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Scientific Cores

  • Cynthia Brandt

    Professor of Emergency Medicine and of Anesthesiology

    Dr. Brandt completed a general Preventive Medicine residency at Madigan Army Medical Center in 1989 and a post-doctoral fellowship sponsored by the National Library of Medicine at Yale School of Medicine in 1997. She is board certified in Preventive Medicine and Clinical Informatics. Her research is interdisciplinary and focuses on issues related to the design, development and use of informatics tools in the domain of clinical research, as well as health services research.

  • James Dziura

    Professor of Emergency Medicine and of Biostatistics and of Medicine (Endocrinology); Deputy Director, Yale Center for Analytical Sciences; Deputy Director, Yale Data Coordinating Center

    Jim is a Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at YMS. As a biostatistician at Yale since 2002 he has co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed articles with a diverse group of Yale investigators. Dr. Dziura also serves as the Deputy Director of both the Yale Center for Analytical Sciences (YCAS) and the Yale Data Coordinating Center (YDCC) in the Yale School of Public Health. He has been active in training young investigators, both individually (as a mentor and statistical resource for K-awardees, post-doctoral fellows, residents and Master’s students) and in the classroom (where he has developed a graduate-level course and several workshops on biostatistics in clinical research). His primary research interests are in the coordination of multicenter clinical trials. Over the past ten years he has overseen data coordinating and biostatistical efforts for several trials. Notably, he served as the PI of the data coordinating center for the RUPP Autism Network study of Guanfacine for the treatment of hyperactivity. He is the Director of the Data Coordinating Center for the Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials (ABC-CT), a multicenter longitudinal study developing reproducible experimental biomarkers (e.g. from EEG, eye tracking) for use as stratification factors and outcomes in clinical trials.He is a senior biostatistician (and unblinded statistician for the DSMB) for the Data Coordinating Center of a large pragmatic cluster-randomized trial for the prevention of serious fall injuries (STRIDE) in 6,000 older persons from 86 health care practices.

Prometheus Research

Data Management/NDAR submissions
Data management and submission to NIH/NIMH Data Repositories (e.g., NDAR) will be overseen by Prometheus Research. Prometheus has a wealth of experience in providing webnative data-management software to biomedical researchers investigating autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Its team specializes in designing and building systems capable of accelerating complex interdisciplinary research. Prometheus technology currently supports major research endeavors in autism, including grants from Autism Speaks and the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) as well as the development of NDAR’s essential Global Unique Identifier (GUID) algorithms. Many of these innovations also are made available to the open source software.

Click here to learn more about Prometheus.

Data Acquisition and Analysis Core (DAAC)

Seattle Children’s Research Institute - Sara Webb, PhD

Sara Webb
Sara Webb

Director, Data Acquisition and Analytics Core 

Sara Jane Webb, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington & Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Dr. Webb’s research focuses on the functional neurobiology and development of information processing in individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disorders, as well as in individuals with typical development. She currently uses EEG, event-related potentials (ERPs), eye-tracking, and behavioral measures to study how children encode, store, and retrieve information about visual images such as faces, and how these processes are impacted by developmental disruptions. She has significant experience in EEG data acquisition across multi-site projects, including the ACE GENDAAR Network and the FAST AS Trial. She has written the only methods paper in EEG and Autism and is director of the EEG Analytics Core for GENDAAR. As founder of the EEG/MEG in Autism Special Interest Group, Dr. Webb has significant experience in implementing EEG with children with ASD.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Webb.

Yale University - Frederick Shic, PhD

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Co-director, DAAC, Co-Director, Eye Tracking Workgroup 

Frederick Shic, PhD is Associate Professor in Pediatrics at University of Washington, an Investigator at the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and director of the Seattle Children’s Innovative Technologies Laboratory (SCITL). Dr. Shic has significant experience in using eye-tracking (ET) to study visual social attention in ASD, computational modeling to describe gaze patterns in terms of perceptual characteristics, the development of gaze contingent interactive technologies, and the development of specialized software applications for education, mental health, and children ASD. His experience includes large data handling, including both scientific data sets associated with experimental technologies such as eye tracking, as well as complex phenotypic data including behavioral assessment.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Shic.

Harvard Medical School - Susan Faja, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Faja studied Neuroscience at the University of Michigan before receiving her doctoral degree in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington in 2009. She completed an internship at UCLA in the developmental disabilities track and postdoctoral fellowships focused on clinical neuroscience at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Washington. Her research within the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience investigates brain development and treatment response in clinical populations. In particular, she employs brain and behavioral measurement of social perception and executive control in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disorders. A key focus of her work is translating existing training programs in the cognitive neuroscience literature for clinical use. An additional benefit of evaluating these interventions is the opportunity to directly test the plasticity of systems that have been implicated in the neurocognitive profile of ASD. She is also currently testing whether individual differences measured during cognitive tasks are meaningfully related to the social function and symptoms of young children with ASD and health outcomes of adults on the spectrum. By answering these questions, Dr. Faja will gain information about the risk factors and developmental sequences that are critical for development of ASD, other neurodevelopmental disorders, and typical development. In order to answer these questions, Dr. Faja’s lab seeks to improve the sensitivity of measurement used to capture the skills of individuals across a wide range of functioning.