I study the epidemiology of autism, cerebral palsy, fragile X syndrome, and other developmental disabilities. I am currently an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and I work at the Developmental Disabilities Branch at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. (Note: Any opinions I express here are mine and not those of my employer or affiliated institutions.)
Previously, I was in a T32 postdoctoral training program for developmental disability research at the Waisman Center. In the Lifespan Family Research Lab, much of my research involved functional and health outcomes for adults with developmental disabilities. I developed the Waisman Activities of Daily Living Scale, which is intended for adults with significant limitations. I created disabilitymeasures.org as a way to disseminate the W-ADL and other freely-available measures relevant to disability.
I also studied the prevalence and phenotype of CGG expansions of the FMR1 gene (i.e., fragile X premutation and “gray zone” carriers), including one utilizing the Marshfield Personalized Medicine Research Project.
When I was a PhD student in Population Health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, I worked as an epidemiologist and data manager for the Wisconsin site of the CDC Autism and Developmental Disability Monitoring (ADDM) Network. I’ve also been involved with disability screening in low and middle-income countries based on the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey – round 3.
My dissertation focused on incorporating dimensions of impairment, activity limitations, and participation restrictions into epidemiologic studies of disability and public health monitoring systems. One of my dissertation papers on the relationship between behavioral features of autism and and early diagnosis was funded by the Autism Science Foundation.