Genetic Syndromes and Communication Disorders
Dr. Robert J. Shprintzen is Director of several programs at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, including the Communication Disorder Unit, the Center for the Diagnosis, Treatment and Study of Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome, and the Center for Genetic Communicative Disorders in the Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences. He is Professor of Otolaryngology and Professor of Pediatrics at Upstate.
Dr. Shprintzen’s research career has covered many areas, including clinical and molecular genetics, speech physiology, radiographic studies of the speech and swallowing mechanism, fiberoptic endoscopy, cleft palate and craniofacial disorders, the genetics of psychiatric disorders, feeding disorders, and research methodology.
He is author or co-author of over 170 peer reviewed papers in more than 25 scholarly journals, and over 30 chapters in scholarly texts. He has published five books including four texts on genetic disorders associated with communication impairment and feeding disorders.
He is widely credited for delineating four genetic disorders, all of which bear his name in the medical literature. He is a member of seven professional societies and has held high office in three. He served as President of the Society of Craniofacial Genetics and also served as Editor for that Society. He was also President of the Society of Ear, Nose, and Throat Advances in Children (SENTAC). He was Editor of The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal from 1988 to 1991.
He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology. He is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and received ASHA’s Outstanding Clinical Achievement Award in 1992 and the Distinguished Achievement Award in 1992 from the New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Dr. Shprintzen has been awarded many grants, including research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the March of Dimes National Birth Defects Foundation, and from a number of private foundations.
Dr. Shprintzen has traveled extensively at the invitation of foreign hospitals and governments in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Republic of China, South Africa, Sweden, and Switzerland. He has made more than 1,000 presenta¬tions at the annual meetings of more than 50 professional societies and has been an invited speaker or consultant at over 200 hospitals in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. He has been the keynote speaker at many national and international society meetings, including the Asian Craniofacial Association, the Mexican National Congress of Human Genetics, The Brazilian Cleft Palate Association, the AO (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen), The Danish Cleft Palate Association, the International Craniofacial Congress, and in June of 2000, Dr. Shprintzen was a keynote speaker at a meeting sponsored by the World Health Organization in Zurich, Switzerland. He was an invited guest speaker at the annual meeting of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science in 2003. He has appeared on national and international television, including The Today Show (NBC), The Doctor is In (PBS), and on the Australian Broadcasting network. He has been featured in articles in Family Circle Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Baltimore Sun. He served as a Consultant to the New York City Department of Health and was on the Advisory Board to the Bureau of Families with Special Needs and the Bureau for Handicapped Children for 23 years.
In 1990, Dr. Shprintzen was one of four expert witnesses to testify before a Congressional Committee on the care of children with craniofacial disorders. In 1995, Dr. Shprintzen was a founding member of The Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome Educational Foundation, Inc. and served as that organization’s Executive Director from 1995 through 2003.