January 28, 2013

RTI International to Support Ongoing Developmental Disability Research

Highlights

  • RTI International will support ongoing research aimed at determining the causes and prevalence of developmental disabilities
  • The five-year project is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • The award allows RTI to continue work begun during a previous five-year contract

Media Contacts

  • News@rti.org
  • Lisa Bistreich-Wolfe
    919-316-3596
  • Kami Spangenberg
    919-485-5606
Nedra Whitehead
Nedra Whitehead

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – RTI International has been awarded funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to advance research aimed at determining the causes and prevalence of developmental disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, and hearing or vision loss.

Through the five-year contract, worth $10.2 million, RTI will support ongoing surveillance and epidemiology work conducted by the Developmental Disabilities Branch of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. The award allows RTI to continue work begun during a previous five-year contract.

“We’re very excited that we will continue this work with the Developmental Disabilities Branch,” said Nedra Whitehead, Ph.D., a senior genetic epidemiologist at RTI and the project’s director. “Under this contract, we have the opportunity to contribute to important research that increases our understanding of autism and other developmental disabilities.” 

Under the contract, RTI will continue to support several well-established surveillance activities, including the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network and the Metropolitan Atlanta Developmental Disabilities Program, which contribute to a better understanding of the prevalence of developmental disabilities. 

Surveillance research conducted under the initial contract contributed to a recent report from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network that estimated autism spectrum disorder prevalence among 8-year-olds to be 11.3 per 1,000 (1 in 88 children) in 2008.

RTI will also be involved in epidemiologic research programs, such as the Georgia Study to Explore Early Development, which address critical gaps in the understanding of risk factors and causes of autism and other developmental disabilities.

RTI will continue working with two subcontract partners, HR Directions and the Marcus Institute, to provide additional services for this ongoing research.

The mission of the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities is to promote the health of babies, children and adults and enhance the potential for full, productive living.