Experts at Drexel University are available to comment for news stories about autism for Autism Awareness Month in April and throughout the year. The University’s A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, established in 2012, is the nation’s first autism research center focused on public health science.
Dr. Craig J. Newschaffer, director of the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, is a professor in Drexel’s School of Public Health.
- Expertise: Newschaffer is an epidemiologist studying the causes of autism spectrum disorders.
- Research: He directs the Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI), an NIH Autism Center of Excellence project following a cohort of mothers of children with autism at the start of subsequent pregnancies in order to reveal environmental and genetic risk factors for autism.
- Additional Credentials: Newschaffer is a member of the Science Advisory Board for Autism Speaks and serves on the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program’s Autism Research Program Integration Panel. He is a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology.
Dr. James E. Connell, the clinical director and a research fellow of the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute and an associate professor in Drexel’s School of Education, is a nationally and state certified school psychologist, and a board certified behavior analyst.
- Expertise and Research: Identifying the variables that influence adult behavior change in community settings. Research projects at Drexel focus on the widespread dissemination of evidence-based interventions in school and community settings.
Dr. Ellen Giarelli, an associate professor in Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions is an advanced-practice nurse with extensive research experience.
- Expertise and Research: Life-long medical, psychological, social and healthcare needs of people with genetic disorders diagnosed in childhood, including autism, that require life-long enhanced surveillance and self-management.
- Book: Giarelli is editor of Nursing of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-based Integrated Care across the Lifespan (Springer, 2012). This is the only text, to date, that addresses nursing care of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by examination professional nursing skills applied to the specific problems arising from the delivery of health care to people with ASD.
Dr. Michel L. Miller, an assistant professor in the Drexel’s School of Education, is an educator and researcher in the field of special education. Miller was a supervisor of special education before coming to higher education and supervised K– 12 programs for students with autism in public schools.
- Expertise and Research: Autism spectrum disorders, technology for students with disabilities, and special education leadership.
- Additional Expertise: Miller developed the Master of Special Education and the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Drexel Certificate program that is offered by the School of Education. The ASD program provides educators with a comprehensive program on students with ASD in the K – 12 environment.
Dr. Michael Yudell, an associate professor in the School of Public Health, is a researcher in the fields of ethics, genomics and history of public health.
- Expertise and Research: Yudell’s work focuses on the history, risk communication and ethics of autism spectrum disorders, as well as emergency preparedness, vaccines and the history of the race concept in biology.
- Book: He is currently writing a book about the history of autism, has a book forthcoming on the history of the race concept in biology and has previously published two books on the mapping of the human genome.
- Additional Credentials and Expertise: Yudell also serves on the Ethics of Vaccines Project and is a member of the Newborn Screening Advisory Board in the Department of Health in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is an author of the Philadelphia Inquirer blog, “The Public’s Health.”
***Drexel has more autism experts in addition to those listed above. To schedule an interview with any of Drexel’s autism experts, contact the Drexel University Office of University Communications at 215-895-2614 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ***