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Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities

Our Mission and Vision

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has established the Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities to promote research and education regarding the origins, detection, measurement and prevention of conditions that affect behavioral, socioemotional and/or cognitive development, as well as evaluation of services and policies that support optimal development of affected children and their families.  The center unifies and expands  research and education efforts at Bloomberg School focused on autism and developmental disabilities. It consolidates  previously unlinked programs including the Wendy Klag Scholars Program, the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Epidemiology (CADDE) and multiple investigator and student-driven projects. It also promotes expansion of partnerships with the School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

In 2006, the school established the Wendy Klag Memorial Fund with contributions from family and friends in memory of Wendy Schagen Klag, late wife of former Dean Michael J. Klag (Wendy Klag 2006). Wendy was a volunteer and devoted parent who was admired for her gentle way with children. Income from this fund has supported students at the Bloomberg School, designated as Wendy Klag Scholars, who are working on issues related to the health and well-being of children.  In a 2012 article, then-Dean Klag shared his personal experience with autism and developmental disabilities and his view of the importance of public health research in this area.

The overarching goal of the WKC is to build a community of investigators and students with a common purpose of identifying etiologies, improving treatment, understanding preventive factors, and evaluating and implementing policies for autism and developmental disabilities.  (Introduction meeting presentation) To do so, the activities of the WKC aim to:

  • Fund new and innovative faculty and student projects that will generate pilot data that can be leveraged into larger research projects with broader scope and impact.
  • Enhance external funding competitiveness for new initiatives by, in addition to providing pilot funding support, coordinating resources and information regarding existing work and capacity at the Bloomberg School and other Johns Hopkins University divisions, and the Kennedy Krieger Institute.
  • Promote educational opportunities through support of new courses, practicum experiences, and dissemination of research assistant positions to ultimately build a larger cadre of public health professionals with expertise in autism and developmental disabilities.
  • Provide a forum for speakers and working groups focused on autism and developmental disabilities.
  • Serve as a liaison for intra-university, local, and state partnerships.
  • Stimulate and energize current faculty and students in the adoption of a multi-pronged approach that builds upon the school’s multidisciplinary strengths.
  • Attract new faculty and students with interest in autism and developmental disabilities to the Bloomberg School.

For a copy of the Wendy Klag Center annual report, please email Michelle Landrum Trice at