2013 IACC Strategic Plan Update Workshop Invited External Expert Biographies - November 15, 2013
- Question 1 (Diagnosis)
- Question 2 (Biology)
- Question 3 (Risk Factors)
- Question 4 (Treatments and Interventions)
- Question 5 and 6 (Services and Lifespan)
- Question 7 (Infrastructure and Surveillance)
Question 1 (Diagnosis)
Lisa Croen, Ph.D.
Director, Kaiser Permanente Autism Research Program
Senior Research Scientist, Division of Research
Kaiser Permanente Northern California
Dr. Croen is a senior research scientist at the Division of Research (DOR), Kaiser Permanente Northern California, and director of the Kaiser Permanente Autism Research Program. Her research interests include the epidemiology of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, environmental exposures and gene-environment interaction, and adverse perinatal outcomes. Currently, Dr. Croen is the site principal investigator on two large federally funded autism studies: the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED) and the Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation Study (EARLI). She is also co-investigator on the California Autism Twins Study (CATS) and, in collaboration with clinical colleagues, directs the Kaiser Permanente site of the Autism Treatment Network and Autism Intervention Program. Dr. Croen received her master's degree in public health and her doctorate in epidemiology, both from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to coming to the DOR, she was an epidemiologist at the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program at the California Department of Public Health.
Ami Klin, Ph.D.
Chief of Autism and Related Disorders
Marcus Autism Center
Director, Division of Autism and Related Developmental Disabilities
Department of Pediatrics
School of Medicine
Dr. Klin is chief of autism and related disorders of the Marcus Autism Center at Emory University (EU), a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar at EU, and director of the Division of Autism and Related Developmental Disabilities in the Department of Pediatrics at the EU School of Medicine. He is an internationally recognized psychologist and researcher. Dr. Klin's primary research focuses on the social mind and brain and aspects of autism from infancy through adulthood. In his most noted work, he used eye-tracking technology to visualize and measure social engagement, allowing him to monitor infants who potentially have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Dr. Klin's research goal is to identify individuals with ASD as early as possible so that potential therapies can have their maximal effect.
Dennis P. Wall, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pathology
Director, Computational Biology Initiative
Center for Biomedical Informatics
Harvard Medical School
Dr. Wall is an associate professor of pathology and director of the Computational Biology Initiative at Harvard Medical School, where his lab is developing novel approaches in systems biology to decipher the molecular pathology of autism spectrum disorder and related neurological disorders. He received his doctorate in integrative biology from the University of California, Berkeley, where he pioneered the use of fast-evolving gene sequences to trace population-scale diversification across islands. Then, with a postdoctoral fellowship award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Dr. Wall went on to Stanford University to address broader questions in systems biology and computational genomics, work that resulted in comprehensive functional models for both protein mutation and protein interaction. Since joining the faculty at the Center for Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School in 2006, he has been translating systems biology thinking to the field of autism research with the intent to develop effective early-stage diagnostics and targets for therapeutic intervention. Dr. Wall has served as a science advisor to several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, has developed cutting-edge approaches to cloud computing, and has received numerous awards, including an NSF postdoctoral fellowship, the Fred R. Cagle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Biology, the Vice Chancellor's Award for Research, three awards for excellence in teaching, and the Harvard Medical School Leadership Award.
Karen L. Pierce, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, UCSD Autism Center of Excellence
Assistant Adjunct Professor of Neurosciences
School of Medicine
University of California, San Diego
One of the most striking features of autism is the failure to develop or understand complex social relationships. The overarching goal of Dr. Pierce's research is to elucidate the neural underpinnings of these social deficits in autism. Her studies have utilized several approaches, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography, and behavioral assays. In contrast to studies in adults, a relative endpoint of development, pediatric studies may provide more direct clues to the pathobiology of autism since investigations are occurring while developmental pathology is in process or soon thereafter. Dr. Pierce has successfully obtained imaging data on over several hundred children, both normal and those with autism. As principal investigator of the functional brain imaging core at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Autism Center of Excellence, established by the National Institutes of Health in 2007, she is one of only a handful of investigators at UCSD and nationwide who utilizes sleep fMRI as a research tool to study the functional brain development of babies at risk for autism as young as 12 months of age. Dr. Pierce also focuses on the use of eye-tracking technology to establish patterns of eye gaze that may signify risk in babies. In late 2010 she discovered that babies at risk for autism as young as 12 months old spend more time visually examining geometric patterns than they do social patterns. This newly described attribute of babies at risk for autism, which received worldwide press, may aid in earlier diagnoses.
Question 2 (Biology)
David G. Amaral, Ph.D.
University of California Distinguished Professor
Beneto Foundation Chair and Director of Research
University of California, Davis
Dr. Amaral is a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and since 1998 has been director of research at the MIND Institute, an affiliate of UC Davis, where he is engaged in interdisciplinary research into the causes and treatment of autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Amaral joined the UC Davis faculty as a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Center for Neuroscience and as an investigator at the California National Primate Research Center in 1991. Since 1995 he has been a professor of psychiatry in the UC Davis School of Medicine, with an appointment to the Center for Neuroscience. Dr. Amaral's interests include research involving multidisciplinary studies directed at determining the neuroanatomic, behavioral, and electrophysiologic organization and functions of brain systems that are involved in learning, memory, emotion, and social behavior carried out on the human brain and on animal models. He also conducts research on neurobiological correlates of autism.
Nancy J. Minshew, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology
School of Medicine
Director, Center of Excellence in Autism Research
University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Minshew is a professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She also directs the Center of Excellence in Autism Research. As an internationally known expert in the cognitive, neurological, and genetic bases of autism, Dr. Minshew's groundbreaking research has put the University of Pittsburgh on the map as a national leader in this evolving field. For more than 25 years, her research has focused on increasing understanding of the cognitive and brain bases of autism, which has led to the conceptualization of autism as a disorder of information processing and brain connectivity. Dr. Minshew received her medical degree from the Washington University School of Medicine and was trained as a behavioral child neurologist at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.
Carlos Pardo-Villamizar, M.D.
Associate Professor of Neurology and Pathology
School of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Pardo is an associate professor of neurology and pathology, a clinical neurologist, and principal investigator of the Neuroimmunopathology Laboratory at the John Hopkins University (JHU) School of Medicine. He is also a neurologist at the JHU Multiple Sclerosis Center and a member of the HIV Neurosciences Research Group. Dr. Pardo's clinical research interest and laboratory work focus on studies of the immunopathologic and molecular mechanisms of associated with neuroimmune disorders such as transverse myelitis (TM), multiple sclerosis, neuroAIDS, epilepsy, and autism; the roles of cytokines and chemokines in pathogenic mechanisms of neurological disorders; studies of biomarkers of neuroimmunologic disease in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood; and animal models of neuroimmunologic disorders. His interest in TM centers on management of acute myelitis, biomarkers of the disease in CSF and blood, and the role of neuroimmune factors in the pathogenesis of myelopathies. Along with other neurologists and health care providers in the JHU Transverse Myelitis Center, Dr. Pardo focuses on a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and management of transverse myelopathies and the disorders associated with TM.
Kevin Pelphrey, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology and Director, Child Neuroscience Laboratory
School of Medicine
Dr. Pelphrey is a cognitive neuroscientist who completed his doctoral studies in psychology at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001. He then undertook postdoctoral training in cognitive neuroscience at Duke University. Dr. Pelphrey's laboratory focuses on discovering the brain mechanisms underlying the development of different aspects of social cognition. This work employs cognitive neuroscience methods, including functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging, imaging genetics, visual scanpath recordings, and virtual reality techniques. The Child Neuroscience Laboratory conducts studies focusing on fundamental questions regarding typical and atypical developments of social cognition in children with and without autism. Dr. Pelphrey has received a Scientist Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a John Merck Scholars Award for his work on the biology of developmental disorders, and the American Psychological Association's Boyd McCandless Award for distinguished early-career theoretical contributions to developmental psychology. His research program is funded by NIH, the Simons Foundation, Autism Speaks, and the National Science Foundation.
Question 3 (Risk Factors)
Joseph D. Buxbaum, Ph.D., M.Sc.
Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Genetics and Genomic Sciences
Director, Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Dr. Buxbaum is a world-renowned molecular geneticist, director of the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment, and professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He heads the Laboratory of Molecular Neuropsychiatry, which has identified genes in autism and taken the findings of the causes of autism and translated them into animal models where therapeutic approaches can be evaluated. In this context, Dr. Buxbaum has established the Autism Model Systems Initiative, which makes use of multiple experimental systems to ultimately develop and evaluate novel therapeutics in autism spectrum conditions. He is a lead investigator in the Autism Genetics Consortium, the Autism Genome Project, and the Autism Case Control Cohort and is a part of the Psychiatric Genetics Consortium. Dr. Buxbaum has received numerous awards for his research, including recognition from the New York University Child Study Center (2004), the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (2005), and the Eden Institute Foundation for his "commitment and dedication to improving the quality of life in individuals with autism" (2008).
Margaret Danielle Fallin, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Mental Health
Director, Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Genetic Epidemiologist, Genetic Epidemiology Division
Department of Epidemiology
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Fallin is the principal investigator (PI) for the Maryland Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation Study (EARLI) site at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Bloomberg School of Public Health (BSPH). She is an experienced genetic epidemiologist who heads the Genetic Epidemiology Division in the Department of Epidemiology at BSPH. Dr. Fallin has expertise in complex statistical genetics methods and in overseeing and directing fieldwork for epidemiologic and genetic studies of neuropsychiatric conditions, including autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease. She is also the Maryland PI for the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED), a multisite case-cohort study to identify genetic and environmental risk factors for autism, which is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to these two large autism studies, Dr. Fallin oversees genetic epidemiology aspects of the JHU Center for Excellence in Genomic Science (CEGS), which focuses on the epigenetics of common diseases. CEGS is investigating the epigenetic mechanisms of autism and schizophrenia and the interactions of genes and the environment using epigenetics.
Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Ph.D., M.P.H
Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences
School of Medicine
Principal Investigator, CHARGE Study and the MARBLES Study
University of California, Davis
Dr. Hertz-Picciotto is an internationally renowned environmental epidemiologist with more than 200 scientific publications addressing environmental exposures, their interactions with nutrition, and their influences on pregnancy, newborns, and child development. She leads a program of interdisciplinary research on the environmental contributors to autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders and on the mechanisms of pathogenesis. Dr. Hertz-Picciotto's studies involve collaborations with the fields of immunology, molecular biology and microbiology, genomics, environmental sciences, nutrition, and biostatistics. She launched the CHARGE Study, the first large comprehensive population-based study of environmental factors in autism, and the landmark MARBLES Study of early environmental and biologic predictors of autism. Dr. Hertz-Picciotto also collaborates on the multisite Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation Study (EARLI) of risk factors for autism spectrum disorder and directs the Northern California Center for the National Children's Study. Other projects have focused on exposure-related behaviors, polychlorinated biphenyls and pesticides in relation to early growth and development, lead exposure during pregnancy, and the relationship of air pollutants to immune development and early acute respiratory illness. She has chaired or served several state, national, and international advisory panels and was elected president of two of the largest professional epidemiology societies. Dr. Hertz-Picciotto sits on the editorial boards of major scientific journals in epidemiology, environmental health, and autism and has taught epidemiologic methods on four continents. In 2011 she received the Goldsmith Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology.
Craig J. Newschaffer, Ph.D., S.M.
Professor and Chair,Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
School of Public Health
Director, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute
Dr. Newschaffer is a professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Drexel University (DU) after 7 years on the faculty of the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he founded and directed the Hopkins Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Epidemiology. At DU Dr. Newschaffer leads an NIH Autism Center of Excellence project studying a large cohort of mothers of children with autism at the start of subsequent pregnancies. This project, the Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation Study (EARLI), is designed specifically to study prenatal, perinatal, and neonatal autism risk factors and biomarkers. He is also a principal investigator on other major autism epidemiology initiatives, including a national network established to monitor secular trends in autism prevalence and a multisite study funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that will be the largest case-control study of autism fielded to date. Dr. Newschaffer is a co-investigator on the Baltimore site of the National Children's Study (NCS), a prospective epidemiologic study of a representative sample of 100,000 U.S. pregnancies, including serving on the NCS's national autism and mental health working teams. He is an associate editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology and a member of the editorial boards of the journals Autism Research and Developmental Epidemiology; is a member of the science advisory board for the national research and advocacy organization Autism Speaks; and serves on advisory boards for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Bureau of Autism Services and the Delaware Birth Defects and Autism Registry. Dr. Newschaffer holds a master's degree in health policy from Harvard University and a doctoral degree in epidemiology from JHU and serves as an adjunct professor of epidemiology at JHU.
Question 4 (Treatments and Interventions)
President and Chief Executive Officer
As a father of a young adult with autism, Mr. Badesch led his local Autism Society chapter 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, Florida, and 6 years as president and CEO of the United Way of South Carolina. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, and has four children.
Jeremy M. Veenstra-VanderWeele, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Pediatrics
Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development
Vanderbilt Brain Institute
Dr. Veenstra-VanderWeele is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry and pediatrics and a pharmacology investigator at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development at the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, Vanderbilt University. He received his M.D. degree from the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine, graduating with honors. Dr. Veenstra-VanderWeele's postdoctoral training in molecular neuroscience involved working on mouse models related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). His research group works on both mouse models related to autism and translational clinical trials in children and adults with ASD, particularly in fragile X syndrome. As part of the Vanderbilt Evidence-Based Practice Center, Dr. Veenstra-VanderWeele was involved in the recent Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's systematic review of treatments for children with ASD. He is a member of the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Veenstra-VanderWeele has written numerous book chapters and has published scientific articles in the fields of neuroscience and psychiatry in journals such as Neuropsychopharmacology, Molecular Psychiatry, and European Journal of Pharmacology.
Paul P. Wang, M.D.
Senior Vice President and Head of Medical Research
Paul Wang, M.D., serves as Senior Vice President and Head of Medical Research at Autism Speaks. He is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, trained at Harvard College, Yale School of Medicine, the Salk Institute, and Children's Seashore House/CHOP. During his academic career, Dr. Wang engaged in research on the development of language and memory, and their neurobiological basis, in children with genetic syndromes. He also worked as a clinician, providing care for children with various developmental disability diagnoses, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Dr. Wang also worked in the private sector, at Seaside Therapeutics, a biotech company that was founded to translate the basic science of learning and memory into targeted treatments for fragile X syndrome and ASD. Dr. Wang continues to serve in professional and academic leadership roles at organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, and he works as a reviewer and consultant for the NIH, the CDC, and other federal and patient advocacy organizations.
Amy Wetherby, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences
Director, Autism Institute
Laurel Schnendel Professor, Department of Communication Disorders
Florida State University College of Medicine
Dr. Wetherby is a professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences, director of the Autism Institute in the College of Medicine, and the Laurel Schendel Professor of Communication Disorders at Florida State University (FSU). She has 30 years of clinical experience and is a fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Dr. Wetherby has published extensively and presents regularly at national conventions on the early detection of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intervention for children with ASD using the SCERTS® model. She is the project director of a doctoral leadership training grant specializing in autism funded by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Dr. Wetherby served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee for Educational Interventions for Children with Autism and is executive director of the FSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. She is project director of the FIRST WORDS Project, a longitudinal research investigation on early detection of ASD and other communication disorders, which is funded by ED, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Wetherby is the principal investigator of an early-treatment study teaching parents of toddlers with ASD how to support social communication and play in everyday activities; the study is funded by Autism Speaks and the National Institute of Mental Health.
Question 5 and 6 (Services and Lifespan)
Brian Boyd, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Division of Occupational Science
School of Medicine
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Boyd joined the Division of Occupational Science (DOS) faculty at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) in August 2009. Previously, he worked at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC-CH. Dr. Boyd's research interests center on the repetitive and inflexible patterns of behavior displayed by young children with autism. He is interested in the development of behavioral interventions to diversify the child's restricted interests and promote the child's participation in family and community life. Dr. Boyd's interest in the repetitive behaviors of children with autism is based on his life experiences as an assistant classroom teacher and school consultant.
James M. Perrin, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics
Harvard Medical School
Dr. Perrin is a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, former director of the Division of General Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, and past associate chair of pediatrics for research at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He founded the MGH Center for Child & Adolescent Health Research and Policy, a multidisciplinary research and training center with an active fellowship program in general pediatrics, and directed the Center for over 15 years. Dr. Perrin is president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), former chair of the AAP Committee on Children with Disabilities, and past president of the Ambulatory (Academic) Pediatric Association. He also co-chaired an AAP committee to develop practice guidelines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a group advising AAP on the implementation of the guidelines. Dr. Perrin's research has examined asthma, middle ear disease, children's hospitalization, health insurance, and childhood chronic illness and disabilities, with recent emphases on the epidemiology of childhood chronic illness and organization of services for the care of children and adolescents with chronic health conditions. He heads the Clinical Coordinating Center (based at MGH) for the national Autism Treatment Network and the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health, a multisite collaborative aiming to improve evidence-based care for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Perrin also directed the Evidence Working Group reporting to the Maternal and Child Health Bureau for the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders and Genetic Diseases in Newborns and Children. He is also the founding editor of Academic Pediatrics (formerly Ambulatory Pediatrics), the journal of the Academic Pediatric Association. Dr. Perrin has served on Institute of Medicine committees on maternal and child health under health care reform, the quality of long-term care services in home- and community-based settings, enhancing Federal health care quality programs, and disability in America; on the National Commission on Childhood Disability; and on the Disability Policy Panel of the National Academy of Social Insurance. His experience includes 2 years in Washington, DC, working on rural primary care development and migrant health. After completing a fellowship at the University of Rochester, Dr. Perrin developed and ran a rural community health center in farming communities located between Rochester and Buffalo, New York. He received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research and also served as a member of the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dr. Perrin graduated from Harvard College and the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, completed his residency and fellowship training at the University of Rochester, and has served on the faculties of the University of Rochester and Vanderbilt University.
Paul Shattuck, Ph.D.
Leader, Research Program Area on Life Course Outcomes
A.J. Drexel Autism Institute
School of Public Health
Dr. Shattuck leads the A.J. Drexel Autism 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. Dr. Shattuck's work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education's 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, Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, American Journal of Public Health, and Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Shattuck has written op-ed pieces that have appeared in leading national newspapers, including The New York Times. In 2009 his 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, which recognized Dr. Shattuck's 2011 study on the use of services by adults with autism as one of the 20 most impactful scientific studies in the field of autism. Dr. Shattuck's 2012 study on postsecondary job and education outcomes was recognized by Autism Speaks as one of the top 10 research advances of the year. Prior to joining the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, he served as a faculty member at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Shattuck's professional background includes nonprofit fundraising and program development, and his education includes degrees in social work and sociology and postdoctoral training in epidemiology.
Aubyn C. Stahmer, Ph.D., M.A.
Rady Children's Hospital and University of California, San Diego
Dr. Stahmer is a research scientist at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Rady Children's Hospital. She serves as the research and clinical coordinator of the Autism Intervention Center, which has been in operation for over 10 years. Dr. Stahmer has published many scholarly articles on inclusion and early-intervention services in the area of autism. At UCSD she serves as associate director of the treatment core of the Autism Center of Excellence award. Dr. Stahmer is the principal investigator of a grant from the U.S. Department of Education designed to examine methods of translating pivotal response training into classrooms. Her current interests include the study of early-intervention systems for children with autism and the translation of evidence-based practices into community settings.
Zachary E. Warren, Ph.D.
Director, Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatric, and Special Education
Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development
As director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD), Dr. Warren leads the autism evaluation and diagnostic clinics within the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Developmental Medicine and provides oversight of TRIAD outreach and training. In collaboration with colleagues across campus and at VKC, he 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. Dr. Warren facilitates communication and community-building activities for autism-related clinical and research activities within TRIAD; the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service; Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities; and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center programs and with faculty in the fields of pediatrics, psychiatry, special education, psychology, and hearing and speech sciences.
Nancy Cheak-Zamora, Ph.D., M.A.
Assistant Professor, Department of Health Sciences
School of Health Professions
University of Missouri
Dr. Cheak-Zamora has worked in both clinical and academic settings conducting research in applied behavior analysis therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder, HIV care, health communication and literacy, and examination of health status and health insurance duration. She 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. Cheak-Zamora's research centers on the utilization of complex measurement tools to evaluate health status and health disparities in uninsured and chronically ill persons and within various populations with limited access to health care. Other areas of interest include HIV prevention and care, autism research, and health policy.
Question 7 (Infrastructure and Surveillance)
Julie Daniels, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor of Epidemiology and of Maternal and Child Health
Gillings School of Global Public Health
Director, North Carolina Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Daniels is an associate professor of epidemiology and of maternal and child health at The University of North Carolina School of Public Health. She also directs the North Carolina Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology, which is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Daniels' research focuses on perinatal environmental exposures that affect infant and child health and development.
Maureen Durkin Ph.D., Dr.P.H., M.P.H.
Investigator, Waisman Center
Professor, Departments of Population Health Sciences and of Pediatrics
School of Medicine
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Durkin is an epidemiologist, a Waisman Center investigator, a professor of population health sciences and of pediatrics, and an affiliate of the Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include the epidemiology, prevention, antecedents, and consequences of neurodevelopmental disabilities and childhood injuries, both abroad and within the United States. Dr. Durkin 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 also has directed a cohort study of neuropsychologic outcomes of neonatal brain injuries associated with preterm birth and is currently a principal investigator on the Wisconsin Surveillance of Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities System, the National Children's Study Waukesha County Vanguard Center, and a study of neurodevelopmental outcomes of 2-methylbutyryl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency detected in newborn screening.
Dan Hall, M.B.A.
Manager, National Database for Autism Research
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institutes of Health /OMNITEC Solutions, Inc.
Mr. Hall is the father of a 17-year-old son on the autism spectrum and a professional consultant to OMNITEC Solutions, Inc., where he has been serving as manager of the National Database for Autism Research (NDAR) since 2007. Prior to his NDAR work, Mr. Hall led the implementation of the National Institutes of Health's eRA Commons and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Digital Access to Medication project. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Maryland and his M.B.A. degree from George Washington University.
Paul A. Law, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, Medical Informatics
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Dr. Law earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in 1997 and received a master's of public health degree from the JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health in the previous year. He completed his pediatric residency in 2000 and a health informatics fellowship in 2005, both at JHU. Dr. Law has extensive experience in the design and implementation of health research studies in autism and international health. In 1996 he began a collaborative project with the Cure Autism Now Foundation to develop the Internet System for Assessing Autistic Children (ISAAC). Currently, ISAAC is used by projects at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and academic institutions (both domestically and internationally). Dr. Law joined the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) in 2005 to lead a project to develop the Interactive Autism Network (IAN), a national autism database, and to support other researchers at KKI through the discipline of health research informatics. As a consultant to the World Health Organization, he is working on an initiative to develop an international online community of child health researchers in developing countries. Dr. Law's international work has taken him to India, Bangladesh, Egypt, and Haiti. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Informatics Association, and Delta Omega, the Honorary Society in Public Health.
Thomas Lehner, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Chief, Genomics Research Branch
Director, Office of Genomics Research Coordination
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institutes of Health
Dr. Lehner is director of the Office of Genomics Research Coordination and chief of the Genomics Research Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institutes of Health (NIH). He oversees and coordinates all efforts associated with genomics research for NIMH and is the principal advisor to the NIMH Director and the NIMH Scientific Director for issues related to genetics and genomics. A native of Vienna, Austria, Dr. Lehner received a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Vienna and an M.P.H. in epidemiology from Columbia University. Since joining NIMH in 2004, Dr. Lehner has been instrumental in expanding the NIMH genomics repository at Rutgers University and promoting the team science approach in genomics by forging international collaborative efforts and consortia. He has been active in consolidating genomics resources for the research community through the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP) and the NIMH repository databases to provide comprehensive access to genome-wide genomic data from large cohorts with mental disorders.