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Editor: Mary-Margaret Simpson
Friends of the Life Span Institute
The Centers and their inception dates
The Life Span Institute is a center of centers collectively dedicated to discovering research-based solutions for the challenges of human and community development, disabilities, and aging.
Gerontology Center 1990
In the News
The Life Span Institute welcomed its 13th center in April with the launch of a new bi-campus autism research and training entity the Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training (K-CART) supported by private and public funds.
The multidisciplinary center will support research and training on the causes, nature and management of autism spectrum disorders. Debra Kamps, a senior researcher at LSI’s Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, will direct K-CART. Matthew Reese, a child psychologist and director of the Center for Child Health and Development at the KU Medical Center, will co-direct. Linda Heitzman-Powell, a Juniper Gardens and KUMC researcher, will direct the LSI Autism Training Program. This new initiative of the center is partially funded by the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services to train providers to support the state’s first Autism Waiver Program. The ATP will also train others as autism specialists, respite providers and family support providers through a tiered curriculum.
KU and the KU Medical Center will initially jointly fund the center with seed money of $1 million for five years in part to support intramural pilot projects to attract younger researchers to autism research. Other private support allowed the initiative begun in 2007 to become a permanent center. Full Story Kansas City Star
$10 million to Juniper Gardens’ Greenwood and Carta
Charles Greenwood and Judith Carta will direct a new research center on identifying and intervening in potential reading problems in very young children funded by the U.S. Department of Education for $10 million over five years.
The Juniper Gardens Children’s Project researchers will direct the Center for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood that includes partners at Ohio State University, the University of Minnesota and Dynamic Measurement Group, a company in Oregon. The grant was awarded through the National Center for Special Research Program within the Department of Education.
“Learning to read is one of the most important skills children need for success in later life,” said Greenwood. “Unfortunately, children with reading problems are often identified much too late. They fail to receive any special intervention until the second or even third grade. By that time, they’ve missed out on important learning opportunities and have a difficult time catching up.” Full Story Lawrence Journal World
Helping infants and toddlers with disabilities develop communication, language and early literacy skills is the goal of a new federally funded project at LSI.
Dale Walker, associate research professor at Juniper Gardens, and Steve Warren, vice provost of Research and Graduate Studies, have been awarded a four-year $1.6 million grant to establish a Model Demonstration Center for Promoting Language and Literacy Readiness in Early Childhood. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), the Center will provide staff development and technical assistance to early childhood programs in Kansas City, Olathe, Topeka and North Kansas City It is one of only three model demonstration centers in the U.S. funded by OSEP on the topic of early language.
Mabel Rice, the Fred and Virginia Merrill Distinguished Professor of Advanced Studies, has been appointed to the advisory council of the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Institute by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt.
Rice will join a group of 18 appointees that includes 12 leading scientists in the areas of deafness and communication disorders. Her four-year term begins June 1.
John Colombo, interim director the Life Span Institute and professor of psychology at the University of Kansas, has been elected secretary of the International Society on Infant Studies.
The ISIS is a professional organization for researchers in psychology, child development, neuroscience, pediatrics, nursing and education, and sponsor of the journal Infancy. Colombo will serve a two-year term.
The 2008 annual dinner of the Friends of the Life Span Institute, held April 26 at the Adams Alumni Center, was the largest turnout ever in the four-year history of the Friends group.
Fifty-one LSI Friends and guests attended the event to hear about LSI projects and to celebrate recipients of Friends-sponsored awards. Featured presenter was Debra Kamps, director of the LSI’s new center, the Kansas Center for Autism Training and Research (K-CART). Kamps traced the background of K-CART, outlined its vision and described how the work of the researchers involved will individually and collectively contribute to understanding and treating autism. Kamps also explained K-CART’s role in helping build capacity and expertise in Kansas autism professionals and other service providers through its training mission. She cited the role of the philanthropic group Kansas City Young Matrons in supporting K-CART’s work. LSI Interim Director John Colombo traced accomplishments of the year, citing an increase in grant funding of 26 percent over the previous year. “For every dollar the state invested in LSI, LSI generated over seven dollars in return,” he said.
Present at the event was the newest member of LSI Friends, Ruth Warren of Lawrence. Other LSI Friends attending included Marianna Beach, Lawrence; John and Patty Turner, Overland Park; and Bruce and Melinda Wetherby, San Diego. Guests included Kansas City area residents Scott and Debbie Beeler from the Kansas City Young Matrons, and Kirsten Sneid and Anna Leitch, all parents of children with autism who are active in the Kansas City autism community.
LSI is soliciting applications for its annual Friends of LSI Pilot Discovery Grant Awards. These awards are an internal grant mechanism available to KU investigators associated with LSI. The purpose is to encourage LSI researchers to conduct multidisciplinary, innovative pre-clinical or clinical pilot studies in preparation for submitting competitive grant applications to federal agencies or substantial applications to private foundations. The awards are made possible by the private gifts from members of LSI Friends. Recent Discovery Grant Winners were Jonathan Pinkston, Kathy Thiemann and Richard Washburn.
For more information contact Jessica Black-Magnussen, LSI grants monitor, at 864-0597, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are due July 1, 2008.
Congress has renamed the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health in honor of Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Established in 1963, the institute is now the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
NICHD also renamed its Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers Program the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers Program.
The new name honors Shriver’s instrumental work to convince her brother, President John F. Kennedy, to establish an institute that would focus on children’s health and human development. She also worked with House and Senate leaders to help ensure passage of the legislation to create NICHD. Until then, NIH institutes focused only on a particular organ system or disease category.
The Life Span Institute was featured as a new resource to subscribers of a federal government disability listserv on April 1.
Subscribers to DisabilityInfo.gov were notified that Life Span had been added to the list of state and local educational resources for Kansas. The Beach Center on Disability, the Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, and the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities are among those resources listed at the site.
DisabilityInfo.gov is a national web portal for the public with information on such topics as civil rights, community life, education, employment, housing, health, technology and transportation. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).
Ongoing collaboration between Life Span’s Work Group for Community Health and Development and the American University of Beirut is leading to a novel way to disseminate success stories of community health initiatives in the Middle East.
The Community Tool Box is a web-based public access site that features information on methods and tools for community health and development. A public health researcher at the American University of Beirut will travel to each of the countries and document case studies for ultimate posting and dissemination on the Tool Box site. The project will be completed by the summer of 2008.
Stephen Fawcett (third from right), director of the Work Group for Community Health and Development, traveled to Washington, D.C. in early May to confer with representatives of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to document and analyze efforts to promote health and reduce disparities in the Americas. Two Work Group scientists â Jerry Schultz, co-director, and Cesareo Fernandez-Gomez, post-doctoral researcher â traveled to Venezuela in May to conduct training for healthy communities and older adults using the Community Tool Box.
Judy Carta, a senior scientist at Juniper Gardens, was among the invited speakers at a forum for early childhood leadership teams from Wyandotte and Johnson counties held April 17 in Overland Park, Kan. Carta’s presentation was “Investing in Early Education: What Research Tells Us About Improving the Odds for Children’s Success.”
Sponsored by the Committee for Economic Development, a national nonprofit public policy research organization, the forum focused on the importance of investing in high-quality education. Keynote speaker Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius discussed her proposed $27 million budget to expand services for young children in Kansas.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) now requires public access to the results of NIH-funded research, a policy that will affect many LSI investigators.
All NIH-funded projects must negotiate public access rights for publications appearing after April 7, 2008. The good news is that several journals have agreed to publish articles within 12 months of publication on PubMed Central, a free digital archive sponsored by NIH of biomedical and life sciences journals. If your article is published in one of these journals, you are compliant without any further effort on your part. Check out the list of participating journals on the site.
Unfortunately, several journals do not plan to publish automatically on PubMed Central. When submitting an article to a journal, researchers should alert the editors that the article is subject to the NIH public access policy. This may save you some time down the road. Following an article’s acceptance, authors typically negotiate copyright agreements. During that process, you will need to ensure that the journal will release the final peer-reviewed manuscript to you for submission to PubMed Central, either immediately or following an embargo period (up to 12 months). KUCR’s Office of Research Integrity has suggested the following language be incorporated into your agreement:
[Journal Name] acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final manuscript to the NIH upon acceptance for Journal publication, for public archiving in PubMed Central as soon as possible but no later than twelve months after publication by Journal.
Once you have permission to submit the article, upload the final manuscript (not the reprint) to PubMed Central at http://www.nihms.nih.gov/db/sub.cgi. A user’s guide is available on the site.
For more information contact Jessica Black-Magnussen, LSI grants monitor, at 864-0597, or email at email@example.com.
Two staff members at the Life Span Institute at Parsons received awards at the March 6-7 Kansas Division for Early Childhood Conference (KDEC) in Wichita.
Misty Goosen, project coordinator for the Kansas Inservice Training System, received the 2008 Award of Excellence. The award honors an individual who has made significant contributions in such areas as publications, research, and development of new concepts or techniques for diagnosis or rehabilitation, improved psychological or education evaluation procedures, improved administrative procedures, practical application of improved teaching devices and dynamic leadership.
Peggy Miksch, infant-toddler technical assistance specialist for the Kansas Inservice Training System, was the first recipient of a new award. She received the 2008 award for Significant Contributions to KDEC in Leadership, Service and Advocacy.
A subdivision of the National Division of Early Childhood and the Council for Exceptional Children, KDEC promotes the education of young children with exceptional needs and encourages and promotes professional growth and research.
Pamela Cress, whose innovative work led to the development of now widely used hearing and vision screening tools for children with disabilities, has retired after 31 years of service to the Life Span Institute at Parsons.
Cress was among a team of researchers who came to the Bureau of Child Research at Parsons in the 1970s and transformed the perception of what people with severe disabilities could do and learn. According to Ed Zamarripa, director of Finance and Administration at LSI, Cress “rescued” a vitally needed respite care program for families with children with disabilities on the verge of collapse. It’s still going strong today,” Zamarripa said.
With her husband, Chuck Spellman, Cress devel“oped vision and hearing screening tools for children with no functional speech, a method that was ultimately applied to infants and toddlers without disabilities. Colleague Sheila Simmons said the tool “changed the way kids are screened across the state.”
Cress’ career was characterized by a willingness to chart untested waters. Her work to improve the physical fitness of teenagers and young adults with moderate to severe handicaps led to the purchase of fitness equipment in high schools across southeast Kansas. She also helped to increase the independence of young people with disabilities by developing training materials for daily tasks using a picture format.
With an Ed.S. in Special Education and Assistive Technology, Cress became one of the first program coordinators to assume the role of a principal investigator. In reflecting on Cress's contributions, David Lindeman, director of LSI at Parsons, cites her development of the Parsons Visual Acuity test, the validation of the Teller Visual Cards and her training materials on fitness. "Pam was instrumental in bringing the state of Kansas training on assistive technology through the early use of distance education strategies and emerging technologies."
Paul Diedrich, Associate Director for Project Development
New Awards (not previously funded) Information
1. Judith Carta received a new, one-year award “Analysis of Longitudinal Data of Children with Disabilities in the Early Head Start National Evaluation”from TKC Integration Services, LLC that began September 26, 2007.
2. Morris Faiman, Craig Lunte and Todd Williams received a new, two-year award “Carbamathione, A Novel Disulfiram Metabolite for Cocaine Dependence” from NIDA that began January 1, 2008.
3. Martha Hodgesmith received a new, seven-month award “What Health and Safety Personnel Need to Know to Assist Persons with Disabilities in Being Prepared” from KsH&E that began January 1, 2008.
4. David Ekerdt, in collaboration with Mark Luborsky at Wayne State University, received a new, three-year award “Downsizing Possessions for Residential Moves in Later Life” from NIA that began April 1, 2008.
5. Greg Madden and Steve Fowler received a new, two-year award “Impulsivity, Dopamine and the Behavioral Economics of Gambling” that began April 1, 2008.
6. Joseph Donnelly received a new, one-year subcontract “Longitudinal Study of Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Alzheimer’s Disease” from KUMC, PI Jeffrey Burns, prime contractor to NIH, that began May 1, 2008.
There are nearly ten other proposals that we have heard have a high probability of being funded, which we hope to report on next month.
Past Submissions not Previously Reported
1. Dean Williams submitted his second-year subcontract progress report “Translational Research on NCR Interventions for Behavior Disorders” to Kennedy Krieger Institute â PI Iser DeLeon, prime contractor to NICHD, on March 1, 2008.
2. Holly Storkel submitted her third-year progress report “Word Learning in Children: Normal Development and Language Impairment” to NIDCD on March 1, 2008.
3. Mabel Rice submitted her second-year progress report “Training Researchers in Language Impairments” to NIDCD on March 1, 2008.
4. Joseph Donnelly, J. Leon Greene, Richard Washburn, Bryan Smith, John Poggio, Greg Welch, Debra Sullivan, Cheryl Gibson, Matthew Mayo and Robert Lee resubmitted their five-year, renewal “Prevention of Obesity in Children with PAAC” to NIDDK on March 5, 2008.
5. Joseph Donnelly, Bryan Smith, Richard Washburn and Debra Sullivan resubmitted their five-year, subcontract proposal “Effect of Exercise on Weight Loss Maintenance and CVD Risk Factors” via the University of Pittsburgh, PI John Jakicic, prime contractor to NIDDK, on March 5, 2008.
6. Richard Washburn, Joseph Donnelly, Bryan Smith, Janet Marquis and Debra Sullivan resubmitted their five-year RO1 “Resistance Training Energy Balance and Weight Management” to NIDDK on March 5, 2008.
7. Michael Wehmeyer, David Lindeman and Matthew Reese submitted the 37th year continuation “Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities” to HHS/ACF on March 14, 2008.
8. Tracy LaPierre submitted a new, one-year proposal “Marital Status Transitions in Older Adulthood: Implications for Grandparent-Grandchild Support” to the National Center for Marriage Research on March 17, 2008.
9. Joseph Donnelly, Bryan Smith and Richard Washburn submitted a new, three-year subcontract proposal “Brain Function Predictors and Outcome of Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance” to KUMC, PI Cary Savage, prime contractor to NIH, on March 20, 2008.
10. Bryan Smith submitted a new, one-year proposal “Mechanisms of Weight Change in Women After Diagnosis of Breast Cancer” to the KU Cancer Center on March 21, 2008.
11. John Colombo submitted a new, two-month conference proposal “Clinical Trials and Maternal Infant Outcomes Workshop â Satellite to ISSFAL 2008” to Meade Johnson and Company on March 30, 2008.
12. Jeong Choi submitted a new, five-year proposal “Multi-Tiered Parent Support Enhanced with eLearning for Young Children’s Behavior” to NIH in response to their 2008 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award Program (DP2), on March 31, 2008.
13. Susan Kemper submitted her fourth-year, progress report “Dual Task Costs to Adults’ Language Production” to NIA on April 1, 2008.
14. Michael Vitevitch submitted his fifth-year, progress report “Processing Neighbors in Speech Perception and Production” to NIDCD on April 1, 2008.
15. Dean Williams submitted his fourth-year progress report “Laboratory Models of Maladaptive Escape Behavior” to NICHD on April 1, 2008.
16. Jean Ann Summers and Matthew Stowe submitted a five-year proposal “The Whole L.I.V.E.S. Research and Knowledge Translation Center for Individuals with Disabilities” to DE/OSERS/NIDRR on April 1, 2008.
17. Howard Wills, Debra Kamps and Charles Greenwood submitted their fifth-year grant performance report “Secondary and Tertiary Level Intervention in School-Wide Positive Behavior Support Systems: Experimental Studies in Research to Practice” to DE/OSERS/OSEP on April 4, 2008.
18. Sara Ferguson submitted a new, one-year proposal “Intelligibility Accentedness of Foreign-Accented Speech for Older and Younger Listeners” to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association on April 4, 2008.
19. Judith Carta and Steve Warren, in collaboration with John Borkowski at Notre Dame, submitted their third-year continuation “Preventing Child Maltreatment Through a Cellular-Phone Technology-based Parenting Program” to CDC on April 7, 2008.
20. Charles Greenwood and Jay Buzhardt submitted their third-year grant performance report “Effects of Progress Monitoring by National Web-based Technology on the Intervention Results of Infants with/without Disabilities - Ages Birth to Three” to DE/OSERS/OSEP on April 18, 2008.
21. Wayne Sailor and Amy McCart submitted their third-year grant performance report “Tertiary Intervention: the K-I Centers” to DE/OSERS/OSEP on April 18, 2008.
22. Cheryl Utley submitted her second-year grant performance report “Making Ecobehavioral Assessment Tools Web-based in Support of Response to Intervention” to DE/OSERS/OSEP on April 18, 2008.
23. Dale Walker and Steven Warren submitted their second-year grant performance report “Center for Promoting Language and Literacy Readiness in Early Childhood” to DE/OSERS/OSEP on April 18, 2008.
24. Chris Smith submitted a three-month supplement proposal “Kids Crew: The Independence USD 446 Community Learning Center” to Independence USD on April 21, 2008.
25. Chris Smith submitted a new, three-month proposal “Kansas Early Head Start Proposal-Hard to Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project” to the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) on April 21, 2008.
26. Susan Bashinski submitted a new five-year proposal “Kansas State Deaf-Blind Project” to DE/OSERS/OSEP in response to their Technical Assistance and Dissemination To Improve Services and Results for Children with DisabilitiesâState Technical Assistance Projects To Improve Services and Results for Children Who Are Deaf-Blind competition on April 24, 2008.
27. Jane Wegner submitted her fifth-year grant performance report “Augmentative and Alternative Communication in the Schools: Leadership and Access (ACTS) to DE/OSERS/OSEP on April 25, 2008.
28. Wendy Parent submitted a new, two-year proposal “Life After High School: Enhancing Employment Outcomes for Transition-Aged Youth with Disabilities” to the W.T. Grant Foundation on April 28, 2008.
29. Stephen Fawcett, Jerry Schultz and Jomella Thompson submitted a new, one-year supplement “Field-testing Implementation of Technical Supports for Substance Abuse Coalitions Adapted to Address Health Disparities in Rural Midwestern Communities” to NIDA on April 28, 2008.
30. Mabel Rice submitted her fourth-year continuation “Pediatric HIV/Aids Cohort Study (PHACS)” to Tulane University, prime contractor to NIDCD, on April 30, 2008.
31. Peter Smith and John Colombo submitted the 42nd year progress report “Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (KIDDRC)” to NICHD on May 1, 2008.
32. Katherine Froehlich-Grobe and Lauren Aaronson (KU Medical Center) submitted their fourth-year progress report “A Randomized Exercise Trial for Wheelchair Users” to NICHD on May 1, 2008.
33. Mabel Rice, in collaboration with Catherine Taylor, Curtin University, Australia, and Shelly Smith, University of Nebraska Medical Center, submitted her seventh-year continuation “Twins and Singletons with Specific Language Impairments” to NIDCD on May 1, 2008.
34. Kathryn Saunders submitted her third-year progress report “Recombinative Generalization of Within-syllable Units in MR” to NICHD on May 1, 2008.
35. Joe Donnelly, Bryan Smith, Richard Washburn, Debra Sullivan, Cheryl Gibson and Matthew Mayo submitted their ninth-year progress report “Long-Term Exercise, Weight Loss and Energy Balance” to NIDDK on May 1, 2008.
36. Joe Donnelly, Bryan Smith, Richard Washburn, J. Leon Greene, Debra Sullivan, Cheryl Gibson and Matthew Mayo submitted their second-year progress report “Prevention of Obesity in YMCA After School Programs” to NIDDK on May 1, 2008.
37. Joe Donnelly, Bryan Smith, Richard Washburn, Debra Sullivan, Cheryl Gibson, Matthew Mayo, Robert Lee and Christie Befort submitted their second-year progress report “Equivalent Weight Loss for Phone and Clinic Weight Management Programs” to NIDDK on May 1, 2008.
38. Amanda Reichard submitted a new, three-year proposal “KAN-DO: Kansas Communities Creating and Sustaining Universal Preventive Screening Access” to HHS/CDC on May 2, 2008.
39. Jane Wegner submitted her final report “The Communication and Autism Project (CAP) to DE/OSERS/OSEP on May 2, 2008.
40. Rachel Freeman submitted a new 10-month proposal “Promoting Social and Academic Success using a Multi-tier System of Supports: Kansas State-wide Positive Behavior Support” to KsDE on May 7, 2008.
41. David Lindeman, in collaboration with Suzanne Hawley, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita and Dale Hesdorffer, Columbia University, submitted a new, three-year proposal “Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities Among Children with Epilepsy in Rural Populations” to AUCD on May 9, 2008.
42. Glen White submitted his second-year continuation “Implementing Evidence-based Interventions” to KsH&E on May 15, 2008.
43. Steve Schroeder, Nancy Brady and Matthew Reese, in collaboration with Liliana Mayo and Judith LeBlanc, Centro Ann Sullivan del Peru, and David Richman, University of Illinois, submitted a new, two-year proposal “Early Prevention of Aberrant Behavior in Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Peru” to NIH-Fogarty International Center on May 16, 2008.
44. Ric Steele submitted his semi-annual report “Effectiveness of a Treatment for Pediatric Obesity” to HHS/HRSA on May 16, 2008.
1. Kathryn Saunders and John Colombo will resubmit their five-year training proposal “Postdoctoral Training in Translational IDD Research” to NICHD on May 25, 2008.
2. Jerry Rea will submit his fourth-year continuation “SEK Pilot Project to Replicate the Oregon Model of Intervention with Antisocial Youth Families” to KsSRS on May 31, 2008.
3. Steve Warren and Marc Fey, in collaboration with Paul Yoder at Vanderbilt University, will submit their fourth-year continuation “Effects of Intensity of Early Communication Intervention” to NICHD on June 1, 2008.
4. Steve Fawcett and Jerry Schultz will submit their second-year continuation “Testing the Community Change Model with Substance Abuse Coalitions” to NIDA on June 1, 2008.
5. Sara Sack will submit her third-year continuation “Expanding Assistive Technology Reutilization Efforts to Include Organizational, Navigational and High Cost Technologies” to DE-OSERS-NIDRR on June 1, 2008.
6. Susan Bashinski will submit her ninth-year continuation “Inclusive Network for Kansas (INKS)” to KsDE on June 2, 2008.
7. Dave Lindeman will submit his ninth-year continuation “KITS-Kansas Inservice Training System” to KsDE on June 2, 2008.
8. Wendy Parent will submit her fourth-year continuation “Women’s Educational Equity Program” to DE-WEAA on June 2, 2008.