Amy Falls Rogers and Silvia Zoullas
Amy Falls Rogers and Silvia Zoullas


On Tuesday, October 7, 2014, the Rockefeller University hosted its Parents & Science CELEBRATING SCIENCE Benefit Lecture and Dinner, the annual occasion where the University brings together world-class scientists, renowned child health care experts, and parents and grandparents interested in the most recent scientific advances revolutionizing our understanding of human development and diseases of childhood.

Guest lecturer, Dr. Patricia Kuhl has dedicated her professional career to understanding how babies’ and children’s brains develop, investigating how these early developments impact learning and cognition throughout life. In her lecture, entitled “Speech and the Social Brain: Insights into How Children Learn and Continue to Thrive Throughout Adulthood,” Dr. Kuhl shared her research regarding early language acquisition and bilingualism, in which she has determined that a very critical window for learning is between 8 and 10 months of age. With new high-powered technology, she and her team have been able to map babies’ brains, beginning at 3 months, so as to understand how the brain develops and to observe connections that are built over time. One outcome of this work is visible evidence that social interactions between parents and infants are vital experiences that shape the brain over time through learning.

In addition to a compelling lecture offered by Dr. Kuhl, the benefit marked a convivial evening attended by some of the brightest names in science, medicine, and New York Society. An elegant tented dinner followed the lecture on the University's esplanade, a highlight of which was its spirited auction conducted by renowned Sotheby auctioneer, Hugh Hildesley.

The evening welcomed more than 360 guests to campus and raised nearly $1.4 million, $97,500 of which came from the auction. All proceeds are in support of a new Center for Research on Child and Adolescent Health, as well as educational outreach initiatives for students and teachers in New York City.

Richard Lifton, M.D., Ph.D.
The Rockefeller University

Parents & Science
Faculty Advisor

Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D.
Alfred E. Mirsky Professor
Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch
Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology

Parents & Science Leadership


Daniella Lipper Coules
Talbott Simonds

Steering Committee

Rebecca Anikstein
John Bernstein
Charles W. Caulkins
Karen de Saint Phalle
Blair Pillsbury Enders
Wendy Ettinger
Kathy Heinzelman
Tania Neild, Ph.D.
Ilona Nemeth
Marean Pompidou
Courtney Smith Rae
Loli Echavarria Roosevelt
Kimberly Kravis Schulhof
Roxy Zajac

Scientific Advisory Council

Evelyn Attia, M.D.
BJ Casey, Ph.D.
Myron Hofer, M.D.
Ilene Sackler Lefcourt
Margaret McCarthy, Ph.D.
Richard Nisbett, Ph.D.
Michael Thompson, Ph.D.

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