The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at UNC
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Our Clinic: Clinicians

Rob Christian


Dr. Christian graduated from the UNC School of Medicine and did his post graduate training at The Brown University Triple Board Program which is a combined training program in General Pediatrics, Adult Psychiatry, and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Christian joined CIDD in 2009 and is an assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics in the UNC School of Medicine. Dr. Christian lives in Chapel Hill with his wife and two children

Personal Statement:
As a physician with training in General Pediatrics and Adult/Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and as someone who has spent much of his clinical time working in interdisciplinary teams, I hold strongly to the notion that any one “lens” is far too narrow a tool through which to view patients. This is especially important when it comes to working with children, adolescents, and adults who have both neuro-developmental disorders and behavioral/emotional/psychiatric challenges. My clinical work in this area includes patients with disorders such as autism spectrum disorders, chromosomal/genetic syndromes, and other disorders that effect cognitive and emotional development. This work also includes patients with more high prevalence disorders that often co-exist with the afore-mentioned disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and tic disorders. I have evaluated and worked with individuals and their families both with Angelman Syndrome to address challenges commonly experienced in Angelman Syndrome such as hyperactivity, agitation/aggression, and sleep difficulties. I do not evaluate or manage seizure disorders without the ongoing input of a neurologist, but I have considerable experience working with individuals with neuro-developmental disorders with co-morbid seizure disorders, both with and without Angleman Syndrome. The most effective way to evaluate and develop a treatment plan for any individual and their family is to view them through a “bio-psycho-social” lens. This perspective drives my clinical work, my teaching style, and my research at The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at UNC Chapel Hill.

Margaret DeRamus, M.S., CCC-SLP


Margaret DeRamus, M.S., CCC-SLP, is a licensed speech and language pathologist, who completed her master of science in speech language pathology at UNC-Chapel Hill and her clinical fellowship in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD). She has more than 15 years of experience working with individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities as well as their families. Margaret has been on the Angelman Syndrome Clinic team at CIDD since its inauguration in 2012. She also participates in several other clinics at CIDD, conducting interdisciplinary team clinical evaluations of individuals with developmental disabilities. In addition, Margaret is involved with research focusing on individuals with a range of developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorders, fragile X syndrome, Angelman syndrome, and Turner syndrome. Her primary areas of interest include AAC/AT, literacy, and social cognition.

Zheng (Jane) Fan, MD


Dr. Fan is a pediatric neurologist and geneticist. She received her medical degree from Fudan University in Shanghai, China and completed residencies in Child Neurology and fellowships in Clinical Genetics and Sleep Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her clinical and research interests include sleep disorder in children, clinical trials in genetic syndromes such as muscular dystrophies, lysosomal storage disease and neurodevelopmental disorders, and neuroimaging in neurological diseases.

Dana McCarty, PT, DPT, PCS, C/NDT


Dana McCarty received her graduate training at the University of South Carolina. She further developed her clinical expertise through a pediatric residency program at Duke University Hospital. Dana has experience with a variety of pediatric patient populations in outpatient, inpatient, public school, and academic settings. Dana is a board certified specialist in pediatrics and is certified in Neurodevelopmental Treatment of children with neurological disorders. She serves as a LEND faculty mentor for the physical therapy LEND fellows. Dana is a faculty member in the PT Division for UNC-CH where she provides instruction in pediatric content and is the director of clinical education. Her research interests include preterm infant development, clinical education and PT residency and fellowship development.
Catherine Wilson

Morgan Parlier, MSW, LCSW


Morgan Parlier, MSW, LCSW joined the CIDD faculty in 2014. She completed her graduate degree through the Joint Master of Social Work program through UNCG and NCA&TSU in 2003. Morgan has more than a decade of experience as a research coordinator for several NIH funded projects exploring the genetic underpinnings of autism spectrum disorder supervision of Dr. Joe Piven. Over the last six years, she has been providing clinical services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families through individual counseling, parent supportive counseling, psychoeducational groups, and interdisciplinary clinics at CIDD. Her clinical interests include: adolescents, adults and older adults with I/DD and their families/caregivers.

Cynthia M. Powell, MD


Dr. Powell is a clinical geneticist and pediatrician. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Cornell University, her master’s in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence College, and her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia. She is a Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also Director of the Medical Genetics Residency Program and Medical Director of the Cytogenetics Laboratory at UNC Hospitals. She is an investigator in the Carolina Center for Genomics and Society, a Center for Excellence in ELSI Research (CEER) sponsored by the NIH. Her clinical and research interests include dysmorphology, genetic syndromes and ethical issues of genomic testing and newborn screening.

Anne Wheeler, PhD


Anne Wheeler is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry and School Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a practicing licensed psychologist at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. She has been involved in clinical service provision and research focused on developmental and familial outcomes for children with genetic diagnoses for over 15 years. In addition to her clinical work at the CIDD, Dr. Wheeler is a research analyst at RTI International, where she conducts multiple research projects focused on the development of tools and strategies to improve outcomes for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities across the lifespan.”



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