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IACC 2016 Strategic Plan Update Working Groups Biographies

Question 1 Working Group

Chair/Co-Chair

Dr. Alice Kau, Ph.D., Co-Chair

Program Director, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Alice Kau joined the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch as a Health Scientist Administrator in June 2003. Dr. Kau is responsible for the Branch’s Bio-behavioral Research Program with emphasis on autism research. She also serves as a key member of the autism and behavioral science research communities on behalf of the Branch and assists in formulating and planning activities of these programs. Dr. Kau received her doctorate in developmental psychology from Ohio State University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical psychology at the Department of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Prior to coming to the NICHD, Dr. Kau was an assistant professor/of psychology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Ann E. Wagner, Ph.D., Co-Chair

Chief, Neurobehavioral Mechanisms of Mental Disorders Branch, Division of Developmental Translational Research, National Institute of Mental Health

Dr. Wagner is Chief of the Neurobehavioral Mechanisms of Mental Disorders Branch in the Division of Translational Research (DTR) at NIMH. This program directs and supports research that identifies mechanisms responsible for mental disorders, including the genetic, neural, behavioral, and environmental components underlying childhood-onset mental disorders, as well as the development of novel, mechanism-based interventions. Dr. Wagner is also Chair of the NIH Autism Coordinating Committee, which coordinates autism-related research among several NIH Institutes and Centers. Dr. Wagner received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, with an emphasis in pediatric psychology, from Michigan State University. She has been at NIMH since 2001. Her professional life prior to NIMH includes 13 years as a provider of psychological services for children with developmental disabilities, as well as clinical research and training in an academic medical center.

IACC Members

Ms. Shannon Haworth, M.A.

Public Health Program Manager, Association of University Centers on Disabilities

Ms. joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. She is the Public Health Program Manager for the Public Health team at AUCD. Working under the supervision of the Director of Public Health she implements capacity development activities and technical assistance for the AUCD network, under a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) & National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD). She previously worked as the Senior Program Specialist on the HRSA-funded Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) team at AUCD. Prior to AUCD she worked for the Partnership for People with Disabilities as the Project Manager for ASD Early STEP, the Virginia state autism implementation grant awarded by the HRSA Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB). She is a former Virginia LEND trainee, former Interdisciplinary Clinic Coordinator, and faculty member for the LEND program and at Virginia Commonwealth University. In these various positions, Ms. Haworth has worked in the area of cultural competency and health disparities. She has presented research on barriers to autism diagnosis in African American children at national conferences and co-authored a chapter on ASD in the Handbook of Health in African American youth. Ms. Haworth has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and a graduate certificate in Autism from Ball State University. She has also earned a Post Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate in Disability Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is currently a doctoral candidate (DrPH) studying Public Health at Walden University. She also is a certified Early Intervention Specialist for the state of Virginia. Ms. Haworth’s most important role is that of a dedicated mother of a young child with autism and other co-morbid mental health conditions. She is an advocate for children with disabilities and their families, and has a passion for helping children with autism and other disabilities to achieve their highest potential.

Dr. Jennifer Johnson, Ed.D.

Deputy Director, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Administration for Community Living

Dr. Johnson is Deputy Director of the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD). Dr. Johnson holds a doctorate in special education from the George Washington University (GW). She has worked at the Department of Health and Human Services for over a decade. She began her career with the federal government in AIDD when it was a part of the Administration for Children and Families. In her most recent position, she led the Office of Program Support for AIDD. Previously, Dr. Johnson worked in the private sector holding positions in organizations such as the Council for Exceptional Children, the National Clearinghouse for Professions in Special Education, the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, and GW. Her work focused on a broad variety of disability issues, including early care and education, implementation of disability policy, the intersection of disability and diversity, and professional development for educators.

Dr. Nicole Williams, Ph.D.

Program Manager, Autism Research Program, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, U.S. Department of Defense

Dr. Williams joined the IACC as a Federal member in 2015. She serves as a Program Manager for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs at the Department of Defense, a complex extramural biomedical research program that includes the DoD Autism Research Program (ARP). Dr. Williams oversees the management of the ARP which has funded 124 research awards representing $59.4 million in appropriated funds since its inception in 2007. Dr. Williams holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Loyola University, Chicago.

External Participants

Dr. Daniel Coury, M.D.

Chief, Section of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Dr. Coury is also a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Psychiatry at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Coury received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences, followed by an internship and residency in pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences. He was a fellow in ambulatory pediatrics at Brown University. Activities over the past two decades include federally funded projects in the areas of drug exposed infants, training in developmental and behavioral pediatrics, pediatric residency curriculum guidelines, pediatric psychopharmacology, training professionals in dual diagnosis and the establishment of a web site for developmental and behavioral pediatrics. He also is active in conducting pediatric psychopharmacology clinical trials. Research interests include developmental and behavioral pediatrics, medical education, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism. In addition to his duties as Section Chief, he is the Administrative Medical Director for Nationwide Children’s Hospital Behavioral Health Services and is Medical Director of The Autism Treatment Network of Autism Speaks.

Dr. Ami Klin, Ph.D.

Director, Marcus Autism Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, Professor & Chief, Division of Autism and Related Disorders, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Center for Translational Social Neuroscience, Emory University

Dr. Klin is the director of Marcus Autism Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine, the largest center of clinical care for children with autism and their families, and one of only three NIH Autism Centers of Excellence. He is an internationally recognized clinical psychologist and researcher. His primary research activities focused on the emergence of social mind and brain, and disruptions thereof in autism, from infancy through adulthood. One area of emphasis in this work is a longstanding collaboration with Dr. Warren Jones in which eye-tracking technology is used to visualize and measure social engagement. This program of research has more recently focused on monitoring infants at increased risk for developmental disabilities, from birth, in order to detect the earliest quantitative markers of autism in infancy. This effort aims at lowering age of detection and at improving access to early treatment with the goal of improving outcomes for children with autism.

Dr. Catherine Lord, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College, Psychologist, New York-Presbyterian Hospital

Dr. Lord is a licensed clinical psychologist with specialties in diagnosis, social and communication development and intervention in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). She is renowned for her work in longitudinal studies of children with autism as well as for her role in developing the autism diagnostic instruments used in both practice and in research worldwide today. She has also been involved in the development of standardized diagnostic instruments for ASD with colleagues from the United Kingdom and the United States (the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) an observational scale; and the Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADI-R) a parent interview), now considered the gold standard for research diagnoses all over the world. Dr. Lord completed degrees in psychology at UCLA and Harvard, and a clinical internship at Division TEACCH at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work at the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain involves continued research in validity and longitudinal studies, early diagnosis of children with autism, and regression in children with autism and clinical evaluations and diagnoses of children and adults who may have autism.

Dr. Sandy Magaña, Ph.D., M.S.W.

Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

Dr. Magaña holds a Masters in Social Work from California State University, San Bernardino and received her PhD from the Heller Graduate School of Social Policy at Brandeis University. She completed her post -doctoral training from the Waisman Center NIH funded Post-Doctoral Training Program in Developmental Disabilities Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also a Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty. Previous to her UIC position, Dr. Magaña was a Professor in the School of Social Work and the Waisman Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was also director of the Chicana/o & Latina/o Studies Program at UW-Madison from 2008-2011.

Dr. Karen Pierce, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Neurosciences, Co-Director, Autism Center, UCSD

Dr. Pierce has been studying autism for the past 25 years. Her research spans a range of topics from early screening and detection to eye tracking and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Her early detection approach, called the 1-Year Well-Baby Check-Up Approach, has identified several hundred ASD toddlers around the 1st birthday and has resulted in rapid treatment access. Using eye tracking and brain imaging technology within this early-detected population, Dr. Pierce’s work has revealed unusual patterns of eye gaze and brain activity that helps elucidate the behavioral and biological heterogeneity of ASD. Dr. Pierce has been invited as a keynote speaker on the topic of autism at both a national and international conferences. Her work is published in high-impact journals and has been highlighted in the public media including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and Time Magazine. Her research is funded by both NIH as well as private organizations such as the National Foundation for Autism Research.

Dr. Diana L. Robins, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Program Area Leader in Early Detection & Intervention, AJ Drexel Autism Institute

Dr. Robins is currently an associate professor at the AJ Drexel Autism Institute, where she also leads the Program Area in Early Detection and Intervention for ASD. Much of her work has centered around developing, validating, and refining a widely used screening tool for ASD, the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers. The original M-CHAT paper has been cited more than 900 times, and the validation of the recent revision, M-CHAT-R with Follow-Up (M-CHAT-R/F), demonstrated that the 2-stage screening questionnaire detects many cases of autism, and children in the study were diagnosed about two years younger than the national median, which improves access to ASD-specific early intervention. Her other research endeavors use neuroimaging and other techniques to understand deficits in social cognition in individuals with ASD, as well as neural mechanisms of intact social cognition in typically developing individuals. She also collaborates with colleagues from Georgia State University on studies of imitation, social cognition, and the development of social, play, and communication skills in toddlers at risk for ASD. She received a doctorate in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in Clinical Neuropsychology from the University of Connecticut. Following her APA-approved internship at the University of Florida Health Sciences Center.

Dr. Angela Scarpa, Ph.D.

Founder and Co-Director, VT Autism Clinic (VTAC), Director, VT Center for Autism Research (VTCAR), Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

Dr. Scarpa received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southern California in 1993. She is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at Virginia Tech, Founder and Director of the Virginia Tech Autism Clinic, and Director of the VT Center for Autism Research. She is a licensed clinical psychologist with specialized training in individual and group behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapy for children, families, and adults. Before coming to Virginia Tech, she held faculty positions at the University of Georgia and Eastern Washington University and obtained postdoctoral training at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Her general interest is in child and adolescent mental health, with over 20 years of experience in the study of developmental psychopathology. Currently, her work is focused on children, adolescents, and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). She is generally interested in emotional and social development in ASD, including the intersection of both biological and socializing influences. She is also interested in evidence-based treatment approaches and early screening for ASD, as well as other factors that impact the emotional lives of people with ASD.

Dr. Audrey Thurm, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist, Pediatrics and Developmental Neuroscience, National Institute of Mental Health

Dr. Thurm is a staff scientist in PDN. She is a licensed child clinical psychologist who specializes in autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders. She received training at DePaul University and Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, and conducted a post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She has been at NIMH since 2002, serving in the extramural program until 2006, as chief of both the Autism and Social Behavior Program, and the Compulsive Repetitive Behaviors Program. In 2006 she moved to the intramural program to help launch the autism research program. She has expertise in longitudinal studies and an interest in markers of the early diagnosis of autism.

Ms. Debra Wagler, M.A., MComm.

Public Health Analyst, Region VIII, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, HRSA

Ms. Wagler is a social services program developer and evaluator by training, and has been involved in several systems change initiatives and integrated programming to bridge agencies and organizations who serve vulnerable populations. Currently, she is a Public Health Analyst at MCHB where she is the project officer for HHS Region VIII (CO, NT, ND, SD, UT, WY), the project officer for the State Public Health Autism Resource Center Cooperative Agreement, and the MCHB liaison to the HRSA Tribal Workgroup (HRSA 2 years). Previously, she was the Maternal and Child Health Program Director with the Nevada State Health Division and she also worked in Nevada’s Aging and Disability Services Division. She considers herself an “across the lifespan” practitioner. In the MCH Director role, she led systems change efforts to transform the MCH program into implementing a public health approach to programming and for Children and Youth with Special Care Needs services, she led a medical home initiative, and developed statewide systemic outreach for Healthy Kids-Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT). Prior to the government work, she worked15 years for non-profits including universities on research and evaluation of interventions for vulnerable populations.

Dr. Amy M. Wetherby, Ph.D.

Dept. of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, Distinguished Research Professor, L.L. Schendel Professor of Communication Science & Disorders

Dr. Wetherby is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences and Director of the Autism Institute in the College of Medicine and the Laurel Schendel Professor of Communication Disorders at Florida State University. She has over 35 years of clinical experience and is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She is the Project Co-Director of Doctoral Training in Research, Autism, and Interdisciplinary Leadership (TRAIL) funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the Executive Director of the Florida State University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. She served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee for Educational Interventions for Children with Autism and on the DSM-5 Neurodevelopmental Workgroup of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Wetherby was Principal Investigator (PI) of three randomized controlled trials—the Early Social Interaction Project, an early treatment study teaching parents of toddlers with ASD how to support social communication and play in everyday activities funded by Autism Speaks and NIMH; the Classroom SCERTS Intervention Project for school-age children funded by the US DOE/IES; and one of 5 collaborative research entities that form the Autism Intervention Research Network on Behavior Health (AIR-B) funded by HHS/HRSA. She is PI of a randomized controlled trial that is part of the Emory Autism Center of Excellence (PI: Ami Klin) to test the efficacy of the Early Social Interaction model for parents of infants with early signs of ASD at 12 months of age. She is Project Director of the FIRST WORDS® Project that conducts longitudinal research on screening tools for autism and communication disorders and developmental trajectories in large population-based samples of children 9-24 months of age funded by the US DOE/OSEP, NIDCD, NICHD, and CDC. She is directing a longitudinal study to validate a new automated screening tool, the “Smart” Early Screening for Autism and Communication Disorder (ESAC), funded by NICHD. She directed a foundational study of early social communication markers of ASD in 18-48 month old children from diverse cultures in two countries—Latino immigrants in Southeastern US and the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa funded by NIDCD. Dr. Wetherby is co-developer of Autism Navigator®, an innovative collection of courses and tools designed to bridge the gap between science and community practice using a highly interactive web platform with extensive video footage to illustrate effective evidence-based practice. The overarching goal of the collective efforts of Dr. Wetherby’s research is to build the capacity of healthcare systems to improve early detection and provide access to cost-efficient early intervention that is feasible for far-reaching community implementation.

Dr. Lisa D. Wiggins, Ph.D.

Epidemiologist, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Biography not available.

Question 2 Working Group

Chair/Co-Chair

Dr. Walter Koroshetz, M.D., Co-Chair

Director, NINDS, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Koroshetz joined the IACC as a Federal member in 2009. He is Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). He directs the NINDS planning and budgeting, and oversees Institute scientific and administrative functions. Prior to his appointment as Director in July 2015 he served for eight years as Deputy Director at NINDS. Before joining NINDS, Dr. Koroshetz served as Vice Chair of the Neurology Service and Director of Stroke and Neurointensive Care Services at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He was also a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and led neurology resident training at MGH between 1990 and 2007. Dr. Koroshetz trained in internal medicine and then neurology at MGH, after which he did post-doctoral studies in cellular neurophysiology at MGH and the Harvard neurobiology department. He joined the MGH neurology staff, first in the Huntington's disease unit and then in the stroke and neuro-intensive care service. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Koroshetz graduated from Georgetown University and received his medical degree from the University of Chicago.

Dr. Louis Reichardt, Ph.D., Co-Chair

Director, Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative

Dr. Reichardt joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. He joined the Simons Foundation to lead SFARI in July, 2013. Prior to this, he was the Jack D. and DeLoris Lange endowed chair in cell physiology and Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, where he directed its neuroscience graduate program (1988-2013) and Herbert W. Boyer Program in Biological Sciences (1998-2013). A Fulbright scholar with an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D. In Biochemistry from Stanford University, Reichardt was a research fellow at Harvard Medical School and a Howard Hughes investigator for more than 20 years. The recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship in 1985, he is a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was one of three founding editors of the journal Neuron, is currently a senior editor of the Journal of Cell Biology as well as serving on the editorial boards of several other journals as well as the scientific advisory boards of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Spinal Cord Injury and Paralysis Foundation and the Myelin Repair Foundation. Past science-related service includes chairmanship of five Gordon Research Conferences in cell, developmental and neurobiology and scientific directorship of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks Special Neuroscience Research Program. Reichardt’s research has focused on neurotrophins, a family of proteins that play a key role in neuron survival, development and function and the functions of several families of cell adhesion receptors, including integrins and cadherins, on brain development and function. He has made major contributions to the study of intracellular signaling pathways that mediate the effects of these proteins — including the Wnt pathway, which may play a role in autism spectrum disorders.

IACC Members

Dr. David Amaral, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Research Director, The M.I.N.D. Institute

Dr. David Amaral joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. Dr. Amaral joined the University of California, Davis in 1995 as a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Center for Neuroscience and is Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. In 1998, he was named Chair of the Beneto Foundation Chair and Founding Research Director of the UC Davis MIND (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) Institute. Dr. Amaral received a joint Ph.D. in psychology and neurobiology from the University of Rochester and carried out postdoctoral work at Washington University in neuroanatomy. He spent 13 years at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies before moving to UC Davis. Dr. Amaral pursues research on the neurobiology of social behavior and the development, neuroanatomical organization, and plasticity of the brain, and the biological bases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). His autism research includes neuroanatomical and neuroimaging studies of neuroanatomy, brain function, and research into neuroimmune etiologies of ASD. As Research Director of the MIND Institute, he coordinates a comprehensive and multidisciplinary analysis of children with autism called the Autism Phenome Project designed to define biomedical characteristics of different types of autism. Most recently, Dr. Amaral has become Director of Autism BrainNet, a collaborative effort sponsored by the Simons Foundation, Autism Speaks, and the Autism Science Foundation to solicit post mortem brain tissue to facilitate autism research. In April of 2015, he became Editor-in-Chief of Autism Research, the official journal of the International Society for Autism Research.

Dr. James F. Battey, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, NIDCD, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Battey has served as a Federal member of the IACC since 2007. He is the Director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) at NIH. The Institute supports biomedical and behavioral research and research training in the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language. Dr. Battey is widely recognized for his work on G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), a large family of proteins important in cell-to-cell communication, and integral to an array of physiological processes, including taste and smell, vision, immune response, and the transmission of messages between nerve cells. Dr. Battey was appointed Director of the Intramural Research Program for NIDCD in 1995 and has served as the Director of NIDCD since 1998. He received his Bachelor of Science degree with honors in physics at the California Institute of Technology. He earned his M.D. and Ph.D. in Biophysics from Stanford University, where he also received residency training in Pediatrics.

Dr. Kevin Pelphrey, Ph.D.

Carbonell Family Professor in Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology and Department of Pediatrics, Director, Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute, George Washington University and Children's National Medical

Dr. Pelphrey joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. Dr. Pelphrey is the Harris Professor in the Child Study Center and Professor of Psychology at Yale University and Director of the Yale Center for Translational Developmental Neuroscience. He completed his doctoral studies in Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then undertook postdoctoral training in Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University. Dr. Pelphrey's research addresses fundamental questions regarding the typical and atypical development of brain mechanisms for social cognition in children with and without autism spectrum disorders. This work employs multiple methods including functional and structural and functional imaging and genomics. Dr. Pelphrey is also the Principal Investigator for an NIH-funded multisite Autism Center for Excellence, “Multimodal Developmental Neurogenetics of Females with ASD” network that spans Yale, Boston Children’s/Harvard, UCLA, UCSF, University of Southern California, and the University of Washington.

Dr. Robert H. Ring, Ph.D.

Dr. Ring joined the IACC as a public member in 2014. Dr. Ring served as the Chief Science Officer of Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism science and advocacy foundation, from 2013-2016. A neuroscientist by training, Dr. Ring was responsible for shepherding the science mission of the foundation, and managed a diverse portfolio of research investments aimed at improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Dr. Ring headed the Autism Research Unit at Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development (Groton, CT), which represented one of the earliest dedicated research programs in large pharma focused exclusively on the discovery, development and commercialization of medicines for neurodevelopmental disorders. Prior to Pfizer, Dr. Ring worked for ten years at Wyeth Research (Princeton, NJ), distinguishing himself in leadership roles across different areas of research focused on development of medicines for brain disorders. Dr. Ring holds separate adjunct faculty appointments in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York) and Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at Drexel University College of Medicine (Philadelphia).

Dr. Nicole Williams, Ph.D.

Program Manager, Congressionally Directed Medical Research, Programs, U.S. Department of Defense

Dr. Nicole Williams joined the IACC as a Federal member in 2015. Dr. Williams serves as a Program Manager for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs at the Department of Defense, a complex extramural biomedical research program that includes the DoD Autism Research Program (ARP). Dr. Williams oversees the management of the ARP which has funded 124 research awards representing $59.4 million in appropriated funds since its inception in 2007. Dr. Williams holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Loyola University, Chicago.

External Participants

Dr. Katarzyna Chawarska, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Child Study Center and Pediatrics, Temple Medical Center

Biography not available

Dr. Graeme Davis, Ph.D.

Professor, Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of California, San Francisco

Biography not available

Dr. Guoping Feng, Ph.D.

Poitras Professor of Neuroscience, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Dr. Feng joined the McGovern Institute in 2010. He is a faculty member in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, where he holds the Poitras Professorship of Neuroscience. He is also a senior scientist at the Broad Institute’s Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research. Originally from Zhejiang Province in China, he received his PhD from SUNY Buffalo. Before moving to MIT, he was a faculty member at Duke University. He has won numerous awards, including the Beckman Young Investigator Award (2002), the McKnight Neuroscience of Brain Disorders Award (2006), the Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award (2006) and the Gill Young Investigator Award (2012).

Dr. Heather Cody Hazlett, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Dr. Hazlett is a licensed psychologist with a background in child neuropsychology and with research interests in neurodevelopmental disorders. During the last ten years, Dr. Hazlett’s primary research interests have focused on brain development in autism and fragile X syndrome, using brain MRI scans to conduct studies of brain structure and maturation. Her work involves the use of specialized image analysis tools to examine how brain development in children with autism and related disorders compares to typical brain development. These methodologies allow Dr. Hazlett to investigate how variations in brain development influence behavior and development, and conversely, in what ways behavior may shape the trajectory of brain growth. In combination with the brain MRI data, Dr. Hazlett’s work involves developmental and psychological assessments to test relationships between brain and cognition. Currently, Dr. Hazlett is the principal investigator (or collaborator) on several projects using neuroimaging to study the brain development in neurodevelopmental disorders including autism, fragile X syndrome, and Down syndrome. In addition to her research activities, Dr. Hazlett participates in a multi-disciplinary clinic conducting evaluations for autism spectrum disorders and co-supervises a pediatric neuropsychology clinic.

Dr. Shafali Spurling Jeste, M.D.

Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Neurology, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

Dr. Jeste is a behavioral child neurologist specializing in autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. She is an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Neurology in the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, and a lead investigator within UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART). After earning a BA in philosophy from Yale University in 1997 and her MD from Harvard Medical School in 2002, Dr. Jeste completed a residency in child neurology and a fellowship in behavioral child neurology at Children’s Hospital, Boston. She then pursued post-doctoral training in developmental cognitive neuroscience with Dr. Charles Nelson at Harvard Medical School, where she gained expertise in the use of high density electroencephalography (EEG) to characterize functional brain development in infancy and early childhood, particularly as it informs atypical development. She was recruited to UCLA CART in 2010 as the director of its electrophysiology core. CART has played a leading role nationally and internationally in developing an improved understanding of the biological and psychosocial basis of autism and is the only center to be awarded an NIH Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE) grant twice, first in 2007 and then in 2012. Dr. Jeste’s research is focused on the use of novel electrophysiological biomarkers to better define early predictors of autism and to define more homogeneous, brain-based subgroups within the autism spectrum in order to inform treatment targets. Within this framework, she has been investigating and treating infants and children with neurogenetic syndromes associated with autism. As the lead investigator on a large study of development in infants with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), Dr. Jeste has designed innovative studies in early predictors of autism to focus on the integration of biomarkers with behavior to define atypical development prior to the onset of clinical symptoms of autism. In the last two years she has begun to study and treat children with Dup15q syndrome, and last year she established a Dup15q clinic at UCLA, through which she has already evaluated and/or treated more than 20 children. She recently received pilot funding from the Dup15q Alliance to study cognition and behavior in infants and young children with Dup15q syndrome.

Dr. Eric Klann, Ph.D.

Professor, Center for Neural Science, New York University

Dr. Klann is Professor and Director of the Center for Neural Science at New York University. Dr. Klann received his Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University, did postdoctoral training at Baylor College of Medicine with Dr. David Sweatt, and previously held faculty positions at the University of Pittsburgh and Baylor College of Medicine. His research is focused on the molecular mechanisms of translational control and their role in activity-dependent changes in synaptic function and behavior, including cognition. He also studies how dysregulated translational control contributes to altered synaptic function and aberrant behaviors in developmental brain disorders and neurodegenerative disease. Dr. Klann serves as a Reviewing Editor for the Journal of Neuroscience, a Section Editor for Brain Research, and serves on the editorial boards of several other journals. He is a former member and chair of the Neural Oxidative Metabolism & Death and Molecular & Cellular Substrates of Complex Disorders Study Sections of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Klann serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards for the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics and the Pitt Hopkins Syndrome Foundation, and has served on the Fragile X Outcomes Measures and TSC Neurocognitive Working Groups for the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Klann also served as the Treasurer and then President of the Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society.

Dr. James McPartland, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology, Director, Yale Developmental Disabilities Clinic, Yale Child Study Center

Dr. McPartland is an Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center. He is a licensed child psychologist and Director of the Yale Developmental Disabilities Clinic. He is Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Child Study Center and teaches an undergraduate seminar on autism spectrum disorder. Dr. McPartland’s program of research investigates the brain bases of neurodevelopmental disabilities to develop biologically-based tools for detection and treatment. He is the Principal Investigator of the Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials, a nationwide effort to identify biomarkers to support intervention research in ASD. His research has been supported by NIH (NIMH, NICHD, NINDS; U19, R01, R21, R03, K23), NARSAD, the Autism Science Foundation, the Waterloo Foundation, Autism Speaks, the Patterson Trust, and the Simons Foundation. Dr. McPartland has published 5 books and 80 scholarly works on autism and related topics. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disability and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. He has served on the Executive Committee of the American Psychological Association’s Division of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and currently serves on the board of the International Society for Autism Research.

Dr. Christine Nordhal, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of California MIND Institute

Dr. Nordahl’s research interest is in understanding the neural basis for autism spectrum disorders. She utilizes structural and functional neuroimaging to investigate alterations in brain structure and connectivity in very young children with autism. She completed a double major at Cornell University in Neurobiology & Behavior and Psychology and received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UC Davis. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the MIND Institute’s Interdisciplinary Autism Research Training Program and spearheaded the development of pediatric imaging protocols to acquire MRI scans in infants and toddlers during natural sleep, without the use of sedation or anesthesia. Dr. Nordahl joined the MIND Institute faculty in 2011 and holds an academic appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Dr. Elizabeth Redcay, Ph,D.

Assistant Professor, Psychology, Director, Developmental Social Neuroscience Lab, University of Maryland

Dr. Redcay is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and the director of the Developmental Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology and Cognitive Science from UCSD and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in MIT's Brain & Cognitive Sciences department before starting at UMD.

Dr. Flora Vaccarino, M.D.

Harris Professor, Child Study Center and Department of Neurobiology, Yale University

Dr. Flora Vaccarino graduated in Medicine at Padua University in Italy and studied neuropharmacology and cell biology at NIH as a research fellow before starting her Residency in Psychiatry at Yale University. After her residency, she studied developmental biology and genetics and was appointed Assistant Professor at Yale University. Her interests are the development of the mammalian the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia and connected forebrain regions as well as the regulation of neural stem cells in both embryonic and postnatal periods. Her lab has been investigating how genetic (i.e., tyrosine growth factor receptors like Fibroblast Growth Factors) and epigenetic factors (i.e., perinatal hypoxia, environmental enrichment) affect the proliferation the maturation of neural progenitor cells in mouse models. Recently she has been exploring how induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be used to model developmental neuropsychiatric disorders including autism and Rett syndrome. With a group of colleagues, Dr. Vaccarino, now a full Professor at Yale University School of Medicine, founded in 2009 the “Program in Neurodevelopment and Regeneration”, a collaborative interdepartmental program at Yale University that is leading interdisciplinary studies on iPSCs, neural stem cells and human development.Dr. Vaccarino is a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the PsychENCODE and the Brain Somatic Mosaicism Consortia.

Question 3 Working Group

Chair/Co-Chair

Dr. David Amaral, Co-Chair

Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Research Director, The M.I.N.D. Institute

Dr. David Amaral joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. Dr. Amaral joined the University of California, Davis in 1995 as a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Center for Neuroscience and is Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. In 1998, he was named Chair of the Beneto Foundation Chair and Founding Research Director of the UC Davis MIND (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) Institute. Dr. Amaral received a joint Ph.D. in psychology and neurobiology from the University of Rochester and carried out postdoctoral work at Washington University in neuroanatomy. He spent 13 years at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies before moving to UC Davis. Dr. Amaral pursues research on the neurobiology of social behavior and the development, neuroanatomical organization, and plasticity of the brain, and the biological bases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). His autism research includes neuroanatomical and neuroimaging studies of neuroanatomy, brain function, and research into neuroimmune etiologies of ASD. As Research Director of the MIND Institute, he coordinates a comprehensive and multidisciplinary analysis of children with autism called the Autism Phenome Project designed to define biomedical characteristics of different types of autism. Most recently, Dr. Amaral has become Director of Autism BrainNet, a collaborative effort sponsored by the Simons Foundation, Autism Speaks, and the Autism Science Foundation to solicit post mortem brain tissue to facilitate autism research. In April of 2015, he became Editor-in-Chief of Autism Research, the official journal of the International Society for Autism Research.

Dr. Cindy Lawler, Ph.D., Co-Chair

Chief, Genes, Environment and Health Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Lawler is Chief of the Genes, Environment and Health Branch in the Division of Extramural Research and Training. She is the lead NIEHS representative for extramural autism activities and manages a number of extramural grants that address the contribution of the environment and gene-environment interaction in autism etiology. Dr. Lawler also has responsibility for the NIEHS extramural portfolio of epidemiologic research in Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Lawler received her Ph.D. in experimental psychology at Northeastern University and received postdoctoral training in the Brain and Development Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). Prior to joining NIEHS, Lawler was a faculty member in the UNC-CH Department of Psychiatry and the Program in Toxicology and held an adjunct appointment in the Department of Biostatistics. She served as a Principal Investigator on an NIH-supported research grant in behavioral neuroscience, with an emphasis on dopamine receptor pharmacology and development of novel pharmacologic agents to treat diseases and disorders related to altered dopamine neurotransmission.

IACC Members

Dr. Ruth Etzel, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, Office of Children’s Health Protection, Office of Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Protection Agency

Dr. Etzel joined the IACC as a Federal member in 2015. She is Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Children's Health Protection (OCHP) and a senior advisor to the Administrator on children's health. Previously, Dr. Etzel was a Professor of Epidemiology at the Zilber School of Public Health at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. She received her M.D. from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and completed residencies in Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Dr. Etzel was selected for the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, and during her fellowship discovered that protection from environmental contaminants was integral to keeping children and their families healthy. She received her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health. She was a pioneer in studying the health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke among infants; her work led to nationwide efforts to reduce indoor exposures to tobacco, including the ban on smoking in U.S. airliners. She played a key role in informing the EPA’s agreement with U.S. paint companies to stop the addition of mercury compounds to interior latex paints to protect the health of children. Dr. Etzel served as the Senior Officer for Environmental Health Research at the World Health Organization from 2009 to 2012. She is the founding editor of the book Pediatric Environmental Health (a 3rd edition was published in 2012) that has helped to train thousands of doctors about how to recognize, diagnose, treat and prevent illness among children from hazards in the environment. She co-edited the Textbook of Children's Environmental Health, published in 2014. In addition to being board-certified in Pediatrics, Dr. Etzel is also board-certified in Preventive Medicine and served for 9 years on the American Board of Preventive Medicine.

Ms. Alison Tepper Singer, M.B.A.

President, Autism Science Foundation

Ms. Alison Singer has served as a public member on the IACC since 2007. Ms. Singer is Founder and President of the Autism Science Foundation, a not-for-profit organization launched in April 2009 to support autism research. The Autism Science Foundation supports autism research by providing funding and other assistance to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating autism research. Ms. Singer is the mother of a child with autism and legal guardian of her adult brother with autism. From 2005-2009 she served as Executive Vice President and a Member of the Board of Directors at Autism Speaks. Ms. Singer also currently serves as Chair of the Associates Committee of the Seaver Autism Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and on the external advisory boards of the Yale Child Study Center, the Marcus Autism Center at Emory University, and the CDC's Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. She chairs the public relations committee for the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) and serves as a member of the program committee for the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR). Ms. Singer graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics and has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

External Participants

Dr. Raphael Bernier, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Clinical Director, Seattle Children's Autism Center, Associate Director, Center on Human Development and Disability, University of Washington

Dr. Bernier studies the genetics, neurobiology, and behavioral characteristics of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). His work in genetics includes studies to discover ASD-susceptibility genes and efforts to develop national genetic databases of ASD-linked genes. Dr. Bernier’s neurobiology studies use EEG technology and focus on mirror neurons, which are involved in social interactions such as learning through imitation, comprehending language, and comprehending the feelings of other persons. Bernier also participates in a national effort to establish standards of care for the medical assessment and treatment of individuals with ASD.

Dr. Evan Eichler, Ph.D.

Professor and HHMI Investigator, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Biography not available.

Dr. Dani Fallin, Ph.D.

Professor, Bloomberg School of Public Health, John Hopkins University

Biography not available.

Dr. Dan Geschwind, Ph.D.

Senior Associate Dean, Associate Vice Chancellor, Precision Medicine, University of California – Los Angeles

Dr. Geschwind is a highly accomplished neuroscientist. Research in his laboratory focuses on integrating basic neurobiology, genetics, and genomics with translational studies of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative conditions, focusing on autism spectrum disorders, dementia, neural repair, and inherited ataxia. The lab has pioneered the application of gene expression and network methods in neurologic and psychiatric disease, working in collaboration with dozens of other laboratories to connect molecular pathways to nervous system function. The over-arching goal is to develop new therapeutics for nervous system disorders for which disease-altering therapies are not currently available. He has also put considerable effort into fostering large-scale collaborative patient resources for genetic research and data sharing. He played a major role in the founding, and has provided continuing scientific oversight, of the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange, the largest collection of multiplex autism families in the world. Dr. Geschwind received an A.B. degree in psychology and chemistry at Dartmouth College and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Yale University School of Medicine in 1991. He completed neurology residency at UCLA, where he has remained following training, joining the faculty in 1997. He has served on numerous scientific advisory boards, including the NIH Council of Councils, the Executive Council of the American Neurological Association (ANA), and serves as co-chairs of the neurogenetics section of the Faculty of 1000 Medicine.

Dr. Alycia Halladay, Ph.D.

Chief Science Officer, Autism Science Foundation

Biography not available.

Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Ph.D.

Director, UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Core Center; Professor & Vice Chair for Research, Department of Public Health Sciences; Director, MIND Institute Program in Environmental Epidemiology of Autism and Neurodevelopment; Co-Executive Director, Project TENDR (Targeting Environmental NeuroDevelopment Risks), University of California - Davis, Davis, CA

Dr. Hertz-Picciotto is an environmental epidemiologist with over 300 scientific publications addressing environmental exposures, including metals, pesticides, air contaminants and endocrine disrupting compounds; their interactions with nutrition, genes or social factors; and their effects on pregnancy, the newborn, and child development. She designed and directs CHARGE (Childhood Autism Risk from Genes and Environment), the first large, comprehensive population-based study of environmental factors in autism, and MARBLES (Markers of Autism Risk in Babies – Learning Early Signs) to search for early markers that will predict autism, starting in pregnancy. Hertz-Picciotto has also led several cohort studies of toxic chemicals and both pregnancy outcomes and early child development in Mexico, Chile, and eastern Europe. She has served on scientific advisory panels for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the NIH National Toxicology Program, and the California Governor’s Proposition 65 committee. She was elected President of two major professional epidemiology societies, and chaired four National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine Panels on: Agent Orange and Vietnam Veterans, and Breast Cancer and the Environment. Dr. Hertz-Picciotto has taught epidemiologic methods on four continents and mentored over 75 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. In 2011, she received the Goldsmith Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology. Recently she co-founded (with the Learning Disabilities Association) Project TENDR (Targeting Environment and Neuro-Developmental Risks), a collaborative effort of scientists, clinicians, policy-makers and advocates that aims to decrease the incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders by reducing neurotoxicant exposures that contribute to them.

Dr. Elaine Hsiao

Professor, Life Science, Integrative Biology and Physiology, University of California, Los Angeles

Biography not available.

Dr. Craig Newschaffer, Ph.D.

Professor, Director, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute

Dr. Newschaffer is founding director of the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University and a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Drexel University School of Public Health. The A.J. Drexel Autism Institute applies a public health science approach to address challenges facing individuals with ASD and their families. He is an epidemiologist whose main research focus is the discovery of modifiable autism risk factors. However, in addition to Dr. Newschaffer’s own research program, the AJ Drexel Autism Institute also houses robust research programs on early detection and intervention and ASD life course outcomes as well as policy analysis and clinical consulting groups. Dr. Newschaffer has directed an NIH Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) project, been a site PI on other major autism epidemiology initiatives, including both the ADDM Network and SEED Study, and led an NIH-funded project testing streamlined approaches to ASD case confirmation for epidemiologic research purposes. He has served on the DOD Autism Research Program Integration Panel, the Autism Speaks Science Advisory Board, and, on multiple occasions, the IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Research expert review group. Dr. Newschaffer is also a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and currently is the current Vice President of the International Society for Autism Research, an Associate Editor of Autism Research, and Interim Associate Dean for Research at the Drexel University School of Public Health.

Dr. Elise Robinson, Ph.D.

Affiliated Scientist, Broad Institute

Dr. Robinson is an instructor in the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and an affiliated scientist at the Broad Institute. She is also an instructor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses on the genetic epidemiology of behavior and cognition. She is interested in using genetic data to understand the biology of neurodevelopmental variation, and to study differences within and between psychiatric disorders. She uses data and results from large genomics consortia to examine disease patterns in population samples. Robinson’s work to date has linked the genetic risk factors for severe neuropsychiatric disorders to variation in behavior in the general population, and has evaluated continuous trait and quantitative models of disease risk. She has also studied sex differences in psychiatric disease, as well as types of genetic risk more likely to associate with both cognition and behavior. Dr. Robinson’s research reflects her training in epidemiology and genetics. She received a Sc.D. in psychiatric epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, supervised by Dr. Karestan Koenen. She completed postdoctoral training in the lab of Mark Daly at MGH and the Broad Institute, using statistical genetic approaches to study neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dr. Stephan Sanders, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, UCSF School of Medicine, University of California – San Francisco

Dr Sanders trained as a pediatric physician at Nottingham and London in the UK before undertaking a PhD and postdoctoral research position at Yale. His research focuses on using genomics and bioinformatics to understand the etiology of human disease, especially autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Stephen Scherer, Ph.D., F.R.S.C.

Director, The Centre for Applied Genomics, Senior Scientist, Genetics & Genomic Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Director, McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine, Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto

Biography not available.

Laura A. Schieve, Ph.D.

Team Lead, Epidemiology Team, Developmental Disabilities Branch, Division of Congenital and Developmental Disorders, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Biography not available.

Ms. Joan A. Scott, M.S., C.G.C.

Deputy Director, Division of Services for Children with Special Health Needs, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau

Ms. Scott is a certified genetic counselor with more than 35 years’ experience in clinical genetics, genetics education, laboratory medicine, the biotechnology industry, and the ethical, legal, social, and policy implications of advances in genomics. Ms. Scott’s career has focused on the application of genomic discoveries to health care. Prior to coming to HRSA, she was the executive director of the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics (NCHPEG), where she led a national effort to promote health professional education and access to information about advances in human genetics, and she was a research scientist in the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University, where she studied public and stakeholder attitudes about genomics. Prior to joining NCHPEG, Ms. Scott was the director of the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University, which was established to fill an important niche in the science policy landscape. There she led the center’s efforts to address policy issues related to advances in genetics, genetic testing quality and oversight, and public engagement in genetic research. Prior to coming to the center in 2002, Ms. Scott was a director in GeneLogic, Inc., overseeing the operations of a large biorespository for use in genomic discovery. She also served as general manager and director of genetic services at the clinical diagnostic lab OncorMed from 1994 to 1998. Clinically, she has practiced in a variety of academic, outreach, and private practice settings, including pediatric, adult, and reproductive genetic clinics. Ms. Scott is a past president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and a founding member of the American Board of Genetic Counseling. She has served on numerous national committees and work groups, including the Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention Working Group; the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society Task Force on DTC Genetic Testing; the Maryland Insurance Administration Workgroup on Genetic Testing; the National Cancer Institute’s CaHUB Advisory Committee; and the Genetic Alliance Biobank Advisory Board. Ms. Scott holds an M.S. (Human Genetics Program) from Sarah Lawrence College and a B.A. in anthropology and zoology from Kent State University. She has been certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics with a subspecialty in genetic counseling, and she was recertified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 2006.

Question 4 Working Group

Chair/Co-Chair

Kevin Pelphrey, Ph.D., Chair

Carbonell Family Professor in Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Director, Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute, George Washington University and Children's National Medical Center

Dr. Pelphrey joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. Dr. Pelphrey is the Harris Professor in the Child Study Center and Professor of Psychology at Yale University and Director of the Yale Center for Translational Developmental Neuroscience. He completed his doctoral studies in Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then undertook postdoctoral training in Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University. Dr. Pelphrey's research addresses fundamental questions regarding the typical and atypical development of brain mechanisms for social cognition in children with and without autism spectrum disorders. This work employs multiple methods including functional and structural and functional imaging and genomics. Dr. Pelphrey is also the Principal Investigator for an NIH-funded multisite Autism Center for Excellence, “Multimodal Developmental Neurogenetics of Females with ASD” network that spans Yale, Boston Children’s/Harvard, UCLA, UCSF, University of Southern California, and the University of Washington.

IACC Members

Dr. James Ball, Ed.D.

President and CEO, JB Autism Consulting

Dr. Ball joined the IACC as a public member in 2012. Dr. Ball is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) who is the President and CEO of JB Autism Consulting. He has worked in the private sector field of autism for more than 25 years, providing educational, employment, and residential services to children and adults affected with autism. Dr. Ball has lectured nationally and internationally, provided expert testimony, and published in the areas of early intervention, behavior, consultation services, social skills, technology, and trauma. He is a featured author and is on the advisory board for the Autism Asperger's Digest magazine. His award winning book, "Early Intervention & Autism: Real-Life Questions, Real-Life Answers" was released in 2008. Dr. Ball, a former Board of Trustee member for the New Jersey Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community (COSAC), now Autism New Jersey, is also a member of the COSAC/Autism NJ Professional Advisory Board. He is a Board member of the Autism Society's Board of Directors and is currently the Chair of the National Board. Prior to that, Dr. Ball assisted the Autism Society’s Board as the Co-Chair of the Panel of Professional Advisors (2005-2009). He received his Doctor of Education degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Ms. Samantha Crane, J.D.

Director of Public Policy, Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Ms. Crane joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. Ms. Crane is Director of Public Policy at ASAN’s national office and an autism self-advocate. She previously served as staff attorney at the Bazelon Center of Mental Health Law, focusing on enforcing the right to community integration as established by the Supreme Court in Olmstead v. L.C., and as an associate at the litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart, & Sullivan, L.L.P., where she focused on patent and securities litigation. From 2009 to 2010, Ms. Crane served as law clerk to the Honorable Judge William H. Yohn at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Ms. Crane holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College, with high honors, in Psychology. She graduated magna cum laude in June 2009 from Harvard Law School, where she was Senior Content Editor for the Journal of Law and Gender. During law school she interned at the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she worked in the Disability Rights Section. She also interned at the American Bar Association’s Commission on Mental and Physical Disability, the Disability Law Center of Massachusetts and Harvard Law School’s clinical programs in special education and in disability and estate planning.

Dr. Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science

Dr. Dawson joined the IACC as a public member in 2010. She holds an appointment as a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Duke School of Medicine and is a faculty member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. She holds secondary appointments in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the university. Dr. Dawson also is Director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, an interdisciplinary autism research and treatment center. She is the President of the International Society for Autism Research. Previously, Dr. Dawson was the Chief Science Officer at Autism Speaks, a science and advocacy organization. Before joining Autism Speaks, Dr. Dawson was Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington. There, she was Founding Director of the University of Washington Autism Center where she directed three consecutive NIH Autism Center of Excellence research awards on genetics, neuroimaging, early diagnosis, and treatment, and oversaw the University of Washington Autism Treatment Center, which provides interdisciplinary clinical services for individuals with autism from infancy through young adulthood. Dr. Dawson is a licensed clinical psychologist who has published extensively on autism spectrum disorders, focusing on early detection and intervention and early brain development. Dr. Dawson worked in collaboration with Dr. Sally Rogers to develop and empirically-validate the Early Start Denver Model, a comprehensive early intervention program for toddlers and preschool age children with autism. Dr. Dawson received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology with a minor in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Dr. Tiffany R. Farchione, M.D.

US Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Division of Psychiatry Products

Dr. Tiffany Farchione joined the IACC as a Federal member in 2012. She received her medical degree from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and completed adult residency and child & adolescent fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Dr. Farchione is board certified in both general and child & adolescent psychiatry. Prior to joining FDA in 2010, Dr. Farchione was affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and was on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh. As the Deputy Division Director in the Division of Psychiatry Products at FDA, Dr. Farchione is involved in the oversight of new drug review for all psychiatric drug development activities conducted under INDs, and the review of all NDAs and supplements for new psychiatric drug claims.

Ms. Melissa L. Harris

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Services

Ms. Harris joined the IACC as a Federal member in 2015. Ms. Harris currently serves as the Acting Deputy Director of the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group (DEHPG) at CMS. Prior to this, she led the Division of Benefits and Coverage (formerly the Division of Coverage and Integration), overseeing the implementation of the Medicaid state plan benefit structure. In this position she also provided policy and operational guidance on the Alternative Benefit Plan coverage authority for the Medicaid expansion population. Ms. Harris has also been a Technical Director for the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Groups, Division of Coverage & Integration (DCI). In this role she, provided leadership to DCI on policy-setting for the following Medicaid topics: targeted case management, rehabilitative services, adult day health care, inpatient psychiatric services for individuals under age 21, home health, institutions of mental diseases, school-based services, hospice benefit, and private duty nursing. In addition to other responsibilities, she co-chaired a cross-cutting team within CMS to implement Affordable Care Act provision 2703 – State Plan Option to Provide Health Homes to Enrollees with Chronic Conditions. Ms. Harris has also previously served as a Health Insurance Specialist for the Disabled and Elderly Health Program Group. Ms. Harris has a Certified Public Accountant License and is a graduate of Salisbury State University.

Dr. Elisabeth Kato

Medical Officer, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Dr. Kato joined the IACC as a Federal member in 2015. She is a Medical Officer at the Center for Outcomes and Evidence in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, where she has worked with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force on projects related to autism and with the Effective Health Care program that prioritizes and funds systematic evidence reviews. Previously, she was a Senior Medical Research Analyst with Hayes Inc. She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science/Asian studies and a Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University. After working in relief and development in Asia, she returned to the US to complete a medical degree at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Alice Kau, Ph.D

Health Scientist Administrator, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Dr. Kau joined the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch as a Health Scientist Administrator in June 2003. Dr. Kau is responsible for the Branch’s Bio-behavioral Research Program with emphasis on autism research. She also serves as a key member of the autism and behavioral science research communities on behalf of the Branch and assists in formulating and planning activities of these programs. Dr. Kau received her doctorate in developmental psychology from Ohio State University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical psychology at the Department of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Prior to coming to the NICHD, Dr. Kau was an assistant professor/of psychology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. David S. Mandell, Sc.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine

Dr. Mandell, ScD, joined the IACC as a public member in 2012. He is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, where he directs the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research. He also is Associate Director of the Center for Autism Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The goal of his research is to improve the quality of care individuals with autism receive in their communities. This research is of two types. The first examines the effects of different state and federal strategies to organize, finance and deliver services on service use patterns and outcomes. The second consists of experimental studies designed to determine the best ways to successfully implement proven-efficacious practices in community settings. Dr. Mandell is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications. He co-chaired the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Autism Task Force from 2003 to 2006 and consults with Philadelphia agencies to help them develop appropriate policies to meet the needs of people with autism. Dr. Mandell holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from Columbia University and a doctorate of science from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Dr. Louis Reichardt, Ph.D.

Director, Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative

Dr. Louis Reichardt joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. He joined the Simons Foundation to lead SFARI in July, 2013. Prior to this, he was the Jack D. and DeLoris Lange endowed chair in cell physiology and Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, where he directed its neuroscience graduate program (1988-2013) and Herbert W. Boyer Program in Biological Sciences (1998-2013). A Fulbright scholar with an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D. In Biochemistry from Stanford University, Reichardt was a research fellow at Harvard Medical School and a Howard Hughes investigator for more than 20 years. The recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship in 1985, he is a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was one of three founding editors of the journal Neuron, is currently a senior editor of the Journal of Cell Biology as well as serving on the editorial boards of several other journals as well as the scientific advisory boards of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Spinal Cord Injury and Paralysis Foundation and the Myelin Repair Foundation. Past science-related service includes chairmanship of five Gordon Research Conferences in cell, developmental and neurobiology and scientific directorship of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks Special Neuroscience Research Program. Reichardt’s research has focused on neurotrophins, a family of proteins that play a key role in neuron survival, development and function and the functions of several families of cell adhesion receptors, including integrins and cadherins, on brain development and function. He has made major contributions to the study of intracellular signaling pathways that mediate the effects of these proteins — including the Wnt pathway, which may play a role in autism spectrum disorders. .

Dr. Robert H. Ring, Ph.D.

Dr. Ring joined the IACC as a public member in 2014. Dr. Ring served as the Chief Science Officer of Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism science and advocacy foundation, from 2013-2016. A neuroscientist by training, Dr. Ring was responsible for shepherding the science mission of the foundation, and managed a diverse portfolio of research investments aimed at improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Dr. Ring headed the Autism Research Unit at Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development (Groton, CT), which represented one of the earliest dedicated research programs in large pharma focused exclusively on the discovery, development and commercialization of medicines for neurodevelopmental disorders. Prior to Pfizer, Dr. Ring worked for ten years at Wyeth Research (Princeton, NJ), distinguishing himself in leadership roles across different areas of research focused on development of medicines for brain disorders. Dr. Ring holds separate adjunct faculty appointments in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York) and Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at Drexel University College of Medicine (Philadelphia).

External Participants

Dr. Timothy Buie, M.D.

Director, Gastroenterology and Nutation at the Laure Center for Autism, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Buie's medical practice is in pediatric gastroenterology. Since 1990 he has worked in clinical medicine primarily, but his practice has evolved to include teaching and clinical research as well. From 1990 to 1998, he practiced at Pediatric Gastroenterology Associates. In 1998, he joined MGH and Harvard Medical School. A unique aspect of his practice is that a large percent of children he treats have developmental disorders, primarily autism. He has practiced the Lurie Center for the past 10 years as one of few gastroenterologists situated in a developmental clinic in the country. He has cared for children from over 40 states in the U.S. and from all over the world. Through his clinical experience Dr. Buie has enjoyed the opportunity to become an educator as well. He has created a tangible educational program and teaching curricula presented nationally and internationally. His teaching series includes guidelines regarding behaviors of children with autism that may represent pain or other underlying medical issues and has been presented to parents; physical, occupational, and speech therapists; and a wide range of specialists from the medical community. The usefulness and popularity of Dr. Buie's lectures is shown by the repeated requests to speak to parents (Autism Society of America and Defeat Autism Now), educators (Learning and the Brain) and physicians (pediatric and physician conferences at universities and medical centers throughout the United States).

Dr. Connie Kasari, Ph.D.

Professor, Psychological Studies, Education and Psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Kasari is also the Principal Investigator for several multi-site research programs, and a founding member of the Center for Autism Research and Treatment at UCLA and has been actively involved in autism research for the past 25 years, leading projects under the CPEA, STAART, and Autism Centers of Excellence programs from NIH. Since 1990 she has been on the faculty at UCLA where she teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses and has been the primary advisor to more than 30 PhD students. Dr. Kasari is published widely on topics related to social, emotional, and communication development and intervention in autism. She is on the treatment advisory board of the Autism Speaks Foundation, and regularly presents to both academic and practitioner audiences locally, nationally and internationally. Dr. Kasari, founder and director of the Kasari Lab, has been actively involved in autism research for over 25 years and is one of the world’s leading experts in autism research and treatment. The lab is currently involved in several randomized controlled trials, with the most recent work including multi-site studies. We offer diagnostic assessments, treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders, and opportunities to participate in our research studies. The Kasari Lab is devoted to creating interventions that are successful, backed by research, and able to be implemented in every day settings. Our current research focus is on social communication deficits found in children with ASD and peer relationships in school-aged children with ASD.

Ms. Christy Kavulic

Associate Division Director, Early Childhood Team, Office of Special Education Program, U.S. Department of Education

Biography not available.

Dr. Alex Kolevzon, M.D.

Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Clinical Director, Seaver Autism Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Moutn Sinai

Dr. Kolevzon is a Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and serves as the Clinical Director of the Seaver Autism Center and the Director of the Child Behavioral Health and Science Center for the Mount Sinai Health System. He completed residency and fellowship training (child and adolescent psychiatry) at Mount Sinai and joined the faculty upon graduating. His research interests pertain to understanding the neurobiology of autism spectrum disorder and developing novel therapeutics. Most recently, his group has focused on studying specific genetic forms of autism, including Fragile X syndrome and Phelan-McDermid syndrome, in order to better understand the clinical presentation and to explore possible targets for pharmacological intervention. He leads the Experimental Therapeutics Program at the Seaver Autism Center, which conducts studies that range from small pilot trials to multi-centered pivotal FDA studies and are funded internally, through industry, and through the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Kolevzon also leads a national Rare Disease Clinical Research Consortium in Phelan-McDermid syndrome and is the Principal Investigator on the only clinical trial in the United States of a novel therapeutic for this rare disorder. He is a frequently invited speaker regionally, nationally, and internationally and has published numerous papers on autism spectrum disorder. He is also committed to medical student and residency education as an active teacher, mentor, and clinical supervisor. He has written several books designed for medical student and resident education in addition to co-editing the Textbook of Autism Spectrum Disorders published by American Psychiatric Publishing.

Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson, Ph.D.

Director, Early Childhood Clubhouse Program, Clinical Instructor, Center for Autism Research and Treatment, David Geffen School of Medicine

Dr. Laugeson is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA Semel Institute and is a licensed clinical psychologist. Dr. Laugeson is the Founder and Director of the UCLA PEERS Clinic, which is an outpatient hospital-based program providing parent-assisted social skills training for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other social impairments from preschool to adulthood. She is also the Training Director for the UCLA Tarjan Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and Director of The Help Group – UCLA Autism Research Alliance, which is a collaborative research initiative dedicated to developing and expanding applied clinical research in the treatment of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Having trained thousands of mental health professionals, educators, and families in the PEERS method, Dr. Laugeson is dedicated to developing and testing evidence-based treatments to improve social skills across the lifespan, and disseminating these empirically supported programs across the globe.

Mr. Alexander Leonessa

National Science Foundation

Biography not available.

Dr. Beth Malow, M.D.

Professor, Vanderbilt Department of Neurology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Dr. Malow received her B.S. degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL in 1984 and her M.D. from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. She then did her internship in Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY from 1987-88. Her residency in the Harvard-Longwood Neurological Training Program in Boston, MA from 1988-91 was followed by a fellowship in epilepsy, EEG, and sleep at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD from 1991-94. In 1995 she received a Clinical Investigator Development Award from the NIH while on faculty as assistant professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she completed an M.S. degree in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis in 1997. Prior to joining the faculty at Vanderbilt, Malow was a tenured associate professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan and director of the Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program and the General Clinical Research Center Sleep Program. She is board certified in both Clinical Neurophysiology and Sleep Medicine, and serves as an editorial board member and ad hoc reviewer for a number of professional journal and NIH study sections.

Dr. Nancy J. Minshew, M.D.

University of Pittsburgh Endowed Chair in Autism Research, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh

Biography not available.

Dr. Samuel L. Odom, Ph.D.

Director, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Samuel L. Odom is the director of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and professor in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina. He is the author or co-author of many refereed journal articles and editor or co-editor of seven books on early childhood intervention and developmental disabilities. He was previously a member of the National Academy of Science Committee on Educating Children with Autism, which published a report on effective educational programs for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in 2001. He also was a member of the committee that developed the 10-Year Roadmap for Autism Research, coordinated by the National Institute on Mental Health and the Interagency Autism Research Committee. Currently, Odom is the principal investigator of the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders and a treatment comparison study of different early intervention comprehensive treatment models for young children with autism, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. His recent articles with his doctoral students have addressed the efficacy of a variety of focused intervention approaches for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, such as peer-mediated interventions, sibling-mediated interventions, parent-child intervention to promote joint attention and an independent work systems approach to promote learning.

Dr. Mustafa Sahin, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Neurology, Boston Children’s Hospital

Dr. Sahin received his BS degree from Brown University, his MD and PhD from Yale University School of Medicine. He completed a pediatrics residency at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and child neurology residency at Boston Children's Hospital. He did his postdoctoral research training in Developmental Neurobiology at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Sahin has established and directs the Multidisciplinary Tuberous Sclerosis Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. Research in the Sahin laboratory is directed at understanding the cellular mechanisms of axon guidance and its relationship to neurological dysfunction. His research centers upon tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) -- two neurological disorders whose genetic basis is well understood but whose cell biology remains unknown. His lab has generated four lines of evidence showing that TSC/mTOR pathway plays crucial roles in axon specification, guidance, myelination and regeneration. These experiments support the notion that neurological defects in Tsc-deficient mice can be blocked by postnatal mTORC1 inhibition and have led to the design of a clinical trial directed by Dr. Sahin in patients with TSC, investigating the effect of an mTORC1 inhibitor on neurocognition.

Dr. Frederick Shic, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Child Study Center and Computer Science, Director, Technology and Innovation Laboratory (TIL), Yale Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Shic is an Assistant Professor at the Yale Child Study Center. His current research interests include applications of eye-tracking and neuroimaging techniques (e.g. near infrared spectroscopy and magnetic resonance spectroscopy) to the study of the social and cognitive development in infants, toddlers, and children with ASD, and the exploration of new technologies and methodologies for enriching both our understanding of ASD and the lives of children with ASD and their families. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Shic was an associate research scientist under Dr. Katarzyna Chawarska, director of the Infant and Toddlers Developmental Disabilities Clinic and the Yale Early Social Cognition Laboratory. Prior to this, Dr. Shic completed an NIMH T32 training program in childhood neuropsychiatric disorders led Drs. James Leckman and Elena Grigorenko. Dr. Shic received his doctorate in Computer Science from Yale University and an undergraduate degree in Engineering and Applied Sciences from the California Institute of Technology. During his graduate work, Dr. Shic developed computational and mathematical approaches for analyzing eye-tracking data, with a focus on what these techniques can tell us about the social and cognitive development of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Prior to this, Dr. Shic was software engineer at the Sony Interactive Studios of America, and, later, a researcher at the Huntington Medical Research Institutes, where he conducted research in 1H and 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), developing techniques for quantifying and visualizing brain metabolism and neurochemistry.

Dr. Phillip S. Strain, Ph.D.

Director, PELE Center/Professor, ED. Psych & Early Childhood SPED, University of Colorado - Denver, Denver, CO

Biography not available.

Dr. Denis G. Sukhodolsky, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Sukhodolsky’ research concerns the efficacy and mechanisms of behavioral treatments for children with neurodevelopmental disorders including Tourette syndrome, autism, anxiety, and disruptive behavior disorders. His work has been supported with a career development award from the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as research awards from the Tourette Syndrome Association and the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation. Currently, he is a PI of an R01 study that uses cognitive-behavioral therapy to examine the neural circuitry of aggression in children across diagnostic categories. He has also been an investigator on the multi-site study of behavior therapy for tics in children with Tourette Syndrome and led efforts on studies of EEG biomarkers of tics in children with Tourette Syndrome. In the area of autism research, Dr. Sukhodolsky has served as an investigator in the RUPP Autism Network studies of risperidone with or without parent training in children with autism and of parent training for aggression in young children with autism. He also has a long-standing interest in anxiety in children with autism, and his lab is currently conducting a study of neural mechanisms of CBT for anxiety in autism. Dr. Sukhodolsky has authored and co-authored over 70 papers and book chapters. In addition to his research, Dr. Sukhodolsky is a licensed and board certified clinical psychologist working with children and their families at the Yale TS/OCD Clinic.

Dr. Zachary Warren, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, & Special Education, Executive Director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD), Director, Autism Clinical Services, Department of Pediatrics and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Faculty Director of the Autism Research Registry

As director of TRIAD, Dr. Warren leads the autism evaluation and diagnostic clinics within the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Developmental Medicine, and he provides oversight of TRIAD Outreach and Training. In collaboration with colleagues across campus and at the VKC, Warren is developing plans for more streamlined recruitment and a centralized autism database, and he and colleagues are developing an autism-focused postdoctoral training program for psychologists. Warren facilitates communication and community-building activities for autism-related clinical and research activities within VKC TRIAD, UCEDD, LEND, and IDDRC programs and with faculty in Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Special Education, Psychology, and Hearing and Speech Sciences.

Question 5 Working Group

Chair/Co-Chair

Ms. Shannon Haworth, M.A., Co-Chair

Public Health Program Manager, Association of University Centers on Disabilities

Ms. joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. She is the Public Health Program Manager for the Public Health team at AUCD. Working under the supervision of the Director of Public Health she implements capacity development activities and technical assistance for the AUCD network, under a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) & National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD). She previously worked as the Senior Program Specialist on the HRSA-funded Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) team at AUCD. Prior to AUCD she worked for the Partnership for People with Disabilities as the Project Manager for ASD Early STEP, the Virginia state autism implementation grant awarded by the HRSA Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB). She is a former Virginia LEND trainee, former Interdisciplinary Clinic Coordinator, and faculty member for the LEND program and at Virginia Commonwealth University. In these various positions, Ms. Haworth has worked in the area of cultural competency and health disparities. She has presented research on barriers to autism diagnosis in African American children at national conferences and co-authored a chapter on ASD in the Handbook of Health in African American youth. Ms. Haworth has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and a graduate certificate in Autism from Ball State University. She has also earned a Post Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate in Disability Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is currently a doctoral candidate (DrPH) studying Public Health at Walden University. She also is a certified Early Intervention Specialist for the state of Virginia. Ms. Haworth’s most important role is that of a dedicated mother of a young child with autism and other co-morbid mental health conditions. She is an advocate for children with disabilities and their families, and has a passion for helping children with autism and other disabilities to achieve their highest potential. Shannon is a published author on autism and parents’ experiences with receiving an autism diagnosis for their children, as well as autism, mental health and dual diagnosis for minority children.

Dr. David S. Mandell, Sc.D., Co-Chair

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine

Dr. Mandell, ScD, joined the IACC as a public member in 2012. He is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, where he directs the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research. He also is Associate Director of the Center for Autism Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The goal of his research is to improve the quality of care individuals with autism receive in their communities. This research is of two types. The first examines the effects of different state and federal strategies to organize, finance and deliver services on service use patterns and outcomes. The second consists of experimental studies designed to determine the best ways to successfully implement proven-efficacious practices in community settings. Dr. Mandell is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications. He co-chaired the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Autism Task Force from 2003 to 2006 and consults with Philadelphia agencies to help them develop appropriate policies to meet the needs of people with autism. Dr. Mandell holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from Columbia University and a doctorate of science from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

IACC Members

Ms. Samantha Crane, J.D.

Director of Public Policy, Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Ms. Crane joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. Ms. Crane is Director of Public Policy at ASAN’s national office and an autism self-advocate. She previously served as staff attorney at the Bazelon Center of Mental Health Law, focusing on enforcing the right to community integration as established by the Supreme Court in Olmstead v. L.C., and as an associate at the litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart, & Sullivan, L.L.P., where she focused on patent and securities litigation. From 2009 to 2010, Ms. Crane served as law clerk to the Honorable Judge William H. Yohn at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Ms. Crane holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College, with high honors, in Psychology. She graduated magna cum laude in June 2009 from Harvard Law School, where she was Senior Content Editor for the Journal of Law and Gender. During law school she interned at the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she worked in the Disability Rights Section. She also interned at the American Bar Association’s Commission on Mental and Physical Disability, the Disability Law Center of Massachusetts and Harvard Law School’s clinical programs in special education and in disability and estate planning.

Ms. Melissa L. Harris

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Services

Ms. Harris joined the IACC as a Federal member in 2015. Ms. Harris currently serves as the Acting Deputy Director of the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group (DEHPG) at CMS. Prior to this, she led the Division of Benefits and Coverage (formerly the Division of Coverage and Integration), overseeing the implementation of the Medicaid state plan benefit structure. In this position she also provided policy and operational guidance on the Alternative Benefit Plan coverage authority for the Medicaid expansion population. Ms. Harris has also been a Technical Director for the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Groups, Division of Coverage & Integration (DCI). In this role she, provided leadership to DCI on policy-setting for the following Medicaid topics: targeted case management, rehabilitative services, adult day health care, inpatient psychiatric services for individuals under age 21, home health, institutions of mental diseases, school-based services, hospice benefit, and private duty nursing. In addition to other responsibilities, she co-chaired a cross-cutting team within CMS to implement Affordable Care Act provision 2703 – State Plan Option to Provide Health Homes to Enrollees with Chronic Conditions. Ms. Harris has also previously served as a Health Insurance Specialist for the Disabled and Elderly Health Program Group. Ms. Harris has a Certified Public Accountant License and is a graduate of Salisbury State University.

Ms. Laura Kavanagh, M.P.P.

Deputy Associate Administrator, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administrator

Ms. Kavanagh has served on the IACC as a Federal member since 2011. She became Deputy Associate Administrator of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in April 2015. The mission of MCHB is to provide leadership, in partnership with key stakeholders, to improve the physical and mental health, safety and well-being of the maternal and child health population. Through its Title V program, MCHB serves 40 million women, infants, children, adolescents, and their families each year, including fathers and children with special health care needs. Prior to assuming her role as MCHB DAA, Laura served as the director of the Divisions of MCH Workforce Development and Research, Training and Education at MCHB. As Division Director, Ms. Kavanagh oversaw MCHB’s applied research, MCH workforce development, and Healthy Tomorrows programs. She was also the director of MCHB’s Autism Initiative, a cross-division program that includes research, training, state demonstration projects, and a national evaluation. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia (Echols Scholar) and Georgetown University, where she received a master’s degree in public policy with an emphasis on health policy analysis.

Mr. Brian Parnell, M.S.W.

Medicaid Autism Waiver & Community Supports Waiver Administrator, Utah Department of Human Services

Mr. Parnell joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. He has led a distinguished career in child welfare and disabilities services and as an administrator of public and nonprofit agencies, having supervised and managed social service programs for more than 20 years. His extensive experience includes work on child welfare in the state of California, including two years on a county Behavioral Health Board. In 2012, Mr. Parnell moved to Utah and became an administrator in the Utah Division of Services for People with Disabilities, Department of Human Services and helped develop Utah’s Medicaid Autism Waiver. The Autism Waiver was launched as a pilot program, and was so successful that it was approved by the Utah Legislature as an ongoing program. Mr. Parnell is married and has seven children, three of whom are on the autism spectrum.

Dr. Larry Wexler, Ed.D.

Director, Research to Practice Division, Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

Dr. Larry Wexler joined the IACC as a Federal member in 2015 having previously served as an alternate for four years for the Assistant Secretary. He is the Director of the Research to Practice Division in the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) within the U.S. Department of Education. The Research to Practice Division provides leadership and oversees the implementation of the IDEA discretionary grant programs to support seven grant programs: state personnel development; personnel preparation; technical assistance and dissemination; technology, media services and educational materials, parent-training and information centers; IDEA data; and the Promoting Readiness for Minors In Special Education. Dr. Wexler has been a special educator for forty five years having been a teacher of students with severe disabilities, program director, principal, state intellectual disabilities specialist, chief of staff to the State Director of Special Education, director of state monitoring, OSEP state contact, OSEP project officer, Deputy Director of the Monitoring and State Improvement Planning Division and Associate Division Director responsible for OSEP’s National Initiatives Team. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the School of International Service at American University, a Master’s degree in teaching with concentration in intellectual disabilities from Howard University and a Doctorate with concentration in severe disabilities from the Johns Hopkins University.

External Participants

Dr. Lauren Brookman-Frazee, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of California – San Diego

Dr. Brookman-Frazee received her PhD from the Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship at UCSD and her post-doctoral fellowship at UCSD and the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center under the mentorship of Dr. Ann Garland. Additionally, Dr. Brookman-Frazee completed an NIMH Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) focused on enhancing delivery of evidence-based autism interventions in publicly-funded mental health services and a fellowship through the NIMH/VA-funded Implementation Research Institute (IRI) at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis. She has been a member of the UCSD faculty since 2007. Dr. Brookman-Frazee is currently an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, Research Scientist at the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center, Research and Training Director at the Autism Discovery Institute at Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego, and faculty in the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology and UCSD/VA Psychology Internship Training Program.

Dr. Robert Cimera, Ph.D.

Professor, Lifespan Development & Educational Sciences, Kent State University

Biography not available

Mr. Daniel Davis

Health Insurance Specialist, Center for Integrated Programs, Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Biography not available.

Dr. Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D.

President, Peter Gerhardt Associates, LLC

Dr. Gerhardt serves as the Executive Director of The EPIC School in Paramus, NJ. Dr. Gerhardt has more than 30 years’ experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders in educational, employment, residential and community-based settings. He has authored and coauthored articles and book chapters on the needs of adolescents and adults with ASD and has presented nationally and internationally on this topic. Dr. Gerhardt serves as Chairman of the Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research, is on the Editorial Board of Behavior Analysis in Practice and on numerous professional advisory boards. He received his doctorate from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey’s Graduate School of Education.

Ms. Lisa Goring

Executive Vice President, Programs and Services, Autism Speaks

Ms. Goring is executive vice president of programs and services for Autism Speaks providing direction and management of the family services department since its inception in 2007. Under her leadership, Autism Speaks has provided resources and support to hundreds of thousands of families and individuals with autism across the country. These include a Resource Guide of over 80,000 local service providers, an Autism Response Team to answer phone calls and emails, and a variety of tool kits, including the 100 Day Kit for newly diagnosed families, a School Community Tool Kit to promote school inclusion, a Transition Tool Kit, an Employment Tool Kit to assist adults on the spectrum and many more. In addition, Ms. Goring has implemented many grant programs to expand services and supports for people with autism of all ages. Ms. Goring also serves as staff liaison to the Family Services Committee, and was one of the founding members of Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA), and currently serves as treasurer of AFAA. Prior to Autism Speaks, Ms. Goring spent 19 years at Saks Fifth Avenue where she was a vice president of merchandising. She is a past president of her local School Community Association and also worked as a teaching assistant for students with autism. Ms. Goring holds a B.S. from Boston University. She and her husband have two children one of whom has autism.

Ms. Leticia Manning, M.P.H.

Program Coordinator, Rural Health Network Development Program, Project Officer, Rural Health Outreach Program, Health Resources Services Administration

Ms. Manning joined HRSA in 2008 and the ORHP team in 2009. Prior to joining HRSA, she worked at the Health and Disability Working Group in Boston, Massachusetts as a research associate on developing financing strategies for children with special health care needs and other special populations. She also spent 5 years in Tanzania as a Public Health Educator with a primary focus on HIV/AIDS prevention, health promotion, reproductive health, nutrition and maternal and child health. She has a Master's in Public Health from Boston University's School of Public Health with a concentration focus on International Health and a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester.

Dr. Cathy Pratt, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Director, Indiana Resource Center for Autism, Indiana University Bloomington

Dr. Pratt is the Director of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism. IRCA is a statewide program that works to build local capacity for families and professionals to address the needs of individuals on the autism spectrum across the lifespan. This is done through training, consultations, coaching, research, and information development and dissemination. Dr. Pratt coordinates the Autism Special Interest Group (SIG) through the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD). Dr. Pratt serves on numerous Advisory Boards, including the Advisory Boards of Maap Services, Inc., the Temple Grandin/Eustacia Cutler Autism Fund and the College Internship Program. In the past, she served on the Board of the national Autism Society and is the Immediate Past Chair. Dr. Pratt also serves on the Panel of Professional Advisors for the Autism Society and is currently involved in their strategic planning. Dr. Pratt is co-chair of NATTAP (Network of Autism Training and Technical Assistance Programs). In addition, she is a member of the National Autism Leadership Collaboration. She also served as a member of the expert working group on services and as a member of the public review committee for the Research Roadmap of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee and in 2010 was invited to the White House to provide feedback on the president’s initiatives on autism spectrum disorders. She writes and presents internationally on the following topics: autism spectrum disorders, functional behavior assessment/positive behavior supports, applied behavior analysis, instructional approaches, evidence-based practices, systems change, and policy. Prior to pursuing her doctorate at Indiana University, Dr. Pratt worked as a classroom teacher for students across the autism spectrum and with other disabilities.

Ms. Anne Roux, M.P.H.

Research Scientist, Life Course Outcomes, Research Program, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute

Ms. Roux has a master’s degree in public health from Washington University in St. Louis, where she completed training in health communication and participated in a NIMH pre-doctoral fellowship in Social Work. She also holds a master’s degree in speech-language pathology and has 15 years of clinical experience in autism early intervention. Her recent publications include journal articles on various postsecondary outcomes for adults on the autism spectrum and autism screening for underserved populations. Anne is the lead author and producer of the award-winning National Autism Indicators Report series. As a past executive director of Missouri Families for Effective Autism Treatment, Anne participated in state-level legislative advocacy, system transformation initiatives, and policymaking activities including an appointment to the Missouri Autism Commission. She authored Navigating Autism Services: A Community Guide for Missouri which was replicated in several states. Ms. Roux currently serves on the Health Care Transition Research Network for Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Autistic Global Initiative’s advisory committee.

Dr. Aubyn Stahmer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Psychiartry and Behavioral Sciences, University of California – Davis, MIND Institute

Dr. Stahmer is an expert in the translation of evidence-based autism research to community-based practice and delivery. The main goals of her research include developing ways to help community providers, such as teachers and therapists, help children with autism and their families by providing high quality care. She is an internationally respected expert in the use of naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions which are validated treatments for autism. Dr. Stahmer has conducted extensive research in the areas of parent coaching, early intervention, inclusive education and services research in autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Stahmer leads several grants funded through the U.S. Department of Education that involve adapting evidence-based practices for children with autism in collaboration with teachers and community providers. She is also interested in examining key ingredients of efficacious interventions to help with use in the community. Dr. Stahmer also works closely with Dr. Sally Rogers, developer of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) approach to early autism intervention. Together they examine methods of increasing access to evidence-based care to families of children with autism in rural and underserved areas. She is widely published and a frequent presenter at annual professional meetings in the field of services to children with autism. She is an editor of Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice. In addition, she is very involved in the autism community, participating in the California Best Practice Guidelines Committee and the National Standards projects, developing guidelines for autism treatment.

Ms. Jane A. Tilly

Administration for Community Living, Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Biography not available.

Dr. Juliann Woods, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Professor, Associate Dean, Research, Florida State University

Biography not available.

Question 6 Working Group

Chair/Co-Chair

Mr. Brian Parnell, M.S.W., Co-Chair

Medicaid Autism Waiver & Community Supports Waiver Administrator, Utah Department of Human Services

Mr. Parnell joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. He has led a distinguished career in child welfare and disabilities services and as an administrator of public and nonprofit agencies, having supervised and managed social service programs for more than 20 years. His extensive experience includes work on child welfare in the state of California, including two years on a county Behavioral Health Board. In 2012, Mr. Parnell moved to Utah and became an administrator in the Utah Division of Services for People with Disabilities, Department of Human Services and helped develop Utah’s Medicaid Autism Waiver. The Autism Waiver was launched as a pilot program, and was so successful that it was approved by the Utah Legislature as an ongoing program. Mr. Parnell is married and has seven children, three of whom are on the autism spectrum.

Dr. Julie Lounds Taylor, Ph.D., Co-Chair

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Special Education, Vanderbilt University, Investigator, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Dr. Taylor joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. Dr. Taylor is an assistant professor of Pediatrics and Special Education at Vanderbilt University and an Investigator at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, a Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDDRC). Her current research interests include factors that promote a positive transition to adulthood for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families, as well as the impact of having a sibling with an intellectual or developmental disability. She has published research on a variety of autism and disability services-related issues, including sex and gender differences, peer victimization, transition planning, secondary education and vocational training, employment, and daily life skills for people on the autism spectrum. Dr. Taylor earned her Ph.D. in developmental psychology at the University of Notre Dame and conducted her postdoctoral research at the Waisman Center, Lifespan Family Research Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

IACC Members

Ms. Samantha Crane, J.D.

Director of Public Policy, Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Ms. Crane joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. Ms. Crane is Director of Public Policy at ASAN’s national office and an autism self-advocate. She previously served as staff attorney at the Bazelon Center of Mental Health Law, focusing on enforcing the right to community integration as established by the Supreme Court in Olmstead v. L.C., and as an associate at the litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart, & Sullivan, L.L.P., where she focused on patent and securities litigation. From 2009 to 2010, Ms. Crane served as law clerk to the Honorable Judge William H. Yohn at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Ms. Crane holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College, with high honors, in Psychology. She graduated magna cum laude in June 2009 from Harvard Law School, where she was Senior Content Editor for the Journal of Law and Gender. During law school she interned at the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she worked in the Disability Rights Section. She also interned at the American Bar Association’s Commission on Mental and Physical Disability, the Disability Law Center of Massachusetts and Harvard Law School’s clinical programs in special education and in disability and estate planning.

Ms. Amy Goodman, M.A.

Self-Advocate

Ms. Goodman joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. She most recently served as the Director of The Arc’s Autism NOW Resource and Information Center, and has held prominent positions with the West Virginia Autism Society and Partners and Policy Making. She was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in her 30s and decided to enroll in graduate school at Marshall University in West Virginia to pursue a master’s degree in special education, with an emphasis in Autism. While earning her master’s degree, she participated in the College Program for students with Asperger’s syndrome at the Autism Training Center (ATC) at Marshall University. Ms. Goodman brings a unique combination of personal experiences, education, and employment history to her work to help people with disabilities.

Dr. David S. Mandell, Sc.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine

Dr. Mandell, ScD, joined the IACC as a public member in 2012. He is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, where he directs the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research. He also is Associate Director of the Center for Autism Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The goal of his research is to improve the quality of care individuals with autism receive in their communities. This research is of two types. The first examines the effects of different state and federal strategies to organize, finance and deliver services on service use patterns and outcomes. The second consists of experimental studies designed to determine the best ways to successfully implement proven-efficacious practices in community settings. Dr. Mandell is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications. He co-chaired the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Autism Task Force from 2003 to 2006 and consults with Philadelphia agencies to help them develop appropriate policies to meet the needs of people with autism. Dr. Mandell holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from Columbia University and a doctorate of science from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Dr. Kevin Pelphrey, Ph.D.

Carbonell Family Professor in Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology and Department of Pediatrics, Director, Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute, George Washington University and Children's National Medical

Dr. Pelphrey joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. Dr. Pelphrey is the Harris Professor in the Child Study Center and Professor of Psychology at Yale University and Director of the Yale Center for Translational Developmental Neuroscience. He completed his doctoral studies in Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then undertook postdoctoral training in Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University. Dr. Pelphrey's research addresses fundamental questions regarding the typical and atypical development of brain mechanisms for social cognition in children with and without autism spectrum disorders. This work employs multiple methods including functional and structural and functional imaging and genomics. Dr. Pelphrey is also the Principal Investigator for an NIH-funded multisite Autism Center for Excellence, “Multimodal Developmental Neurogenetics of Females with ASD” network that spans Yale, Boston Children’s/Harvard, UCLA, UCSF, University of Southern California, and the University of Washington.

Dr. Edlyn Peña, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Educational Leadership, Director of Doctoral Studies, California Lutheran University

Dr. Peña joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. Dr. Peña earned her Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Higher Education in 2007 from the University of Southern California (USC). After teaching graduate level courses at USC for several years, Dr. Peña joined the California Lutheran University (CLU) faculty in 2009. As an Associate Professor in Higher Education Leadership at CLU, Dr. Peña teaches a number of research methods and content courses in the area of higher education. Her own research focuses on social justice issues for ethnic/racial minorities and students with autism and other developmental disabilities in higher education. Among her many publications, Dr. Peña has published two peer reviewed articles, a book chapter, and a book review about autism and disability and has presented her work at national and international research conferences. She also chairs dissertations for Doctor of Education students at California Lutheran. Dr. Peña is a highly active member of the autism and disability community. She is the mother of a son on the autism spectrum.

Ms. Robyn Schulhof, M.A.

Senior Public Health Analyst, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration

Robyn Schulhof, M.A. is a Senior Public Health Analyst with the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Ms. Schulhof has been working in public health for the past 16 years in a variety of capacities including policy, HIV/AIDS, and developmental disabilities. For the past seven years, she has been a senior project officer for the Leadership Education and Other Related Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program, funded under the current Autism CARES Act, managing funding to 19 programs. Ms. Schulhof also directs the cooperative agreement with the Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) in order to ensure that MCHB-funded grantees and others have access to tools for autism service providers. As a member of the MCHB autism team, Ms. Schulhof supports implementation of the bureau’s CARES Act funded programs. Ms. Schulhof is a major advocate for families being part of federal training and research programs.

Ms. Alison Tepper Singer, M.B.A.

President, Autism Science Foundation

Ms. Alison Singer has served as a public member on the IACC since 2007. Ms. Singer is Founder and President of the Autism Science Foundation, a not-for-profit organization launched in April 2009 to support autism research. The Autism Science Foundation supports autism research by providing funding and other assistance to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating autism research. Ms. Singer is the mother of a child with autism and legal guardian of her adult brother with autism. From 2005-2009 she served as Executive Vice President and a Member of the Board of Directors at Autism Speaks. Ms. Singer also currently serves as Chair of the Associates Committee of the Seaver Autism Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and on the external advisory boards of the Yale Child Study Center, the Marcus Autism Center at Emory University, and the CDC's Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. She chairs the public relations committee for the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) and serves as a member of the program committee for the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR). Ms. Singer graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics and has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

External Participants

Mr. Scott Badesch

President and CEO, Autism Society

Mr. Badesch is the father of a young adult with autism. He has led the local Autism Society affiliate before joining the national office in 2010 as Senior Vice President of Development and Operations. He has more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit organizations, particularly in fundraising, chapter outreach, advocacy and public policy, and transformation of organizations. Before joining the Autism Society national office, Mr. Badesch served as President and CEO of the Autism Society of North Carolina. Other experience includes 14 years as President and CEO of the United Way of Palm Beach County, and six years as President and CEO of the United Way of South Carolina. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, and has four children.

Dr. Vanessa Hus Bal, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Bal is a postdoctoral scholar specializing in the clinical assessment and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The overarching theme in her research has been to identify biologically and clinically relevant behavioral profiles and dimensions of behavior in ASD. Vanessa has a particular interest in working with adults and individuals with intellectual disability and employs a variety of approaches to measure and track outcomes and predictors of outcome at different stages of development. Through her research, Vanessa aims to identify biological markers and behavioral predictors of both proximal and distal outcomes that can inform diagnosis and the development of novel treatments.

Dr. Somer L. Bishop, Ph.D.

Assistant Profressor, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Bishop is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at UCSF. She is a clinical psychologist with expertise in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Her research and clinical interests are focused on ASD symptom manifestations in individuals of different ages and levels of ability, as well as on differentiating between ASD and other developmental disabilities across the lifespan.

Dr. Leslie J. Caplan, Ph.D.

Rehabilitation Program Specialist, Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Caplan has been a project officer in NIDILRR’s (formerly NIDRR) Division of Research Sciences since 2007. She manages a portfolio that includes research in the areas of employment and vocational rehabilitation, transition to adulthood, traumatic brain injury, and psychiatric disability. Dr. Caplan came to NIDILRR after 21 years as a researcher in the intramural program of the National Institute of Mental Health, where she was part of an interdisciplinary team that studied the effects of environmental and occupational conditions on psychological functioning. She is a member of the Federal Partners in Transition, serves as facilitator for the Interagency Committee on Employment (a subcommittee of the Interagency Committee on Disability Research), and has participated in planning the third (2011) and fourth (planned for 2017) Interagency Conferences on Traumatic Brain Injury. She received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Iowa in 1980.

Dr. Nancy Cheak-Zamora, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Health Science, University of Missouri School of Health Professions

Dr. Cheak-Zamora worked in both clinical and academic setting conducting research in ABA therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, HIV care, health communication and literacy and examination of health status and health insurance duration. Dr. Cheak-Zamora has received several service and leadership awards including: the Dr. James R. Kimmey Service and Leadership Award and the Mary Gumble Levy Outstanding Doctoral Student Award.

Dr. Laura Grofer Klinger, Ph.D.

Director, TEACCH Autism Program, Associate Professor, Psychiatry, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Dr. Klinger is a leading autism researcher. She was appointed Director of the Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication related handicapped Children (TEACCH) program in the UNC School of Medicine in 2011. She also serves as Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine.

Ms. Ophelia M. McLain

Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Biography not available.

Ms. JaLynn Prince

President and Founder, Madison House Autism Foundation

Ms. Prince is the president of Madison House Autism Foundation that she co-founded with her husband, Dr. Gregory Prince. She is the founder and president of Times and Seasons, an arts management consulting firm emphasizing the arts, broadcasting, public policies, and public relations. JaLynn has served as an instructor in the Evergreen Program at Johns Hopkins University, the public relations director for The Bicentennial Council of 13 Original States, and a management consultant for Hammond Associates in Los Angeles. Ms. Prince’s varied background included stints as press secretary to a U.S. Congressman, radio announcer, theater critic, producer and director for television and theater and theater owner. She serves on several national boards and advisories. Her graduate training in the arts administration has kept her involved in the arts worldwide. Her passion is photography. She lectures on global responsibility and creates public awareness of social issues using her images. Her work has taken her to such places as India, Guatemala, Kenya, Uganda, Myanmar and Cuba to name a few. Ms. Prince was the 1999 National Mother of the Year (NMY), where she represented the interest of families with young children. The Princes have three children and their youngest, Madison, is on the autism spectrum. During her tenure as NMY, she spoke on contemporary issues facing families, and addressed the implications of families dealing with disabilities. As a member of the Royal Academy, she has spoken to European audiences about disabilities and community engagement. She has been active with the U.S. State Department and the United Nations on issues facing individuals with disabilities.

Dr. Paul Shattuck, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Leader – Life Course Outcomes Research Program, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute

Dr. Shattuck is an associate professor in the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University and the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute as the Leader of the Institute's Research Program Area on Life Course Outcomes. Most of his current research is aimed at understanding services and related outcomes among youth with autism as they leave high school and transition to young adulthood. His work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Education Sciences, Autism Speaks, the Emch Foundation, and the Organization for Autism Research. His research publications have appeared in high-impact scientific journals including Pediatrics, Psychiatric Services, the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He also has written op-ed pieces that have appeared in leading national newspapers including the New York Times. In 2009, Dr. Shattuck’s study on the age of diagnosis among children with autism was recognized as one of the most important autism studies of the year by both Autism Speaks and the Federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. Dr. Shattuck's 2011 study on the use of services by adults with autism was recognized as one of the 20 most impactful scientific studies in the field of autism by the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. His 2012 study on postsecondary job and education outcomes was recognized by Autism Speaks as one of the Top 10 research advances of the year.

Ms. Nancy Spencer

Nurse Specialist Research, Office of the Clinical Director, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Biography not available.

Dr. Susan White, Ph.D.

Faculty, Department of Psychology, Core Faculty, Clinical Science, Co-Director, Virginia Tech Autism Clinic, Virginia Tech

Biography not available.

Question 7 Working Group

Chair/Co-Chair

Ms. Alison Tepper Singer, M.B.A., Chair

President, Autism Science Foundation

Ms. Alison Singer has served as a public member on the IACC since 2007. Ms. Singer is Founder and President of the Autism Science Foundation, a not-for-profit organization launched in April 2009 to support autism research. The Autism Science Foundation supports autism research by providing funding and other assistance to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating autism research. Ms. Singer is the mother of a child with autism and legal guardian of her adult brother with autism. From 2005-2009 she served as Executive Vice President and a Member of the Board of Directors at Autism Speaks. Ms. Singer also currently serves as Chair of the Associates Committee of the Seaver Autism Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and on the external advisory boards of the Yale Child Study Center, the Marcus Autism Center at Emory University, and the CDC's Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. She chairs the public relations committee for the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) and serves as a member of the program committee for the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR). Ms. Singer graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics and has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

IACC Members

Dr. Deborah (Daisy) Christensen, Ph.D.

Epidemiologist, Surveillance Team Lead, Developmental Disabilities Branch, National Center on Birth Defect and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr. Daisy Christensen is an Epidemiologist in the Developmental Disabilities Branch, Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the CDC. She currently is the Surveillance Team Lead where she leads the Early Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (Early ADDM) Network and the ADDM Cerebral Palsy Network and collaborates on studies of autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, and other child developmental disabilities.

Ms. Samantha Crane, J.D.

Director of Public Policy, Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Ms. Crane joined the IACC as a public member in 2015. Ms. Crane is Director of Public Policy at ASAN’s national office and an autism self-advocate. She previously served as staff attorney at the Bazelon Center of Mental Health Law, focusing on enforcing the right to community integration as established by the Supreme Court in Olmstead v. L.C., and as an associate at the litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart, & Sullivan, L.L.P., where she focused on patent and securities litigation. From 2009 to 2010, Ms. Crane served as law clerk to the Honorable Judge William H. Yohn at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Ms. Crane holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College, with high honors, in Psychology. She graduated magna cum laude in June 2009 from Harvard Law School, where she was Senior Content Editor for the Journal of Law and Gender. During law school she interned at the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she worked in the Disability Rights Section. She also interned at the American Bar Association’s Commission on Mental and Physical Disability, the Disability Law Center of Massachusetts and Harvard Law School’s clinical programs in special education and in disability and estate planning.

Dr. David S. Mandell, Sc.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine

Dr. Mandell, ScD, joined the IACC as a public member in 2012. He is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, where he directs the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research. He also is Associate Director of the Center for Autism Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The goal of his research is to improve the quality of care individuals with autism receive in their communities. This research is of two types. The first examines the effects of different state and federal strategies to organize, finance and deliver services on service use patterns and outcomes. The second consists of experimental studies designed to determine the best ways to successfully implement proven-efficacious practices in community settings. Dr. Mandell is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications. He co-chaired the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Autism Task Force from 2003 to 2006 and consults with Philadelphia agencies to help them develop appropriate policies to meet the needs of people with autism. Dr. Mandell holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from Columbia University and a doctorate of science from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Dr. Robert H. Ring, Ph.D.

Dr. Ring joined the IACC as a public member in 2014. Dr. Ring served as the Chief Science Officer of Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism science and advocacy foundation, from 2013-2016. A neuroscientist by training, Dr. Ring was responsible for shepherding the science mission of the foundation, and managed a diverse portfolio of research investments aimed at improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Dr. Ring headed the Autism Research Unit at Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development (Groton, CT), which represented one of the earliest dedicated research programs in large pharma focused exclusively on the discovery, development and commercialization of medicines for neurodevelopmental disorders. Prior to Pfizer, Dr. Ring worked for ten years at Wyeth Research (Princeton, NJ), distinguishing himself in leadership roles across different areas of research focused on development of medicines for brain disorders. Dr. Ring holds separate adjunct faculty appointments in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York) and Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at Drexel University College of Medicine (Philadelphia).

External Participants

Dr. Adriana DiMartino, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine

Biography not available.

Dr. Maureen Durkin, Ph.D., DrPH

Professor, Population Health Sciences and Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Maureen Durkin received her undergraduate degree and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her MPH and DrPH degrees in Epidemiology from Columbia University. Her research interests include the epidemiology, prevention, antecedents and consequences of neurodevelopmental disabilities and childhood injuries, both globally and within the United States. She has collaborated in the development of cross-cultural methods for screening for developmental disabilities and methods for surveillance of childhood injuries, and has directed international studies of the prevalence and causes of neurodevelopmental disabilities in low-income countries. She has also directed a cohort study of neuropsychological outcomes of neonatal brain injuries associated with preterm birth and with metabolic disorders detected on newborn screening, and is currently a Waisman Center investigator and principal investigator on the Wisconsin Surveillance of Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities System.

Dr. Michelle Freund, Ph.D.

Project Office, National Institute of Mental Health

Biography not available.

Mr. Dan Hall

Manager, National Database for Autism Research, National Institute of Mental Health

Biography not available.

Dr. Robin L. Harwood, Ph.D.

Health Scientist, Division of Research, Office of Epidemiology and Research, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau

Dr. Harwood is a Health Scientist in the Division of Research in the Office of Epidemiology and Research (OER), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). She is the federal liaison and project officer for two Autism CARES-funded federal Research Networks (AIR-B, and Health Care Transitions) as well as Autism CARES-funded investigator-initiated grants. Prior to joining the federal government, she was an Associate Professor (tenured) in the School of Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. During her almost 20 years in academia, she was Principal Investigator for two separate NICHD grants examining culture, parenting, and social development among mothers in Puerto Rico, Germany, and the United States. She has published numerous research articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as two books on child development, culture, and attachment. She received her PhD in developmental psychology from Yale University in 1991.

Dr. Paul Lipkin, M.D.

Director, Interactive Autism Network, Kennedy Krieger Institute

Dr. Lipkin received his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University and attended medical school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - New Jersey Medical School. He received his general pediatric training, focusing on primary care, at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, followed by subspecialty training in developmental pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University and the Kennedy Krieger Institute. Dr. Lipkin joined the faculty of the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University in 1995, and today serves as the director of the Center for Development and Learning in the Department of Neurology and Developmental Medicine. He is board-certified in pediatrics, neurodevelopmental disabilities, and developmental and behavioral pediatrics. At the Institute, Dr. Lipkin oversees the clinical program for the diagnosis and treatment of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention, learning, and language disorders. He serves on the faculty of the Institute's Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program, as well as the medical school's pediatrics programs.

Ms. Gretchen Navidi

Program Coordination Manager, National Institute of Mental Health

Ms. Navidi has 26 years of experience in the application of technology to healthcare and research activities. For the past 13 years, Ms. Navidi has worked directly with the National Institutes of Health on grant development, implementation, management and evaluation of research programs as well as policy development, strategic planning, evaluation and program/grant support. Ms. Navidi currently manages program coordination activities for NDAR, NDCT, PedsMRI and RDoCdb at the NIMH.

Ms. Jessica Rast, MPH

Research Associate, Life Course Outcomes Research Program, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute

Ms. Rast graduated from the Drexel University School of Public Health in 2014 with her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology. Her work in autism began when she started working at the Autism Institute as a student in the Outreach Core. Jessica cites her experience earned during time in the community with individuals on the autism spectrum, families, and service providers as an invaluable addition to her desire to research autism. Her passion is in turning big data into meaningful stories, and in this capacity she works as a data analyst using national datasets. Some of her research focuses include care coordination, transition periods (including education, life, and health care), and factors associated with successful life outcomes (and contemplating how to quantify “successful”). Her most recent projects include work with the LCO team on the National Autism Indicators Report and the collection of national sources of data that include information about individuals on the autism spectrum.

Dr. Catherine Rice, Ph.D.

Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Director, Emory Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine

Dr. Rice is a developmental psychologist who has worked with people with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) through teaching, diagnostic assessment; program planning, consultation, training, and research for over 20 years. Dr. Rice is a graduate of Emory University and received her doctorate in developmental psychology from Boston College. She is a licensed psychologist in the state of Georgia, and conducts specialized training on the assessment of autism. For 14 years, Dr. Rice was a behavioral scientist and epidemiologist with the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Rice’s work at the CDC included working with partners to track the rates and describe the population of children with an ASD in multiple areas of the United States. She will continue to provide expert consultation on determining autism case status and improving developmental and autism screening in the community to the CDC. Dr. Rice is the director of the Emory Autism Center, a component of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine. The Center has become a national model for diagnosis, family support and innovative treatment, as well as a vital source for professional training. In addition to her work on the prevalence of ASDs in the U.S. and internationally, she served as a CDC liaison to the Services Research and Policy Subcommittee of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC). She has or currently serves on numerous advisory boards, including Autism Speaks, the Atlanta Autism Consortium and the World Health Organization.

Michael Rosanoff, MPH

Director, Public Health Research, Autism Speaks, New York, NY

Mr. Rosanoff is the Director for Public Health Research at Autism Speaks. Since joining the organization in 2007, he has managed the organization’s epidemiology and public health research portfolio and helped develop the Global Autism Public Health aimed at facilitating research and improving access to services among diverse populations worldwide. Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Mr. Rosanoff conducted research at Columbia University Medical Center and earned his Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Dr. Andy Shih, Ph.D.

Senior VP, Scientific Affairs, Autism Speaks, New York, NY

Dr. Shih works closely with members of Autism Speaks’ Board, Scientific Advisory Committee, senior staff and volunteer leadership to develop and implement the organization’s research program. He oversees the public health portfolio, which includes Autism Speaks' Global Autism Public Health Initiative, an international advocacy and development effort currently active in over 70 countries that integrates awareness, research, and service development. Andy and his team serve as technical advisor to ministries and other government agencies by facilitating multi-stakeholder collaboration and sourcing needed content expertise and other technical resources with the goal of delivering community-based feasible, cost-effective and sustainable solutions. His research background includes published studies in gene identification and characterization, virus-cell interaction, and cell-cycle regulation. He was instrumental in the cloning of a family of small GTPases involved in cell-cycle control and nuclear transport, and holds three patents on nucleic acids-based diagnostics and therapeutics. Prior to focusing on Autism Speaks’ public health/international development efforts, Andy oversaw the organization’s investments in genetics, environmental sciences, epidemiology and assistive technologies.

 
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