lecturers locally and from across the country sharing their research and expertise in developmental disabilities to professionals in various disciplines serving the state of Alabama. Additionally, a former UCEDD/LEND trainee presents and is recognized for outstanding work with the Fred J. Biasini Outstanding Former Trainee Award.

Recent Presentations at Simpson-Ramsey Neurodevelopment Symposium

  • Autism and Transitions of Care, Alice Kuo, MD, PhD, MBA, 2022 Keynote Speaker
  • Rett Syndrome: From Recognition to Clinical Trials, Alan Percy, MD
  • Building an Online Wellness Program for Youth and Adults with IDD, Jim Rimmer, PhD
  • Social Purpose: Building a Connected Community, Kameron Hodgens, PhD, 2022 Recipient of the Fred J. Biasini Outstanding Former Trainee Award
  • The Rhythm and Song of Social and Emotional Engagement in Children with Developmental Differences and their Caregivers, Miriam Lense, PhD

General Information

  • Register now: CAS-SRNS Simpson-Ramsey Neurodevelopment Symposium | UAB Professional Studies
  • There is no cost to attend the symposium and lunch is provided for first 100 registrants.
  • CEU/CME credits are available for certain disciplines. Details will be added soon.
  • Poster abstract submission is available through the registration portal. Accepted posters will be presented in person on the day of the conference and two of the submitted abstracts will be selected for a 15-minute oral presentation in the morning or afternoon of the Symposium.
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For questions or assistance regarding registration or opportunities to present research/posters, please contact Linda Russo, Family Faculty/Inclusion and Advocacy Coordinator at

History of the Simpson-Ramsey Neurodevelopment Symposium

The Simpson-Ramsey Lectureship was established to honor the contributions of two men who devoted much of their lives to individuals and families with developmental disabilities. Drs. John Simpson and Joseph Ramsey helped the Sparks Center make great strides in training professionals to care for individuals with developmental disabilities in the late 1960s to early 1970s.

Dr. John Simpson

Dr. John Simpson dedicated his medical career to improving the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities. He served as a staff physician at the Sparks Center from 1967 until his death in 1973. While at the Center, he was known as a “people person” who never tired of serving children and families with disabilities.

Dr. Joseph Ramsey

Dr. Joseph Ramsey joined the UAB Sparks Center in 1971 for a one-year-post-doctoral fellowship in developmental pediatrics after being in private practice for 23 years. Following completion of the fellowship, he was appointed Director of the Division of Medicine where he worked to increase other pediatricians’ awareness of developmental disabilities.

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UAB Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities