Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center | UC Davis MIND Institute

IDDRC Research Center

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center

The UC Davis MIND Institute is the administrative home for the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC).

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Innovative Research

The UC Davis MIND Institute is the administrative home for the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC). The mission of the MIND Institute IDDRC is to support interdisciplinary translational research on autism, fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, and other neurodevelopmental disabilities at UC Davis.

The IDDRC provides resources to its member scientists that are designed to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and accelerate the pace of translational research thereby moving the field closer to treatments and strategies for prevention of the disabilities that can be associated with condition such as autism, fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, and more. The MIND Institute IDDRC is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a component of the National Institutes of Health (grant number: P50 HD103526).

The MIND Institute IDDRC is one of 14 such centers in the United States. Established in 1963 by Congress as "centers of excellence" for research in intellectual and developmental disabilities, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers represent the nation's first and foremost sustained effort to prevent and treat disabilities through biomedical and behavioral research. The MIND Institute IDDRC is the newest member of this prestigious network, having earned the distinction in 2013. Other members of the network can be found here.

The MIND Institute IDDRC focuses its scientific efforts on three themes: Biobehavioral Characterization of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and Treatments for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Within each of these themes, our scientists focus on numerous conditions associated with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The MIND Institute IDDRC also provides support for more than 80 funded projects addressing these themes through five cores: Administrative Core, Clinical Translational Core, Biological and Molecular Analysis Core, Rodent Behavior Core, and Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, and Research Design Core.

The IDDRC is a center within the UC Davis MIND Institute. The IDDRC is fully integrated into and benefits from the outstanding faculty, staff, trainees, and resources of the MIND Institute and its internationally recognized research, clinical, educational, and outreach programs.

The IDDRC partners in numerous ways with many MIND Institute programs:

The MIND Institute IDDRC also draws on and contributes to the resources and expertise of other centers and units at UC Davis. Through special arrangements, our scientists receive assistance and subsidies to access the expertise and services of the Center for Molecular and Genetic Imaging Imaging Research Center Institute for Regenerative Cures, and Mouse Biology Program

The MIND Institute IDDRC also collaborates with the faculty and programs:

IDDRC Directors
  • IDDRC Co-Director

    Judy A. Van de Water, Ph.D

    Judy Van de Water is a professor in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology in the Department of Internal Medicine, and Associate Director for Biological Sciences at the MIND Institute. She is an internationally recognized immunologist who has conducted ground-breaking research on the roles of immune dysfunction and autoantibody production in the etiology of autism, including the effects of maternal autoantibodies during gestation. She is currently translating her maternal autoantibody biomarker for autism risk into a commercially available diagnostic test and developing potential therapeutics. She is also the director of the UC Davis Center for Children’s Environmental Health and conducts research on the environmental factors contributing to altered neurodevelopment and immune dysregulation.

  • IDDRC Co-Director

    Melissa Bauman, Ph.D.

    Melissa Bauman is a full professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She is a behavioral neuroscientist who uses preclinical models to evaluate risk factors and develop novel therapeutics for neurodevelopmental disabilities. Her current research focuses on understanding how changes in the prenatal environment, particularly the maternal-fetal immune environment, increase risk for neurodevelopmental disabilities. She also has a strong commitment to advancing women's careers in science and medicine and previously served as the director of the UC Davis Health Women in Medicine and Health Sciences (WIMHS) program. She has been selected for several prestigious leadership training programs, including the UC Women’s Initiative for Professional Development (UCWI) and both the early and mid-career Association of American Medical Colleges Women Faculty Professional Development Seminars.

  • IDDRC Co-Director

    Leonard Abbeduto, Ph.D.

    Leonard Abbeduto is a distinguished professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UC Davis. Hehas been a UC Davis faculty member since 2011, following 24 years at the Waisman Center IDDRC in Wisconsin. His research is designed to describe, understand, and treat the linguistic, cognitive, and behavioral impairments associated with intellectual disabilities, especially fragile x, down syndrome, and autism. His current research is focused largely on the measurement of treatment efficacy and the development of technology-delivered treatments. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, commentaries, and books. His program of research has been funded virtually continuously by NICHD since 1985. He is the founding PI/PD of the MIND Institute IDDRC.

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