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Clinical Translational Core


Leann Smith DaWalt, PhD

Leann Smith DaWalt, PhD
Co-Core Director

Leann Smith DaWalt joined the Waisman Center in 2006 as a postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Marsha Mailick, PhD, and Jan Greenberg, PhD. After completing her fellowship in 2008 she became a Waisman Center investigator and co-PI of the Lifespan Family Research Program. DaWalt‘s research focuses on the impact of intellectual and developmental disability on the family system and the role of the family and community in supporting development for individuals with disabilities across the lifespan.

She is the PI of several intervention studies focused on teens and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  Her work centers on translating the results of longitudinal research into timely and effective treatments and services for individual and families.  She also serves as director of the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at the Waisman Center.

DaWalt earned a doctoral degree in developmental psychology from the University of Notre Dame in 2006.

Maureen S. Durkin, PhDMaureen S. Durkin, PhD
ore Director

Durkin is the Evan and Marion Helfaer Professor of Public Health and Chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences. She is an internationally renowned epidemiologist, serving as the Lead Investigator of the World Health Organization-UNICEF Report on Developmental Delays, Disabilities and Disorders. Her research focuses on the prevalence and risk factors of ASD, cerebral palsy and other IDD, as well as racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in prevalence, access to services and health outcomes of individuals with IDD. She has extensive expertise and experience in the design and implementation of longitudinal birth cohort studies and case control studies of IDD, including biospecimen collection and recruitment and retention of diverse and under-represented populations. She is the PI on two major CDC funded projects to strengthen public health surveillance of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and support effective public health planning and policies.