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Science Alliance

1st Annual Autism Symposium

Science Alliance


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Join us on April 1st and April 2nd, 2024, at the Illinois Institute of Technology for the Science Alliance Autism Symposium. Sponsored by the International Society for Autism (ISA), this event is a pivotal gathering for those seeking to deepen their understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).


The Science Alliance, in collaboration with ISA, is to help disseminate information to individuals, families, and clinicians regarding the latest information on the research and treatment of ASD.

Register Today!


This symposium is designed for a wide range of participants, including researchershealthcare professionalseducatorsfamilies, and individuals with ASD.

Those interested in research and development in treating Autism Spectrum Disorders, showcasing multidisciplinary approaches such as pharmacologyTMSbiofeedback, and neurofeedback. This symposium aims to provide up-to-date information for caregiversparents, and individuals serving the autism population.

Day 1 - April 1st 2024

Illinois Institute of Technology
10 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60616

Day 2 - April 2nd 2024

Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile
10 E. Grand Avenue Chicago, Illinois, 60611, USA


9 AM


We recommend staying at The Hilton Garden Inn, where room accommodations for the event have been arranged, and where Day 2’s discussions and presentations will also take place.

Day 1 is at the Illinois Institute of Technology

10 W 35th St, Chicago, IL, 60616

Day 2 is at the Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown / Magnificent Mile

10 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60611

Book Your Room Now!

What To Expect

We will take you on a journey from early infant mental health to adulthood as we examine new innovative modalities of research and treatment to help address a myriad of comorbidities that affect those with autism.

Day One

Presenters will be providing approximately one-hour sessions. Sessions and Information will be in a general conference style format.

Day Two

We will have a panel discussion designed to help provide an opportunity for questions and answers, and also facilitate general discussion.

Optional Wendella Architectural Boat Tour of Downtown Chicago will be on this day after panel discussion.

Click Here To Register

Researchers and Academics

Healthcare Professionals

Educators and Therapists

Families and Caregivers

Individuals with ASD

2 Day Conference $149 per person
  • Includes Breakfast
  • All symposium sessions and activities
  • Panel Discussion
  • Optional Wendella Chicago River Architecture Tour ($45)

Event Speakers

Aaron Tendler, MD

Chief Medical Officer, BrainsWay

Dr. Tendler joined GrayMatters Health in August of 2023 as chief medical officer to help bring their FDA cleared technology to the market. In 2010 he began conducting clinical trials from BrainsWay (TASE, NASDAQ), becoming their medical director in 2015 obtaining four FDA indications, eight CE indications and growing their commercial footprint. Dr. Tendler also conducts VNS trials for LivaNova(NASQAQ) and OCD trials for Biohaven(NYSE). Dr. Tendler has numerous frequently cited publications, which have significantly altered the daily practice of psychiatry. Dr. Tendler received his MD from SUNY Downstate with a distinction in research, and subsequently completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of Chicago in 2006. He is Board Certified in General Psychiatry, Sleep Medicine, and Obesity Medicine and he has a small private practice and research center in West Palm Beach, FL where he sees patients twice a week. 

Andrew S. Rubin, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Florida, California & New York

Andrew Rubin, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist, founder of the International Society for Autism (, and the founder and CEO of New Directions for Young Adults. Dr. Rubin was appointed by Governor Rick Scott in August 2013 to the Florida Department of Health/Board of Psychology where he served until August 2020, retiring as Chairman of the Florida Board of Psychology. Dr. Rubin’s background integrates expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy, developmental theory, and neuropsychology into an evidenced-based treatment approach called Direction Therapy. Both empathic and based on scientific literature, Direction Therapy is a flexible model/clinical approach specific to certain diagnoses. Dr. Rubin has expertise working in multi-disciplinary treatment settings and was formerly the lead psychologist at the Unicorn Child Development Clinic (Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Mailman Segal Institute for Early Childhood Studies. In this position, he supervised, post-doctoral fellows, doctoral-level practicum students, and student interns in the diagnosis and treatment of developmental disorders. He was a leader of many of NSU’s parenting programs, teaching a variety of parenting classes and behavior management strategies. Clinical Expertise in child development, infant mental health, child and adult psychopathology, assessment, and therapeutic interventions. He proudly volunteers and has lectured professionally on both university and community levels. Prior to working at NSU, Dr. Rubin was on staff at Tulane University’s Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, and Louisiana State University’s Health Science Center. In those roles, he provided treatment and performed educational and neuropsychological evaluations. Licensed clinical psychologist State of Florida (Lic. #PY 7082), California (Lic. #PSY29086, & New York (Lic. #018730-1).

Gregg Chassin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, University of Chicago

Gregory S. Chasson, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist, Associate Professor, and Director of Behavioral Interventions of the Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. Please see Dr. Chasson’s website for more details.

  • Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital
    Boston, MA
  • Postdoctoral Clinical and Research Fellow – OCD and Related Conditions 2010
  • University of Houston  Houston, TX
  • PhD – Clinical Psychology 2008
  • Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital Belmont, MA
  • Predoctoral Internship – Clinical Psychology 2008
  • University of Houston Houston, TX
  • MA (non-terminal) – Clinical Psychology 2005
  • University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
  • BA – Psychology 2003
Brian Leahy, Ph.D, ABPP

Brian Leahy, Ph.D.

Director of Neuropsychology Services, Ascension Illinois Brain and Spine

Dr. Leahy is a licensed psychologist and a fellowship-trained and board certified clinical neuropsychologist. He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical and Rehabilitation Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology and completed his residency training in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. At present, he is the Director of Neuropsychology Services at the Ascension Illinois Brain and Spine.

Lorenzo Azzi Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist, Harris Institute

Dr. Azzi received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2001 from Illinois Institute of Technology. Throughout his 23-year career, the vast majority of Dr. Azzi’s work has been in the field of Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health, particularly with children/families involved in the child welfare system. Dr. Azzi received his training in IMH and Child Welfare work at the Tulane/Jefferson Parish Infant Team, a multidisciplinary team of professionals responsible for providing thorough, comprehensive evaluations and recommendations to the Juvenile Court, as well as therapeutic services for young children and families, under the leadership of international experts Dr. Charles Zeanah and Dr. Julie Larrieu.When Dr. Azzi relocated to Arizona in 2006, he accepted a position at Southwest Human Development where he served in a variety of roles, including working as a therapist and clinical supervisor at the Good Fit Counseling Center (Arizona’s only public mental health clinic serving children ages 0-5, over 90% of which are in DCS care), core faculty for the Harris Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Training Institute, consultant to a variety of programs including Early Head Start, Nurse Family Partnership and the AZ Department of Child Safety as a Unit Consultant.In 2019 Dr. Azzi began providing consultation to the AZ Department of Child Safety on a full time basis where he has been assisting Child Safety Specialists in a wide variety of decision making including (but not limited to) evaluation and/or therapy referrals, recommendations regarding visitation, transitioning children between homes/placements, family reunification/severance as well as helping Child Safety Specialists gain greater awareness as to their important role in the lives of families.

Michael Kellen, Ph. D.

Clinical Director, NDFYA

Dr. Michael Kellen received his clinical and neuropsychological training at The University of Nebraska Medical Center, Nebraska Medical Center, and at the Children’s Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. He has extensive training and clinical experience working in multidisciplinary settings. Dr. Kellen’s areas of expertise include:

  • Anxiety/Depressive disorders
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Executive functioning deficits
  • Behavioral clinical interventions
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Neuropsychological Assessment

Dr. Kellen has numerous publications in professional and academic journals in the field, and he has co-authored several book chapters. He has presented his research findings throughout the United States and internationally, with invitations to present coming from the American Psychological Association and the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Dr. Kellen is originally from South Africa and received a portion of his doctoral training under the supervision of the renowned psychologist Nathan Azrin, Ph.D.

Lisa Settles, PsyD

Assistant Professor, Tulane University
Dr. Lisa Settles is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Tulane University School of Medicine. With a background in clinical psychology, she has focused her career on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Dr. Settles serves as the Clinical Director of the Tulane Center for Autism and Related Disorders (TCARD), where she is dedicated to providing evaluations and treatment to individuals with ASD and training the next generation of providers in this field. Her research has been published in notable journals, and she actively collaborates with schools and organizations to conduct community training programs on ASD-related topics. Dr. Settles also plays a key role in supervising the Pediatric Psychology Interns at Tulane-Lakeside Hospital, where she contributes to the training and education of future healthcare professionals in the field of psychology and psychiatry.

Erica Rubin, B.A.

International Society for Autism, Director of Volunteering
Erica French is a graduate of Michigan State University, where she obtained a degree in education. After a year of teaching, she decided to join the United States Peace Corps. It was a fellow Peace Corps volunteer who inspired Erica to move to Miami after her service in Niger. Together they expanded and invigorated Educate Tomorrow, a non-profit that provides support and mentoring for youth aging out of the foster care system. She developed Educate Tomorrow’s holistic approach to mentoring foster youth over the six years in which she worked for the organization. Also, through a partnership with Entertainment Benefits Group, Erica helped develop a mentoring program for their employees to give back to the community. Now, as Director of The International Society for Autism, a not-for-profit scholarship, research, and development program, she works with clients to obtain volunteer and employment opportunities. She is currently working on a master’s degree in community psychology at the University of Miami. In her free time, she enjoys making and performing music.