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Developmental disabilities center established at Washington University
Date:7/20/2010

Improving the lives of infants and children with developmental disabilities will be the focus of Washington University's new Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (WUIDDRC).

The center, established with a five-year, nearly $6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will focus on research to prevent and treat developmental disabilities in children. Special emphasis will be placed on clinical and translational research as well as on reaching out to families and the community with resources and services.

"Developmental disabilities are very challenging for families," says Terrie E. Inder, MD, PhD, director of the WUIDDRC and professor of pediatrics, of radiology and of neurology and a neonatal specialist at St. Louis Children's Hospital. "Our long-term goal is to provide better care to children in our area through research, advocacy and better clinical services."

Many families with children who have developmental disabilities receive services from the state in which they live, however, those services have been limited due to budget constraints, Inder says. The WUIDDRC will work closely with the State of Missouri, and a member of the center will assist state committees with recent research findings to guide future directions of services.

In addition, the WUIDDRC has reached out to community partners such as the Missouri Foundation for Health; Ranken-Jordan - A Specialty Pediatric Hospital; the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of Missouri; the Institute for Human Development in Kansas City, Mo.; and several other programs in Missouri to engage them in the center's services and develop more active collaborations. This will enhance communication of research needs to the WUIDDRC from these state providers and of research findings from the center to patients and families.

"The establishment of WUIDDRC is a tribute to exceptional leadership,
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Contact: Beth Miller
millerbe@wustl.edu
314-286-0119
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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