A Message from David H. Ledbetter, PhD, Geisinger Health System's Executive Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer
Over the past several years, colleagues from both the genetics and the autism research communities have frequently asked me why I moved to Geisinger. One major reason relates to my personal research interests. I believe that Geisinger was the right place to develop a national model for integrating early and accurate diagnosis of developmental disorders, medical and behavioral treatments, parent, sibling, and teacher training and support with a broad program of research and training. Geisinger's Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute opened its doors in April 2013, and is a learning institute at every level:
- We test and refine our clinical processes.
- We use the genomics of developmental disorders for diagnosis and for developing individualized treatment plans.
- We are, in conjunction with area colleges and universities, expanding the workforce by developing new training programs for students in proven behavioral treatments.
- We encourage each patient, each sibling, and each parent to participate in research.
- We continually hold educational seminars for our clinic and research staff.
State-of-the-art research tools such as fMRI, high performance computing, whole genome sequencing, and electrophysiology are critical to our research programs. Our ambitions for ADMI are bold because current treatments for these common developmental disorders (1 in 68 children is reported to have an autism spectrum disorder and 15% of children have a developmental disorder) are not satisfactory, and we think it will be possible to develop improved treatments and even cures in some cases. ADMI's team of medical staff and researchers, in partnership with our families, is significantly enhancing our understanding of autism and developmental disorders and helping us ensure that each patient can reach his or her individual potential.
To improve outcomes for individuals with developmental disorders and their families through increased access, accurate diagnosis, discovery of underlying causes, and development of targeted treatments.
Establish ADMI as a self-sustaining, transdisciplinary clinical and research institute and an international leader known for advancing the scientific understanding of developmental disorders. In partnership with families, our goal is to leverage new scientific discoveries to transform our understanding of the causes and treatments of these conditions.