Duke Autism Center of Excellence Establishes Community Engagement Advisory Board

September 17, 2020

14-member Board will provide perspectives and advice to inform research priorities


Contact: Catherine Jarboe, catherine.jarboe@duke.edu

DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development has named 14 members to its newly established Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) Community Engagement Advisory Board. The ACE Community Engagement Advisory Board will partner with the Center to provide perspectives and advice to support community-engaged research priorities, increasing the impact of scientific discoveries on the daily lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and their families.

“Our ACE Community Engagement Advisory Board will support inclusive, authentic, and meaningful research by advising us on stakeholders’ concerns and perspectives,” said Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development. “In particular, the Board’s efforts will focus on our National Institutes of Health-funded ACE study, a variety of investigations underway that seek to develop improved ways of detecting, diagnosing, and treating children diagnosed with both ASD and ADHD.” 

Members represent diverse stakeholder perspectives from the ASD and ADHD community, including self-advocates, parents, educators, public policy leaders, community advocates, healthcare providers, and transition to adulthood/business leaders. Members include:

  • Katherine Boeck, Council Member, NC Council on Developmental Disabilities;
  • Jeff Day, Principal Consultant Pre-Sales, FICO;
  • Kristen Dorsey-Leake, M.D., Medical Director, Rural Health Group;
  • Danai Kasambira Fannin, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Associate Professor, NC Central University;
  • Shelagh Kenney, Deputy Director, Center for Death Penalty Litigation;
  • Katharine Kollins, President, Southeastern Wind Coalition;
  • Jillian LaSerna, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, UNC Charlotte and Member, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools Board of Education;
  • Sharon Loza, Ph.D., Early Intervention Branch Head, NC Division of Public Health and
  • Member, NC Infant and Young Child Mental Health Association;
  • Miles Ndukwe, Business Analytics Consultant, PNC and Duke University Alumnus;
  • Portia Pope, Director, Durham Children's Developmental Services Agency, NC Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Tracey Sherriff, Executive Director, Autism Society of NC;
  • Jill Sirko, Communications Coordinator, Disability Rights NC;
  • Caroline Sullivan, Executive Director, NC Business Committee for Education; and
  • Madhav Swaminathan, M.D., FASE, FAHA, Professor of Anesthesiology, Duke University School of Medicine

The Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, an NIH Autism Center of Excellence, is dedicated to helping each individual with autism and related developmental disabilities reach his or her full potential, allowing society to benefit from the talents and diversity that persons with autism offer. With the support of Duke University, research grants, and philanthropy, we offer state-of-the-art interdisciplinary clinical care, conduct cutting-edge research, inspire and train the next generation of scientists and clinicians, and partner with the community to impact policy and services. The Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development is a part of the Duke University School of Medicine and the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.