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 Latest News
United Way, Lyft providing free rides to COVID-19 vaccination sites across NC
The RIDE UNITED NC call center is now open to help schedule free round-trip rides for low-income residents needing transportation to COVID-19 vaccine appointments! Call 1-844-771-RIDE. More »
COVID-19 transmission at school rare for children with disabilities
Research published in the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders shows that rapid saliva test screenings – aimed at early detection of the virus – contributed to exceedingly low transmission of the virus among students, teachers and staff in the six schools overseen by the Special School District of St. Louis County, the largest specialized education provider in Missouri. Precautions such as masking and social distancing also were implemented when appropriate. The study was led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, in collaboration with Special School District. More »
SPARK for Autism | The Pivot: Researcher Gabriel Dichter Focuses on Autism
Gabriel Dichter, one of SPARK's first researchers, has a deep sense that incredible discoveries about autism are coming in the next five to 10 years. More »
B3 Coffee - Creating a space where everyone belongs, one cup at a time.
B3 Coffee, founded by CIDD LEND Trainee, Jacklyn Googins, and fellow UNC student, Hannah Steen, is a non-profit coffee shop and online community that serves as a platform of positive visibility and community connection for people of all abilities. One cup at a time, B3 Coffee aims to influence change toward a more inclusive and equitable world. Now more than ever, they are dedicated to bringing people together safely through virtual social and civic engagement opportunities. B3 Coffee offers consistent online programming including weekly team meetings & socials, monthly community leadership development seminars, barista trainings, and remote volunteer roles. More »
We are excited to announce that applications are open for our Summer 2021 programs– HEELS Prep - Online and HEELS Bridge!
Applicants can apply to both HEELS Prep – Online and to HEELS Bridge. More »
CIDD Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The CIDD is committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive, non-discriminatory, and anti-racist environment for all individuals and families we serve, as well as for our trainees, faculty, staff, and community partners. The CIDD Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee has released our DEI mission statement. More »
Congratulations to Mark Zylka and his team!
Their Cas9 gene therapy for Angelman syndrome was featured as a notable paper for 2020 (listed #2!) and in the hot topics list. More »
PSYCHOLOGY POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP IN INTELLECTUAL/DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES and LEADERSHIP (Sept. 2021 – Aug. 2022)
The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (www.cidd.unc.edu) invites applications for postdoctoral leadership training in psychology. More »
COVID-19 Information and Resources
During this ongoing and stressful period, the CIDD would like to share some information and resources related to COVID-19, particularly those that may assist persons with disabilities and their families. More »
On The Frontlines Of Autism Research: CIDD Investigators Study Early Detection, Treatment
Listen to Drs. Joe Piven & Mark Zylka’s interview on NPR Here & Now More »
From a Father’s Journey to a National Conference
The UNC Autism Fathers Conference is a collaboration between television broadcaster Dwayne Ballen and Dr. Joe Piven, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics and the director of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. Both men wanted this conference to address the challenges a father faces raising a child with autism spectrum disorder and to let these fathers know they are not alone. The conference is set for September 14, 2019. More »
PSYCHOLOGY POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP IN INTELLECTUAL/DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES and LEADERSHIP (Sept. 2020 – Aug. 2021)

The CIDD offers interdisciplinary clinical and research training designed to promote advanced competencies in intellectual/developmental disabilities. The postdoctoral fellowship allows specialization in intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, early childhood, genetic conditions, co-occurring psychiatric/behavioral disorders, community consultations, and pediatric neuropsychology. The postdoctoral training experience will emphasize specialized ASD/DD assessment, intervention, research, and interdisciplinary collaboration. There will be additional opportunities for manuscript writing, conference presentations and support for pilot studies/grant writing. Other responsibilities may include supervision of graduate-level trainees and community outreach and education.

The fellowship is a minimum of twelve months in duration, beginning September 1st with the possibility of a second year of training pending funding. Salary determination follows NIH and university guidelines.

Requirements include:
  • completed doctoral degree in an applied area of psychology
  • clinically-based psychology internship
  • demonstrated interest and experience in intellectual/developmental disabilities

To apply, please send a letter detailing professional interests and goals, CV, and three letters of recommendation to Dr. Rebecca Pretzel, CIDD, UNC-CH, CB# 7255, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7255. Email applications are preferred becky.edmondson@cidd.unc.edu).

Application deadline is January 3, 2020. UNC is an Equal Opportunity/ADA employer.

Do You Know or Have a Child or Teenager with Fragile X Syndrome (FXS)?
Now enrolling: A clinical trial in boys and girls with FXS ages 3 through 17. More »
Announcing the UNC School of Social Work’s First Course on Autism Spectrum Disorder
First Summer Session Fridays, May 18 - June 15, 2018 – 9 AM – 12:00 Noon SOWO 709 - Autism Spectrum Disorder: Social Cognitive Interventions – 1.5 credits Instructor: Sherry C. Mergner, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Assistant Professor Contact: sherry.mergner@cidd.unc.edu for information on this course. More »
LEND Self-Advocate Trainee Applications
Now Open for 2018-2019
The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities is recruiting a trainee with a developmental disability for inclusion in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program for the 2018-2019 academic year. Applications are due March 31, 2018. For more information or to request an application contact deborah.zuver@cidd.unc.edu. More »
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN: “Diagnosis of Autism in Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing”
There is no charge to attend this meeting but registration is required. For questions or additional information contact: Jackson Roush, PhD jroush@med.unc.edu More »
SAVE THE DATE – April 6, 2018
“Diagnosis of Autism in Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing”
The meeting will be of interest to professionals involved in screening, diagnosis, or treatment of children who are deaf or hard of hearing and who have, or are suspected of having, an autism spectrum disorder, as well as students in a relevant professional discipline. More »
Congratulations to Dr. Gabriel Dichter!
The UNC Department of Psychiatry awarded CIDD Director of Research Dr. Gabriel Dichter with the 2017 Junior Faculty Mentor of the Year Award. This award was established by the department to recognize the commitment of faculty members to the career development specifically of junior faculty.
UNC Named NIH Autism Center of Excellence
The National Institutes of Health has awarded nine research grants totaling nearly $100 million over the next five years for the Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE), a program that supports large research projects aimed at understanding and developing interventions for autism spectrum disorder. The ACE program was created in 2007 from the consolidation of previous programs. Grants have been awarded every five years, and 2017 marks the third cycle of ACE grants. UNC-Chapel Hill is one of only two lead sites to have earned grants in all three cycles, in addition to having been awarded a Center grant under the previous mechanism awarded in 2002, the NIH Studies to Advance Autism Research and Treatment (STAART) Centers. More »
The UNC Autism Research Center
UNC-Chapel Hill has long been one of the world’s premier autism research universities, and now its expertise and leading research programs will fall under one virtual roof at the UNC Autism Research Center. More »
Predicting Autism: Study Links Infant Brain Connections to Diagnoses at Age 2
In two previous studies, CIDD researchers and colleagues linked infant brain anatomy differences to autism diagnoses at age two. Now they show differences in functional connections between brain regions at 6 months to predict autism at age two. More »
2017 Angelman Syndrome Foundation Walk
Please join the “UNC CIDD” team at the Angelman Syndrome Foundation (ASF) walk on Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Durham. This year our team will join more than 10,000 people across the US, Canada and Mexico for the 2017 Angelman Syndrome Foundation Walk to raise funds for treatments and a cure for Angelman Syndrome. More »
Interview on North Carolina Public Radio (WUNC)
CIDD researchers have made breakthroughs ranging from findings that identify new genes linked to autism, to a new study that shows it is possible to use MRI scans to predict whether babies with autistic siblings will develop autism themselves. Host Frank Stasio talks about this innovative research with CIDD Director, Dr. Joseph Piven, on WUNC’s program the State of Things. More »
Infant MRIs Show Autism Linked to Increased Cerebrospinal Fluid
MRIs show a brain anomaly in nearly 70 percent of babies at high risk of developing the condition who go on to be diagnosed, laying the groundwork for a predictive aid for pediatricians and the search for a potential treatment. More »
Benefits of Broccoli Extract in Young Men with Autism
Research study to explore possible benefits of a broccoli extract supplement (sulforaphane) for young men with autism. If you or someone you know may be interested in participating in this study, please contact: Olivia Sawh 919-962-8462 or Olivia.Sawh@cidd.unc.edu. More »
Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) 2-Day Introductory Workshop
Presented by Debbie Reinhartsen, PhD, CCC-SLP, this workshop is being offered on February 27 & 28, 2017 at the Carolina Institute for 13 Credit Hours. More »
Expanding Our Knowledge About the Science of Autism: Achievements from IDDRCs
AUCD commentary for Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month highlights contributions by CIDD Investigators. More »
UNC Joins Launch of SPARK, Nation's Largest Autism Research Study
On April 21, 2016 the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill helped launch SPARK, a research initiative designed to become the largest genetic research study for autism ever undertaken in the United States. The nationwide project will collect information and DNA from 50,000 individuals with autism - and their families - to better understand the causes of this condition and help usher in an era for personalized medicine and targeted treatment for people on the autism spectrum. More »
Autism Science Foundation Accelerator Grants Awarded to CIDD Investigators
The Autism Science Foundation (ASF) has awarded Accelerator Grants to two exceptional projects that will study new treatment mechanisms and improve data collection methods in community settings. Principal Investigators on the projects are CIDD graduate research assistants, Rachel Greene (supervised by Garret Stuber and Gabriel Dichter) and Maya Mosner (supervised by Gabriel Dichter). These studies were the only two awards funded by the ASF in this round of selection. More »
The Atlantic Tells Story of Adult Autism through Research at the Carolina Institute
Joseph Piven, MD, and his team at the CIDD are trying to fill the gaps in our understanding of what it has meant and will mean to live with autism as older adults.  More »
Gabriel Dichter Honored with Hettleman Award

CIDD Investigator and faculty member, Gabriel Dichter, Ph.D., has been  awarded the Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty for his advances in understanding the neural mechanisms of social motivation in autism. Prior CIDD research faculty award winners include Drs. Garret Stuber, Mark Zylka, and Ayse Belger.

More »
UNC Scientists Pinpoint How a Single Genetic Mutation Causes Autism
Last December, researchers identified more than 1,000 gene mutations in individuals with autism, but how these mutations increased risk for autism was unclear. Now, UNC School of Medicine researchers are the first to show how one of these mutations disables a molecular switch in one of these genes and causes autism. More »
Trainee Opportunity for Leadership and Advocacy

The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  is recruiting a trainee with a developmental disability for inclusion in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program. This is a nine-month commitment for the 2015-2016 academic year. Applications are due March 20, 2015. For more information contact  Donna.Yerby@cidd.unc.edu.

Applications are currently being accepted for the PSYCHOLOGY POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP IN INTELLECTUAL/DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES and LEADERSHIP (Sept. 2015 - Aug. 2016)

The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (www.cidd.unc.edu) invites applications for postdoctoral leadership training in psychology. The CIDD is home to three core federal training initiatives which offer clinical and research opportunities: University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service (UCEDD); Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND); and the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC).

The CIDD offers interdisciplinary clinical and research training designed to promote advanced competencies in intellectual/developmental disabilities. The post-doctoral fellowship allows specialization in intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, early childhood, genetic conditions, co-occurring psychiatric/behavioral disorders, community consultations, and pediatric neuropsychology.

The fellowship is a minimum of twelve months in duration, beginning September 1, 2015 with the possibility of a second year of training pending funding. Salary determination follows NIH and university guidelines.

Requirements include:

  • completed doctoral degree in an applied area of psychology
  • clinically-based psychology internship
  • demonstrated interest and experience in intellectual/developmental disabilities

To apply, please send a letter detailing professional interests and goals, CV, and three letters of recommendation to Dr. Rebecca Edmondson Pretzel, CIDD, UNC-CH, CB# 7255, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7255. Email applications are preferred (becky.edmondson@cidd.unc.edu).

Application deadline is January 9, 2015. UNC is an Equal Opportunity/ADA employer.

Increasing Opportunities for Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

CIDD faculty Deborah Zuver and Donna Carlson Yerby, co-facilitators of the North Carolina Postsecondary Education Alliance, are working to improve college education for students with developmental disabilities.

More »
CIDD joined in on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!
Click here to go to the CIDD Facebook page and view our video.
Dr. Rebecca Edmondson Pretzel Named Associate Director of the Carolina Institute

The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) is pleased to announce the appointment of Rebecca Edmondson Pretzel, PhD as the new Associate Director of the Institute.  Dr. Pretzel is a psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry.  At the CIDD, she serves as the Associate Director of our federally-funded University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) program, Director of Clinical Services, and Psychology Section Head.  In addition, she is an investigator on a variety of research and training grants and supervises numerous graduate students and junior faculty. Through her longstanding experience working with many N.C. service agencies (e.g., the Department of Public Instruction, Early Intervention Branch and Division of MH/DD/SAS), Dr. Pretzel has played an important role in raising the level of care for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in the state.

More »
Autisms Impact on Families
Several CIDD staff and affiliates, including Dr. Mark Zylka, are featured in WBTV News 3's "On Your Side" special, "Autism: Answers and Understanding". The show examined many of the key issues facing families who have a child on the Autism spectrum. More »
Ann Palmer – New CIDD Faculty Member
Ann Palmer is the new Family Faculty member for the LEND Program at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) located at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She is a parent of an adult son with autism and a professional working in the field of autism for the last 20 years. More »
Identifying 1 year olds risk for Autism
Questionnaire completed by parents may help identify 1-year-olds at risk for autism. More »
Features

View the September 8, 2021 Community Talk: “Individuals with I/DD and Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine: A Panel Discussion” SELF-ADVOCATES AND I/DD PROFESSIONALS PANEL share their knowledge and experiences getting the COVID vaccine, where you can get it, and resources that address fears and challenges. Includes Q&A. Moderated by Anna Ward, CIDD Director of Advocacy and Inclusion. View Video
View Video »
Congrats to Dr. Jessica Girault whose paper, Quantitative trait variation in ASD probands and toddler sibling outcomes at 24 months. J Neurodev Disord. 2020;12(1):5, was mentioned in the end of year review by Autism Science Foundation.
Read More>> »
The UNC Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) 2020 thematic series focused on the impact of the environment on neurodevelopmental disorders has been published in the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders:
Environment and Neurodevelopmental Disorders/JND IDDRC 2020 Issue »
Michael O’Shea, along with colleagues Alan Leviton, Nigel Paneth, and Olaf Dammann, edited the book “Extremely Preterm Birth and its Consequences” published by MacKeith Press. This book summarizes the results of the ELGAN (Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborn) study. The book is intended as a concise distillation of the main findings from over 150 published manuscripts arising from the ELGAN Study, including epidemiological studies of the antecedents and outcomes associated with early life inflammation and initiators of that inflammation.
Chapter 1 of the book is available as a free download. »
Congratulations to CIDD child neurologist, Diana Cejas, MD, MPH, recipient of this year’s UNC Broyhill Research Award in Child Neurology. Dr. Cejas was awarded $12,500 to improve healthcare transition of patients with neurodevelopmental disabilities from a child-centered to an adult-oriented health care system.
Read More>> »
CIDD Autism Imaging Research Published in National Geographic. The brains of infants who develop the disorder grow too fast, a UNC-Chapel Hill discovery that could help doctors prevent impairments before they appear.
Read More>> »
Five-year-old Logan Bomar was diagnosed with Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome in November 2015. Logan’s family is on a mission to spread awareness about Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome and raise funds for research for a cure. All donations made to the Pitt Hopkins Research Foundation in honor of Logan will be used to fund CIDD research into finding a cure for Pitt Hopkins.
Read Logan Becomes a Tar Heel! >> »
CIDD Director, Joseph Piven, MD, was interviewed on CNN about research published in Nature. This first-of-its-kind study used MRIs to image the brains of infants, and then researchers used brain measurements and a computer algorithm to accurately predict autism before symptoms set in.
View Video on CNN »
Kellen Hassell rode his bike from Miami, Fla., to Chapel Hill in seven days, traveling almost 1,000 miles, to draw attention to Angelman Syndrome, a rare developmental disorder that affects his 4-year-old son Luciano, and to raise funds for research for a cure. Hassell raised more than $15,000 and presented the check to UNC's Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities.
Read more »
SPARK, the largest genetic research effort ever in the United States, could help doctors better understand the cause and effects of autism, which could lead to more targeted treatments.
View Video on WRAL >> »
A new UNC School of Medicine study shows how chemicals designed to protect crops can cause gene expression changes in mouse brain cells that look strikingly similar to changes in the brains of people with autism and Alzheimer’s disease.
Read more >> »
Steven J. Gray is featured in a CBS News report on a new gene therapy approach to treat rare diseases.
View Video on CBS »
Dendrites, the branch-like projections of neurons, were once thought to be passive wiring in the brain. But now researchers at UNC have shown that dendrites actively process information, multiplying the brain’s computing power. The finding could help researchers better understand neurological disorders.
Read more »
Ben Philpot, Mark Zylka, colleagues find potential cause of autism. Findings published in the journal Nature outline the effects that key enzymes called topoisomerases can have on the genetic machinery behind brain development.
Read the article »
CIDD faculty discuss scientific challenges to autism cure on the CBS Evening News
View Video on CBS »
Researchers led by Benjamin D. Philpot, PhD, may have pinpointed an underlying cause of the seizures in people with Angelman syndrome (AS).
Read Abstract at Neuron »
Dr. Joe Piven, Director of the Carolina Institute, discusses using brain scans to detect early signs of Autism.
View Video on NBC »
 
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Summaries of Research Translated into Spanish
 CIDD Calendar
UCEDD
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
LEND
Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
IDDRC
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center
The Carolina Institute Newsletter
CBS Evening News Dr. Joe Piven, Director of the Carolina Institute, discusses Autism on the CBS Evening News
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