Intellectual Developmental Disabilities Research Center

Clinical Translational Core Faculty

Ali Fatemi, M.D., M.B.A.
Ali Fatemi is a core co-director. Ali Fatemi serves as the Co-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 Associate Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University. With more than 18 years of experience in the field, Dr. Fatemi’s experitise is in leukodystrophies and other rare neurogenetic disorders affecting neurodevelopment. His research encompasses bench and clinical research. Dr. Fatemi’s laboratory focuses on oligodendroglial biology, cell-based therapies, and nano-medicine therapies in disorders of myelination. His clinical research focuses on X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, and genetic causes of cerebral palsy.


Robert L. Findling, M.D.
Robert Findling is a core co-director. He is the Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the JHUSOM. He has extensive experience with the conduct of clinical trials for children with a variety of developmental and psychiatric disorders. Dr. Findling brings tremendous expertise in evaluation and care of a variety of behavioral disorders to our center, along with his credentials as a trialist.


Sujatha Kannan, M.D
Sujatha Kannan is a core co-director.  She is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at the Johnson Hopkins University School of Medicine as well as a Research Scientist at the Hugo Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger.



Michael V. Johnston, M.D
Michael Johnston is core faculty. He is a professor of neurology and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHUSOM) and the Chief Medical Officer of the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI). He also directs KKI’s Clinical Trials Unit (CTU), a program that manages a variety of industry and NIH sponsored clinical trials. His career has spanned both laboratory and clinical research related to neurodevelopmental disorders and he has headed an active laboratory focused on neuroprotection for brain injury caused by asphyxia and related conditions.


Jacqueline Harris (Weissman), M.D.
Jacqueline Harris is core faculty.  She is the director of the Tuberous Sclerosis Clinic at Kennedy Krieger Institute and an assistant professor in neurology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Harris is interested in genetic and epigenetic causes of neurdevelopmental disorders – particularly intellectual disability – and how specific genetic and epigenetic changes lead to specific neuroanatomic, neurophysiologic and cognitive phenotypes. She is also interested in developing specific cognitive profiles in genetic syndromes as potential outcome measures for trails and to help localize deficits. Most of her research is currently centered around Kabuki syndrome.


Luther Kalb, Ph.D.
Luther (Luke) Kalb is core faculty.  He is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University and works in the Department of Neuropsychology and the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Institute.  Dr. Kalb’s research focuses on improving mental health outcomes among vulnerable populations, particularly among youth with developmental disabilities. His research portfolio also extends to assessing the effectiveness of community-based mental health programs, psychometrics and measure development, developing methods to address selection bias, and use of health information systems and emerging technologies to improve clinical care and research methodologies.


Mary Blue, Ph.D.
Mary Blue is core faculty. She also directs the Brain Histology and Imaging Facility at Kennedy Krieger and is an associate professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.




Richard Jones, Ph.D.
Richard Jones is core faculty.  He is currently the administrative laboratory manager for the Genetics Laboratories at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, as well as a research associate in neurology at Johns Hopkins. He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry and the Clinical Laboratory Management Association.



Mingyao Ying, Ph.D.
Mingyao Ying is core faculty. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine




Gayane Yenokyan, M.D., Ph.D.
Gayane Tenokyan is core faculty. She is an Assistant Scientist in the Department of Biostatistics and an Interim Executive Director of the Johns Hopkins Biostatistics Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is the lead statistician on a number of statistical projects and has mentored the junior faculty and graduate students at the center.



Toby Gordon, Sc.D.
Toby Gordon is core faculty. She is an Associate Professor with expertise in the areas of healthcare policy, management of hospitals and health systems, and technology commercialization. Toby has joint appointments in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Health Policy and Management and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Department of Surgery. Toby serves as the Academic Program Director of the Healthcare Management Programs, directs the Discovery to Market technology commercialization course and is the Deputy Director for Business Strategies for the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is currently the section editor of Medical Technology for the journal Surgical Innovation, and serves as a healthcare expert for the European Commission.


Nicola Heller, Ph.D.
Nicola Heller is core faculty. She is an assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine and allergy and clinical immunology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.