Clinical Translation in IDD Research
The CTC is designed to support research that is invested in the elucidation of pathogenic mechanisms (a joint focus of our Model Systems Core) and neural signatures of IDD (a joint focus of our Developmental Neuroimaging Core), toward the derivation of novel treatment targets for higher-impact intervention. In order to fulfill its objectives, the CTC is organized around the complete clinical ascertainment of causal influences (encompassing genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors) and their respective relationships with developmental and behavioral variation in human subjects. The scientific composition of the CTC complements the leadership of the IDDRC itself in representing deep expertise in clinical and translational elements of the four major themes of our Center.
The CTC comprises core faculty members and technical staff originating from 6 departments at WUSTL. The CTC is designed to: (I) deliver genomic, phenomic, and environmental characterization of human subjects via its two primary units, the Human Genomic Characterization Unit (HGCU) and the Developmental and Behavioral Assessment Unit (DBAU); (II) support bidirectional exchange between exploration of individual variation and specific causal disease mechanisms; and (III) translate new knowledge of personalized medicine approaches into higher-impact interventions. The Core has extensive partnerships with other institutional resources including the CTSA, March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center, Women and Infants Health Specimen Consortium, and NeuroNEXT that complement the work of the IDDRC@WUSTL and from which the CTC harnesses specialized services and facilities for the purpose of advancing science in IDD. Faculty navigators supported by the Administrative Core of the IDDRC@WUSTL -- one with special expertise in basic sciences, one with special expertise in clinical and translational sciences -- are tasked with linking the work of the CTC and its investigators with key complementary facilities at WUSTL and facilitating the development of novel interdisciplinary research projects.