The mission of the UCLA Mental Retardation Research Center is to elucidate the molecular, cellular and behavioral mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of developmental dysfunctions causing mental retardation and to translate this fundamental knowledge into novel diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic approaches which can be ultimately applied in clinical care. Because developmental dysfunctions are complex, five multidisciplinary research groups have been organized: Molecular and Developmental Neuroscience; Neurobiochemistry and Molecular Genetics; Systems Neuroscience; Sociobehavioral Research; and Clinical. The Center brings together sixty-two distinguished professors with an amazingly rich diversity of research expertise from Anthropology and Neuroscience to Molecular Biology and Genetics, and attracts talented graduate students and young investigators in a variety of disciplines related to its goals. A high priority is assigned to the support of pre- and post-doctoral fellows and the development of the careers of young investigators. The Center generates new research approaches and projects which will strengthen our ability to conduct multidisciplinary investigations on how developmental disorders arise, how they affect the nervous system, and how best we can develop innovative approaches to diagnosis and treatment of mental retardation and related developmental disabilities. At our web site listed above, we describe the activities of the Center in more detail, and profile the research of each faculty member.