Established in 1967, the UNC IDDRC is one of 14 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The UNC IDDRC, led by Director Joe Piven, M.D., and Associate Director Sheryl Moy, Ph.D., offers three multi-component research cores to support funded investigators conducting studies relevant to understanding the pathogenesis and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders. IDDRC investigators come from a wide range of disciplines in clinical and basic science, including members of the Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, the Gillings School of Public Health, the UNC Neuroscience Center, and more than 20 different UNC Departments. In addition to maintaining state-of-the-art core facilities, the IDDRC has recently initiated a signature research project, ‘Neural Circuit Regulation of Social Motivation,’ which utilizes cutting-edge optogenetic approaches in mice, and functional brain imaging in humans, to investigate the role of oxytocin in social deficits associated with autism spectrum disorders.
Major research themes in the IDDRC include:
- Autism and related syndromes, focusing on gene-brain-behavior relationships.
- Early development of brain and behavior, with longitudinal studies in normal and at risk populations.
- Early detection and intervention, including psychopharmacology, early education/behavioral
programs, and preclinical, high-throughput drug discovery and gene therapy initiatives.
- Clinical Translational Core (Participant Registries, Brain Measurement Laboratories)
- Preclinical Core (Mouse Behavioral Phenotyping Laboratory, Confocal and Multiphoton Microscopy
Facility, and Animal Brain Image Analysis Service).
- Bioinformatics/Biostatistics Core
Links to NICHD
- NICHD Home