MSU awards seed-funding for autism research

February 28, 2014
CEPSE's Joshua Plavnick

CEPSE’s Joshua Plavnick

Michigan State University has awarded seed-funding for six multi-disciplinary research projects to explore new approaches to autism, intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities.

College of Education researchers, most from the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education (CEPSE), will serve as principal and co-investigators on three of the six major projects.

These researchers are:

  • Connie Sung, assistant professor (CEPSE)
  • Jodene Fine, assistant professor (CEPSE)
  • John Bell, associate professor (CEPSE)
  • Mark Reckase, University Distinguished Professor (CEPSE)
  • Joshua Plavnick, assistant professor (CEPSE)
  • Troy Mariage, associate professor (CEPSE)
  • June Chen, Hegarty Fellow MSU-DOCTRID program, office of rehabilitation and disability studies

“Our researchers in education, human medicine, social sciences, communications and many other disciplines have been studying underlying causes and effective interventions for these disabilities for many years,” said Michael Leahy, professor in the MSU’s Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education (CEPSE).

Leahy and Nigel Paneth, University Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Pediatrics, are co-directors of Michigan State University’s new initiative on Research on Autism, Intellectual and other Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (RAIND).

“Especially in the last decade, we have also been working across the world with various dedicated research groups, such as the DOCTRID Research Institute in Ireland, where we have partnered with the Daughters of Charity Service and ten Irish universities,” said Leahy. “We hope this research funding initiative will take our work to the next level, allowing us to have a major impact in meeting these significant challenges.”

Chosen through a competitive process that included external reviewers, each project is categorized in one or more of five research areas:

For details on the specific research areas, visit the Research in Autism, Intellectual and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities website.