Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center

The Dole building on a sunny summer day with blue sky and clouds.

The Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Center (KIDDRC) supports high quality, high impact basic and applied research within themes that are relevant to the etiology, identification, prevention, and treatment of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The Center is focused on four basic themes:

  • Language, Communication Disorders and Cognition
  • Risk, Intervention, and Prevention
  • Neurobiology of IDD
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology of Early Development

The overall aims of the KIDDRC are to promote and advocate for IDD within the research community at the University of Kansas. The KIDDRC leadership supports the NICHD IDD mission by promoting collaborations among KIDDRC investigators across the various sites of the Center and with other IDDRCs, and advocating for IDD-relevant research and investigators at the Kansas University Lawrence campus (KU-L), the Kansas University Medical Center (KUMC), and the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project (JGCP) sites.  The KIDDRC also supports IDD research at the University of Kansas by providing cost-effective, generative, and high quality core services and resources. We maintain scientific cores whose personnel are expert in, and committed to, effective and efficient solutions to research problems. These cores, which are driven directly by the research themes of the KIDDRC portfolio, enhance the quality and quantity of science generated by KIDDRC projects. There are five Core units within the Center:

  • Administrative Core coordinates and integrates services and functions across the three physical locations of the KIDDRC (KU-L, KUMC, and JGCP). It also provides scientific leadership and governance mechanisms to ensure that scientific cores are responsive to changing needs and new scientific directions.
  • The Clinical Translational Core provides KIDDRC investigators with several tools for enhancing translational research, addressed broadly by facilitating contact with individuals with IDD for research. The core provides access to an integrated repository and to other regional databases, maintains and expands registries for access to populations of children with well-characterized IDD and typically-developing (TD) children, and facilitates contact with community organizations and facilities that serve populations of interest to projects in the KIDDRC portfolio.
  • The Preclinical Models Core seeks to facilitate translational applications by assisting in the development of cellular and organismal models of IDD. This is done by providing infrastructure and resources needed to create and characterize laboratory models of IDD, and by extending KIDDRC’s prior capabilities for analyzing behavior, anatomy, physiology, and gene expression. This latter goal includes cutting-edge genome editing technologies to aid in generating cellular models using patient–derived cells.
  • The Clinical Outcomes/Biobehavioral Technology Core is designed to provide high-quality, cost-effective support to KIDDRC research programs requiring quantitative measurement of human neurobehavioral and behavioral outcomes, as well as biological correlates. The CBC includes tools for generating, collecting, automating, and validating such measures.
  • The Research Design and Analysis Core promotes appropriate scientific design and analysis of all research conducted within the themes of the KIDDRC. This core supports the analysis of data from both preclinical and clinical research through state-of-the-art statistical and bioinformatics methods.

The center also includes a specific research component, which is project that seeks to evaluate the efficacy of multimodal intervention for language in a group of children with autism and minimal verbal skills. This study is comparing results from an experimental intervention to a treatment-as-usual condition, and comparing two intensities of the multimodal intervention. The study will also investigate how proposed variables measured at the outset of intervention predict response to treatment.

The KIDDRC is committed to generating and synthesizing new knowledge concerning the etiology, identification, prevention and treatment of IDD at all levels, from the molecular to the environmental.

Project details

  • Primary Investigator: John Colombo

  • Project start Date: 06/01/2020

  • Project finish Date: 05/31/2022



  • National Institutes of Health

  • Award Number: 3U54HD090216-04S1

Additional information