Intellectual Developmental Disabilities Research Center

Administrative Core Faculty & Staff


Bradley Schlaggar, MD, PhD, Program Co-Director

Dr. Schlaggar serves as Co-Program Director of the IDDRC. He shares responsibility with Dr. Ali Fatemi for the intellectual leadership, overall conduct of this Center, and for the allocation of resources, along with the Center’s other Executive Committee members, Drs. Cataldo, Johnston, Reeves, Bastian and Kaufman. He is the president and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute and holds the Zanvyl Krieger Faculty Endowed Chair at Kennedy Krieger.  He is also a professor of neurology and pediatrics at The Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Schlaggar, a child neurologist and developmental cognitive neuroscientist, is a highly sought-after lecturer. He has published well over 150 research papers and is recognized as a highly-cited (i.e., in the top 1 percent) investigator. He is a co-founder and vice president of the Flux Society for Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Dr. Schlaggar has been recognized with numerous awards for research, mentorship, clinical care, and community service, including the Philip R. Dodge Young Investigator Award from the Child Neurology Society, the Norman Geschwind Award for Behavioral Neurology from the American Academy of Neurology, the E. Mead Johnson Award from the Society for Pediatric Research, and the Frank Hatch Award for Outstanding Community Service from the John Merck Foundation. Dr. Schlaggar also serves as the Program Director for the NINDS funded Child Neurologist Career Development Program, a national K12 program. Dr. Schlaggar has been involved with the IDDRC network for a number of years, having previously served as the Co-Director of the IDDRC at Washington University in St. Louis from 2012-2018. As Co-Program Director of the IDDRC at Kennedy Krieger Institute, he works closely with other members of the leadership team in establishing Center priorities and policies.

 

S. Ali Fatemi, M.D., M.B.A., Program Co-Director
Dr. Fatemi serves as the Co-Program Director of the IDDRC in addition to his roles as the Chief Medical Officer at Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Director of the Division of Neurogenetics and the Moser Center for Leukodystrophies. He is also an investigator at the Hugo W. Moser Research Institute, as well as Associate Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Fatemi is a founding member of the Board of Directors of a rare disease network called ALDConnect, an all-inclusive multinational consortium for ALD, designed to harmonize multicenter data collection and conduct multicenter clinical trials. He is a member of the Child Neurology Society, the International Child Neurology Association, the Society for Neuroscience, the American Academy of Neurology, and the American Society of Neurochemistry. Dr. Fatemi has served as an ad hoc reviewer for numerous scientific journals and grant study sections. He also serves as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the United Leukodystrophy Foundation, the Board of Directors of ALDConnect, a non-profit international consortium, the PCORI Rare Disease Task Force, and as a member of Drug Safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB) of several clinical trials. With more than 18 years of experience in the field, Dr. Fatemi’s experitise in leukodystrophies and other rare neurogenetic disorders affecting neurodevelopment positions him well to co-direct the Center alongside Dr. Schlaggar.

 

Heather Volk, Ph.D., Co-Director
Dr. Volk serves as the Co-Director of the IDDRC. Dr. Volk is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  She is the Co-Director of the Psychiatric Epidemiology Training program, supported by an Institutional Training grant (T32) from the National Institute of Mental Health and Associate Director for Environmental Epidemiology in the Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research. She also holds a joint appointment in the School’s Department of Environmental Health and Engineering. Broadly, Dr. Volk’s research seeks to identify gene-environment interactions for neurodevelopmental disorders, and more specifically, on the effects of prenatal and early-life air pollution exposure on risk for autism spectrum disorder, inattention, and delayed cognitive development. Genetics, disease biomarkers, and environmental exposure biomarkers are incorporated into the evaluation of these relationships to examine underling biological mechanisms, improve exposure metrics, and evaluate susceptibility. She is the PI of several NIH-funded research grants which examine how air pollution exposure effects brain development, and leads investigations into genetic, epigenetic, and environmental risks across several cohort and case-control studies for ASD.  Dr. Volk additionally serves as co-PI for the Autism Spectrum Disorder Enriched Risk ECHO Cohort, a collaboration of nine cohorts of infants at high-familal risk for ASD.

 

Michael F. Cataldo, Ph.D., Director Emeritus
Michael F. Cataldo serves as the Director Emeritus of the overall grant and the Administrative Core.  Dr. Cataldo has over 40 years of experience in research and research administration and is recognized internationally as a pioneer in the development of the field of Behavioral Pediatrics. As Director of KKI’s Department of Behavioral Psychology, he has built what is perhaps the largest treatment program in the world targeting severe problem behaviors of individuals with IDD. He is the Lawless Family Chair and Professor of Behavioral Biology at the JHUSOM (with additional appointments in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences), and a Senior Vice President of the KKI. He is a Past- President of the Society of Behavioral Medicine as well as the American Psychological Association’s Divisions on the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

 

Joan Kaufman, Ph.D., Executive Committee Member
Joan Kaufman is the Director of Research at the Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress at Kennedy Krieger Institute.  She also holds appointments in the Department of Psychiatry and the School of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University.  Dr. Kaufman’s research focuses on risk and resilience in maltreated children, as well as the understanding of the effects of early adversity on later development and factors that modify outcomes. Her investigations utilize clinical assessment, neuroimaging, and genetic research methods.

 

 

Amy J. Bastian, Ph.D., PT, Executive Committee Member
Amy Bastian is a member of the IDDRC’s Executive Committee and also serves within the IDDRC as director of the Behavior Science Core’s Motion Analysis component. She is the Chief Science Officer of the Kennedy Krieger Institute and directs its Motion Analysis Laboratory. She is a professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins. As an expert in movement disorders, Dr. Bastian provides consultations regarding quantification of movement, as well as access to the expertise and facilities available through her laboratory.

 

 

Roger Reeves, Ph.D., Executive Committee Member
Roger Reeves is a member of the IDDRC’s Executive Committee. He is a professor in the JHUSOM’s Department of Physiology and the Institute for Genetic Medicine. He has a distinguished record of research productivity, including seminal contributions to the understanding of the mechanisms contributing to the various phenotypic characteristics of Down syndrome. He has extensive experience with studies of transgenic mice and, in addition to his more basic research, he co-directs the Down Syndrome Cognition Project with Dr. Stephanie Sherman, Emory University School of Medicine. They have established a network of clinical sites across the United States, including four IDDRCs, to validate and refine cognitive test batteries for Down syndrome.

 

Maureen van Stone, Esq., M.S.
Maureen van Stone is the director of the University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute and the director of Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law), a MCDD community-based program.  Project HEAL is Maryland’s only medical-legal partnership, which provides advocacy and legal services to low-income families and children with disabilities who receive services at Kennedy Krieger.

 

 

 

Erin F. Jones, B.A., Project Manager
Erin Jones is the Center’s Project Manager and provides logistical, administrative, and research-related support to Center leadership and supported investigators.  She also serves as the Manager of Research Operations in the Department of Neuropsychology, where she oversees all day-to-day functions of the Neuropsychology Research Lab.

 

 

 

Jennifer Hann, B.A., Administrative Coordinator
Jennifer Hann is the Center’s Administrative Coordinator and provides administrative support to the Center’s Director, Co-Director, and Core Faculty. She also serves as an administrative coordinator in the Department of Neuropsychology.