Join Us March 20 for Brain Awareness Night & Norfleet Forum

The Urban Child Institute, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) Department of Preventive Medicine, the UTHSC Neuroscience Institute, and the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis are proud to present two March events that give center stage to the importance of early brain development for our children and our community.

2014 Frank M. Norfleet Forum for the Advancement of Health

"Early Brain Development and Function: Impact on Social and Health Outcomes"

The Norfleet Forum is open to the general public, health care professionals and researchers for a $25 registration fee, which includes breakfast, lunch and snacks. Join us as we learn about the latest research on early childhood adversity and how science can inform our efforts to help at-risk children.

  • Early adversity and its relationship to self-regulation and executive function in childhood
  • Pathways by which self-regulation and executive function influence long-term outcomes
  • Interventions designed to ameliorate the effects of early adversity on brain development and health

Register Today for the 2014 Norfleet Forum

Thursday March 20, 2014
7:15 - 8:15 AM - Breakfast
8:15 - 11:30 AM - Speakers, Panels
11:30 - 12:30 PM - Lunch
12:30 - 3:45 PM - Speakers, Panels

Detailed Schedule

The University of Tennessee College of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The University of Tennessee College of Medicine designates this live activity for 6 AMA PRA Category I CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation.

This activity has been submitted to the Tennessee Nurses Association for approval to award contact hours. The Tennessee Nurses Association is accredited as an approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Contact Ashley Tennessee at for more information.

Brain Awareness Night at The Urban Child Institute

Brain Awareness Night is designed to promote knowledge about brain development and its central role in child health and well-being. The event gives the public a chance to hear this message directly from top experts in neuroscience and child development. This year, we welcome two internationally recognized authorities on early childhood.

Dr. Clancy Blair, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology at New York University. Dr. Blair’s talk will focus on the following questions: how is the brain’s capacity for managing complex skills, known as executive functions, developed? How are executive functions shaped in early development by negative emotional and stressful experiences such as poverty and by positive experiences such as innovative early educational programs?

Dr. Nathan Fox, PhD is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at University of Maryland. Dr. Fox’s talk will focus on the following questions: are there lasting effects on children of early psychosocial deprivation? Is intervention possible for ameliorating deficits suffered early in development such as institutionalization? Is there a period of time, a sensitive period, when intervention has an optimal effect?

Professional training hours (CEUs) will be provided by the UT Neuroscience Institute. For more information, contact Dr. Paul Herron, Neuroscience Institute (901-448-5824). Space is limited.

Brain Awareness Night is FREE! and open to the public. Seating is limited. Please RSVP using this form.

Thursday March 20, 2014
5:00 - 6:00 PM Refreshments
6:00 - 8:00 PM Presentations

If you are bringing guests, please include the total number you expect to attend, including yourself.
7:15 - 8:15 AM
8:15 - 8:30 AM
8:20 - 9:00 AM
Kaja LeWinn, ScD. and Nicole Bush, PhD, University of California at San Francisco
Early life experiences, self-regulation, and pathways to academic success, health and adult productivity: Over-view of conference objectives and speakers
9:00 - 9:45 AM
Clancy Blair, PhD, New York University
Stress, parenting and executive function, effects on school achievement: Evidence from the Family Life Project
9:45 - 10:00 AM
10:00 - 10:45 AM
Kimberly Noble, MD, PhD, Columbia University
Social disparities in neurocognition and potential public health interventions
10:45 - 11:30 AM
Panel: Pat Matthews-Juarez, PhD.; Cyril Cheng, PhD; Clancy Blair, PhD; Nathan Fox, PhD; Ariel Kalil, PhD; Alison Miller, PhD; Kimberly Noble, MD, PhD
Mechanisms linking self-regulation in early life to adult health and well-being: What do we know and what do we need to find out.
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
12:30 - 1:15 PM
Alison Miller, PhD, University of Michigan
The development of self-regulation and neuroendocrine stress responses — effects on children’s mental health, school readiness, and weight, and interventions designed to improve outcomes
1:15 - 2:00 PM
Nathan Fox, PhD, University of Maryland
Early intervention effects on children’s cognitive, physical and socio-emotional development
2:00 - 2:15 PM
2:15 - 3:00 PM
Ariel Kalil, PhD, University of Chicago
Social disparities in child well-being and academic success: Public health and policy interventions
3:00 - 3:45 PM
Panel: Terri Combs-Orme, PhD; Doug Imig, PhD; Clancy Blair, PhD; Nathan Fox, PhD; Ariel Kalil, PhD; Alison Miller, PhD; Kimberly Noble, MD, PhD
Individuals, society, public policy: Balancing efforts and resources to promote child and family well-being in urban America

Norfleet Forum Speakers

Clancy Blair, PhD, NYU Steinhardt

Dr. Clancy Blair is a developmental psychologist who studies self-regulation in young children. His primary interest concerns the development of cognitive abilities referred to as executive functions and the ways in which these aspects of cognition are important for school readiness and early school achievement. He is also interested in the development and evaluation of preschool and elementary school curricula designed to promote executive functions as a means of preventing school failure.

Nathan Fox, PhD, University of Maryland

Dr. Fox is a developmental psychologist and neuroscientist interested in the effects of early experience on brain and behavioral development. His research explores cognitive, social and emotional processes focusing on the observation and measurement of attention, memory, as well as emotion expression and social experience. His lab specializes in linking these psychological processes to neural activity through brain imaging methods such as EEG, ERP and functional neuroimaging.

Ariel Kalil, PhD, University of Chicago

Dr. Kalil is a Professor in the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, where she directs the Center for Human Potential and Public Policy. She is a developmental psychologist who studies how economic conditions and parents’ socioeconomic status affect child development and parental behavior. Her recent projects have examined the relationship between parental education and time with children, the effects of the Great Recession on parental behavior and child development, and the association between income inequality and children’s educational attainment.

Alison Miller, PhD, University of Michigan

Dr. Miller is a developmental psychologist who studies risk and resilience in children and families. Her research focuses on child bio-behavioral regulation, family functioning, and social context. She studies basic developmental processes, including self-regulation of emotions, sleep, eating behavior, and neuroendocrine stress responses in young children. An overarching goal of her work is to apply findings from developmental science to foster positive child health and mental health outcomes.

Kimberly Noble, MD, PhD, Columbia University

Dr. Noble, a developmental cognitive neuroscientist and pediatrician, is Principal Investigator at Columbia’s Neurocognition, Early Experience and Development lab. The goal of her research is to better characterize socioeconomic disparities in children's cognitive and brain development, and how early experiences lead to individual differences in child neurocognition.


Dan Goldowitz, PhD, University of British Columbia

Introductory Speakers:

Kaja LeWinn, ScD, University of California at San Francisco
Nicole Bush, PhD, University of California at San Francisco


Cyril Chang, PhD, University of Memphis
Terri Combs-Orme, PhD, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Doug Imig, PhD, University of Memphis
David Olds, PhD, University of Colorado

Sponsored by: