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The Children's National Research Institute


DC-IDDRC Core Services

The District of Columbia Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (DC-IDDRC) supports eight areas of multidisciplinary and translational intellectual and developmental disabilities research through its six scientific cores, which are used by more than 90 NIH-funded investigators. These scientists, at Children’s National Hospital, George Washington University, Georgetown University and Howard University investigate how the healthy brain develops and acquires mature functions, as well as disorders that limit growth and cause damage to the brain.

Recruitment of New Investigators

At present Children’s National's DC-IDDRC only services federally funded (NIH/NSF/DOD) grants. Junior faculty members who are applying for their first federal grant but are not yet funded are the only potential exceptions. New investigators are accepted into the DC-IDDRC through a two-step process:

  • Prospective investigators submit a one-page summary of the project describing its relevance to intellectual and developmental disabilities and the need for support from core services. Applicants must document current Institutional Review Board (IRB)/Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval if relevant, and will be requested to supply documentation of renewal of these approvals.
  • The Steering Committee determines if the project meets Children’s DC-IDDRC criteria and warrants the use of one or more core facilities. If the project is approved, the Steering Committee submits a recommendation to the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). In case of initial rejection by the Steering Committee, an appeal can be made to the DC-IDDRC director. Advice concerning resolution of conflicts will be sought from department heads, officials of Children’s, George Washington University, Georgetown University and/or NICHD.


Learn more about the directors, administrative faculty and committees of the DC-IDDRC.

Executive Committee

  • Madison Berl, Ph.D. — Co-Director, Neurobehavioral Evaluation Core; Associate Director, T32 Training Program in IDDR, Children's National
  • William Gaillard, M.D. — Associate Director, DC-IDDRC; Director, Animal and Human Imaging Core, Children's National
  • Vittorio Gallo, Ph.D. — Chief Research Officer, Children's National; Scientific Director, Children's National Research Institute; Director, DC-IDDRC; Director, Center for Neuroscience Research, Children's National
  • Gerard A. Gioia, Ph.D. — Director, Neurobehavioral Core, Children's National
  • Lisa Guay-Woodford, M.D. — Director, Clinical Translational Core; Director, Center for Translational Science; Director, Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Children's National (CTSI-CN)
  • Kerstin Hildebrandt, MSHS — Administrator, DC-IDDRC, Children's National
  • Jyoti Jaiswal, Ph.D. — Director, Cell and Tissue Microscopy Core, Children's National
  • Susan Knoblach, Ph.D. — Co-Director, Genomics Core, Children's National
  • Hiroki Morizono, Ph.D. — Co-Director, Bioinformatics Core, Children's National
  • Anastas Popratiloff, Ph.D. — Co-Director, Cell and Tissue Microscopy Core, GWU
  • John Van Meter, Ph.D. — Co-Director, Animal and Human Imaging Core, GU
  • Eric Vilain, M.D., Ph.D. — Director, Genomics and Bioinformatics Core; Director, Center for Genetic Medicine Research, Children's National
  • Paul Wang, Ph.D. — Co-Director, Animal and Human Imaging Core, HU

External Advisory Committee

Leonard Abbeduto, Ph.D. 
Director, UC Davis MIND Institute 
Tsakopoulos-Vismara Endowed Chair 
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 
School of Medicine UC Davis MIND Institute

Michael J. Friedlander, Ph.D. 
Executive Director, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech Carilion (VTC)
Vice President, Health Sciences and Technology, Virginia Tech
Senior Dean, Research, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Professor, Biological Sciences, College of Science, Virginia Tech
Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, College of Engineering, Virginia Tech
Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Elizabeth Dykens, Ph.D. 
Co-Director, University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities
Professor, Psychology and Human Development
Professor, Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University

Michael Robinson, Ph.D.
Director (MPI), Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center 
Director, Training Program in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
Professor, Pediatrics
Professor, Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics
Children’s Hospital, Philadelphia University of Pennsylvania

Other National IDDRC Programs and Sponsors

Learn more about other IDDRC programs and sponsors in the United States.