The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at UNC
The Carolina Institute includes:

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 and clinical instructor, 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 20 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 disorder, 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 with additional trainings in Sleep Medicine and Clinical Genetics. 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 and the chief of division of Child Neurology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her clinical and research interests are focused on neurogenetic disorders in children such as Angelman syndrome, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophies and Mucopolysaccharidoses.

Jennifer Mathews, MS, CGC

Jennifer Mathews is a board certified genetic counselor who completed her Master of Science degree in genetic counseling at the University of Utah. She was a pediatric genetic counselor at the University of Florida for seven years before joining the pediatric genetics team at the University of North Carolina in the fall of 2017. Throughout her career, Jennifer has provided services for the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, the Florida Newborn Screen Program, and the Children’s Medical Services program for underserved children with special needs. Jennifer had the unique opportunity to work with experts in Prader-Willi syndrome and Angelman syndrome during her time at the University of Florida. She’s had the privilege to meet and provide care for many families who have children with these conditions. Jennifer has ongoing clinical interests in disorders of genomic imprinting and autism.
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 had more than a decade of experience as a research coordinator for several NIH funded projects exploring the genetic underpinnings of ASD under the supervision of Joe Piven, MD. She has since amassed almost a decade of experience providing clinical services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families through individual and group counseling, parent support and resource navigation, psychoeducational groups, and interdisciplinary clinics at CIDD. Her clinical interests include: adolescents, adults and older adults with I/DD and their families/caregivers, sexual health equity, and self-advocacy.

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 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also Director of the Medical Genetics Residency Program at UNC and Medical Director of the Cytogenetics Laboratory at UNC Hospitals. Her clinical and research interests include dysmorphology, genetic syndromes, and the use of genomic sequencing to improve diagnostic testing for children with rare disorders.

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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