Grant affirms KU's developmental and disability research structure

Grant affirms KU's developmental and disability research structure

The Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (KIDDRC) has been awarded a ve-year $5.40 million cooperative agreement from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

The award provides support for administrative, statistical, participant recruitment, measurement methodology and various preclinical services to support the work of 43 scientists who hold 51 externally funded basic and applied research grants on the topic of intellectual and developmental disabilities at the Lawrence and Medical Center campuses, as well as at the Children’s Campus of Kansas City.

It also supports a research project that examines the ef cacy of an intervention to improve spoken word production in minimally verbal school-age children with autism spectrum disorder. The research addresses an unmet need to promote spoken word production in children who remain essentially nonverbal well past the ages associated with speech acquisition.

The KIDDRC is one of only 14 nationally designated centers that seek to advance the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and amelioration of intellectual and developmental disabilities and has been funded since 1966 by the National Institutes of Health.

The bi-campus KIDDRC is directed by John Colombo, director of the Life Span Institute
and professor of psychology at the University of Kansas main Lawrence campus, and co- directed by Peter Smith, senior associate dean for research and professor of molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

“This award was well-earned” said Colombo. “KU competed successfully in a pool against Harvard University, the University of Wisconsin, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and

the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The agreement is an acknowledgement that the scientists at KU and KUMC who are doing research on intellectual and developmental disabilities are among the best in the nation.”

“The KIDDRC remains vibrant and relevant, continuing to serve vital research needs of the intellectual and developmental disabilities research community,” Smith noted. “It brings together cutting-edge technology so that teams of investigators can rapidly improve our ability to diagnose and treat developmental disorders.”

This award represents the continuation of a program envisioned by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 to promote and facilitate research on intellectual and developmental impairments.