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The 2018 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Neural Development in Newport, Rhode Island will bring together an international group of scientists that have made breakthroughs in our understanding of nervous system development. Sophisticated mechanisms synergize throughout development to create and differentiate neural cells, to build complex networks of connections between these cells, and to incorporate new cells into these growing networks. Defects in these basic developmental processes can cause neuro-psychiatric diseases including autism, schizophrenia, and seizure disorders. Exciting new approaches such as brain organoid cultures, single-cell sequencing, and enhanced epigenetic approaches (ChIP-Seq and ATAC-Seq) have led to rapid advances in our understanding of neurodevelopmental processes and diseases. Topics to be covered at the meeting include neurogenesis and fate specification, genetic and epigenetic impact on neural development, establishing and maintaining neuronal networks, stem cells, glial cells, and computing neurodevelopment. The meeting is also designed to highlight recent technical advances that have rapidly propelled the field forward, including a diversity of experimental approaches and model systems, from C. elegans to mammals. In addition, a GRS precedes the meeting and will include sessions on Neurogenesis and fate specification, Genetic and environmental interactions in neural development, Establishing and maintaining neuronal networks and Neural disease: pathophysiology and emerging therapies.