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Wendy Klag Center for Autism & Developmental Disabilities

Information for Students

Bloomberg School students from an array of disciplines and departments may be interested in the research and mission of the Wendy Klag Center.  The center offers three types of student opportunities:

  1. Funding for student and post-doctoral projects, through the Wendy Klag Scholars program. Requests may be in an amount up to $15,000. Requests are reviewed annually. Read more about the Wendy Klag Scholars and their work, in addition to the interests and work of other Bloomberg School students.
  2. Student travel awards up to $500. Applications will be accepted on a rolling schedule. To apply, please complete this form.
  3. Internship placement. Funding up to $5,000 per fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) is available for two interns. Applicants must be graduate students at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. We also can facilitate unpaid internships if funding is not available. Internship acceptances will be decided twice a year, with deadlines of Sept. 30 and Feb. 1. Internship placement is offered at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD), and occasionally at the Sheppard Pratt - Lieber Research Institute (SPL). As a condition of internship, recipients must write a short report about their internship. They also are expected to lead a Wendy Klag Center journal club during the school year, and also to attend journal club regularly. To apply for internship placement, please complete this formLearn about past interns

Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD)

The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute is one of 67 national network University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.  MCDD has a formalized pre-service training program that serves to increase the quantity and quality of persons interested in exploring, learning and incorporating disability knowledge in their future careers and lives. The pre-service program uses core projects to provide a variety of mentored experiential and didactic activities. The curriculum integrates knowledge and methods from multiple disciplines; incorporates direct contributions from people with disabilities and family members; examines and advances professional practice, scholarship and policy; and is designed to improve an individual's knowledge, academic or professional credentials. It is designed to provide well-rounded learning opportunities. Specific work objectives will be developed with the student.  MCDD is based in western Baltimore. Students must have own transportation.  Questions about the MCDD internship and potential projects may be addressed to Dr. Mirian Ofonedu and Ms. Tylea Powell

As an example, trainees may:



Sheppard Pratt - Lieber Research Institute (SPL)

The Sheppard Pratt - Lieber Research Institute (SPL) is a joint-venture between the Lieber Institute for Brain Development at Johns Hopkins University and the Sheppard Pratt Health System. The internship, which is funded by SPL as available, is with the SPL's Adult Autism Registry. Description: There is an urgent need to better understand the factors that determine functional and clinical outcomes in patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as they transition to adulthood. Which of these patients will do well and be able to live independent lives? Who will need ongoing support and treatment? Who will develop a psychotic disorder or catatonia? Who will suffer from anxiety, problems with mood or self-injurious behavior? And who will most benefit from medications or other treatments? To generate more knowledge about adult patients with a diagnosis of ASD that may help us answer some of these questions, SPL is establishing a point-of-care patient registry with a goal to enroll 100 subjects and their family members.  The project utilizes retrospective, cross-sectional and longitudinal data and includes the establishment of a biorepository for genetic and other molecular analysis. The research takes place within the clinics of Sheppard Pratt's Neuropsychiatry program, a large outpatient center located at the Sheppard Pratt Hospital Campus in Towson, Maryland. The Neuropsychiatry program serves over 2,000 patients, including more than 700 adult patients with neurodevelopmental disorders, including ASD.

SPL invites interested students to participate in internships that allow them to join a multidisciplinary research team that includes clinicians, geneticists, neuroscientists and data scientists. Interns will have the opportunity to learn about the current state of research on adult patients with autism while observing clinical work and administration of cognitive and behavioral assessments. As part of the internship students will assist the research team with conducting data quality control and analysis, as well as complete a small data analysis project by themselves. Students will learn how to manage and use data within a state of the art data warehouse environment that includes a REDCap Server and R Shiny for data visualization.   Familiarity with statistical methods and the R programming language are required. Questions about this internship may be addressed to Dr. Robert Schloesser.