The Child Mind Institute presented On the Shoulders of Giants, an annual scientific symposium, featuring John L.R. Rubenstein, MD, PhD, Nina Ireland Distinguished Professor in Child Psychiatry at the Nina Ireland Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and the recipient of the 2016 Child Mind Institute Distinguished Scientist Award. The event took place at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Annual Meeting and celebrated Rubenstein’s work as one of the most accomplished and influential developmental neuroscientists of his generation. Dr. Rubenstein presented on the frontal cortex of the brain and its role in development.

“As a research scientist, Dr. Rubenstein is a towering set of shoulders to stand on. But in his tireless work as a physician, he reveals the need to make a real difference that is the telltale sign of a visionary leader,” said Child Mind Institute Founding President Harold S. Koplewicz, MD. “Dr. Rubenstein is particularly notable for his dedication to the real-life applications of his work.”

The symposium highlighted Dr. Rubenstein’s work as well as his influence on other scientists, including his protégés Daniel Vogt, PhD, Assistant Researcher in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and Stewart Anderson, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. The following presentations were given:

  • John L.R. Rubenstein, MD, PhD: Full Frontal: Understanding Control and Implications of Brain and Frontal Cortex Development
  • Daniel Vogt, PhD: Inhibitions Can Be Fun: Inhibitory Neuronal Development and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Stewart Anderson, MD: Cortical Interneurons in Development and Disease

Child Mind Institute Scientific Research Council members Bennett L. Leventhal, MD, and Matthew State, MD, PhD, were featured as discussants at the event. Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, and Michael Milham, MD, PhD, of the Child Mind Institute made opening and closing remarks.

About the Child Mind Institute

The Child Mind Institute is an independent nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. Our teams work every day to deliver the highest standards of care, advance the science of the developing brain, and empower parents, professionals and policymakers with resources to support children when and where they need it most. Together with our supporters, we’re helping children reach their full potential in school and in life. We share all of our resources freely and do not accept any funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Learn more at

About On the Shoulders of Giants

On the Shoulders of Giants is the Child Mind Institute’s annual celebration of scientific achievement in child and adolescent psychiatry, psychology and developmental neuroscience. In October of each year, we invite our Distinguished Scientist to present at a symposium and select two other scientists to present. This symposium highlights seminal contributions to our understanding of the brain and behavior while at the same time celebrating the spirit of collaboration and stewardship that makes tomorrow’s discoveries possible.

About the Distinguished Scientist Award

Each year the Child Mind Institute’s Scientific Research Council, 12 leading scientists from 10 nationally renowned academic institutions, selects an exceptional researcher for the Child Mind Institute Distinguished Scientist Award. The award honors outstanding contributions to clinical or basic science in child and adolescent psychiatry, psychology and developmental neuroscience. The On the Shoulders of Giants Scientific Symposium focuses on how their research, and the Distinguished Scientists themselves, have influenced subsequent generations of researchers. Past honorees include former NIMH director Thomas Insel, MD; Pasko Rakic, MD, PhD; NIDA director Nora Volkow, MD; Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel, MD; Judith Rapoport, MD; and Jerome Kagan, PhD.