About the Speakers
Leonard Abbeduto, PhD
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences & Director, UC Davis MIND Institute
Leonard Abbeduto’s research is focused broadly on the development of language across the lifespan in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and the family context for language development. His research has been funded continuously by the NIH since 1985.
His current research is focused on understanding variation in language outcomes in various conditions associated with intellectual disability, the measurement of treatment effects in clinical trials, and the use of distance technology to deliver behavioral treatment.
Dr. Abbeduto has published over 200 articles, chapters, reviews, editorials, and books on Fragile X syndrome, autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities.
Jessica Klusek, PhD, CCC-SLP
Associate Professor, University of South Carolina
Jessica Klusek received her doctoral degree in speech and hearing sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She followed her doctoral training with an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship in psychology at the University of South Carolina, where she completed interdisciplinary training in physiology, psychology, and genetics. Dr. Klusek is also a certified speech-language pathologist.
Julie Lounds Taylor, PhD
Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville
Julie Lounds Taylor received her doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of Notre Dame and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her research focuses on understanding the factors that promote positive outcomes for adults with autism spectrum disorder and their families, particularly during the transition to adulthood. She was the 2014 recipient of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Early Career Award, is an associate editor for Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, and is a member of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.
Angela John Thurman, PhD
Research Scientist, UC Davis MIND Institute
Angela John Thurman’s research at the MIND Institute focuses on characterizing the dynamic processes underlying the development of language and other skills in individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions, particularly Fragile X syndrome, autism, Down syndrome, and Williams syndrome. The long-range goal is that this work will help identify the extent to which similar and different processes should be targeted in intervention efforts across neurodevelopmental conditions.