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The Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center’s research covers a wide range of topics related to IDD.

From its earliest days, the Shriver Center has recognized that intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are complex phenomena that require an integrated, interdisciplinary approach.

We conduct translational and applied research in collaboration with audiologists, behavior therapists, special educators, speech-language professionals, and members of other disciplines that provide clinical and/or educational services to persons with IDD and their families.

Several areas of research are included below.


CANDI is dedicated to biomarker discovery, neuroimaging, and treatment studies of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and intellectual and developmental disabilities including autism and fragile X.

Healthy People/Healthy Communities Research

Our current work is focused on the understanding and promotion of healthy lifestyles to improve nutrition, increase physical activity and fitness, and to prevent and treat obesity.

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In the LEAD Lab, we believe that autism is a medical, whole-body disorder that is impacted by individual, interpersonal, institutional, community, and societal factors. Through a health equity lens, we study the factors that impact the lives of autistic individuals and their families. With over 10 million dollars in federal funding, we conduct clinical trials, implementation, intervention, and descriptive studies, with a focus on equity in early autism diagnosis and treatment.

Neurobehavioral Technologies Research

We perform research on biological processes and systems that may be deficient or dysfunctional in persons with IDD.

Neuroinformatics Research

The neuroinformatics research carried out by our program includes CANDIShare and ReproNim.

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Sibling Support Research Program

The project explores the impact of mental illness on typically developing siblings and caregivers of children with psychiatric needs.

Participate in a study

Learn how to get involved

Do you want to make a difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities? Please consider participating in one of our research studies!