Letter From the Director

Marc Yudkoff, MD

In 1990 we established the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. Our purpose was to coordinate and expand the strong tradition of mental retardation-related research that these institutions had long sponsored. The IDDRC faculty includes prominent investigators who have made seminal discoveries in fields such as brain development, inborn errors of metabolism, myelin biology and the genetics of neurologic disease.

The center is directed by Marc Yudkoff, MD, Chief of the Division of Child Development and Rehabilitation Medicine, and by Michael Robinson, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Pharmacology. The objectives of the IDDRC are (1) to provide an organizational framework to foster and support research relevant to Intellectual and Developmental disabilities; (2) to provide key laboratory services to qualified investigators; (3) to provide support to young investigators in the field; (4) to serve an advocacy role to promote investigations related to mental retardation and the developmental disabilities; (5) to play an educational role by providing a forum at which investigators can enjoy the opportunity to exchange ideas.

In order to further these goals, the center sponsors a series of core laboratories that furnish services to qualified researchers at a discounted cost. The cores and their respective directors include:

All qualified researchers are encouraged to use the services provided by these core facilities. If you are interested in joining the IDDRC please contact Debbie Fulton at fultond@email.chop.edu or 215-590-3728 for more information or to apply for access to the cores.

A key role of the IDDRC is to encourage relevant research by sponsoring seminars, lectures and visiting professorships. The IDDRC established a Junior Investigator Award Program and a Pilot Project Program to support young investigators. Moreover, the IDDRC fosters efforts to improve methods for the diagnosis and treatment of Intellectual and Developmental disabilities. The center also sponsors an annual competition for a New Program Development Award that provides funding to young faculty members whose work shows special promise in terms of its importance to the field of mental retardation-related research.