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Taylor named to federal autism advisory committee

Dec. 3, 2015, 9:23 AM

Julie Lounds Taylor, Ph.D., has been appointed to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, (IACC) the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced recently.

Julie Lounds Taylor, Ph.D.

Taylor, assistant professor of Pediatrics and Special Education and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center investigator, will begin her duties with the first meeting of the new committee on Nov. 17 in Rockville, Maryland. The IACC is a federal advisory committee created by Congress, and reauthorized under the Autism CARES Act, to accelerate progress in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research and services. The IACC works to improve coordination and communication across the federal government and to work in partnership with the autism community.

“Dr. Taylor is the perfect person to serve on this prestigious committee, which coordinates our nation’s research efforts on autism,” said Elizabeth Dykens, Ph.D., the Annette Schaffer Eskind Professor and director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. “She is an accomplished researcher and is so committed to improving quality of life of children, youth and adults on the autism spectrum.

Taylor’s research focuses on factors that promote a positive transition to adulthood for individuals with ASD and their families. She has published research on a variety of autism and disability services-related issues, including sex and gender differences, peer victimization, transition planning, post-secondary education and vocational training, employment and daily living skills for people with ASD.

“Dr. Taylor is a highly valued member of our department and is making very important contributions to the field of transition to adult care for youth with autism spectrum disorders. Her studies will directly impact how we provide the best care to this growing population,” said Steven A. Webber, MBChB, MRCP, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Pediatrician-in-chief at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

IACC responsibilities include annually updating the IACC Strategic Plan for ASD, preparing an annual summary of advances in ASD research, monitoring federal ASD activities and providing guidance to the HHS Secretary on matters related to ASD.

“It is a great honor to be appointed to serve on the IACC alongside such distinguished colleagues,” said Taylor. “I’m excited for the opportunity to bridge science and practice, and look forward to using what we have learned over the years to inform programs aimed at improving the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families.”

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