December 1, 2014

POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW POSITION - Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development


Position:  The Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development (Geraldine Dawson, Director) is seeking candidates for a Postdoctoral Fellowship involving half time clinical practice and half time clinical research with children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  The Postdoctoral Fellowship is a one- to two-year position with a start date on or around July 1, 2015. Clinical responsibilities will include participating in an interdisciplinary, team-based treatment program at the Duke Center for Autism that is dedicated to providing high-quality, comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services to individuals with ASD (infancy through young adult) and their families and supervising clinical psychology graduate students in training.  Research responsibilities will include conducting clinical assessments of children with ASD within a clinical trial that is evaluating whether umbilical cord blood (stem cell) therapy is effective for reducing core symptoms of autism.  This will involve functioning as part of an interdisciplinary research team that is conducting a wide range of longitudinal assessments, including diagnostic, observational, eye-tracking, EEG, and MRI/DTI measures.  This position is funded by the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development and the Marcus Foundation.

Setting: Research and clinical training activities will occur at the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.  The Duke Center for Autism is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to research, clinical services, training, and policy that can help each individual with ASD reach his or her full potential and improve the lives of individuals with ASD and related disorders. More than 100 autism patient visits occur weekly and close to 3,000 children are screened annually through Duke primary care sites, providing a large clinical population from which to draw. Over 2,600 unique autism patients are served at Duke annually. Currently, Duke offers behavioral health services including parent training, early intervention based on the Early Start Denver Model and traditional ABA, social skills groups, cognitive-behavioral therapy, speech-language therapy, and occupational therapy. Medical subspecialty care at Duke includes medical genetics and genetic counseling, neurology, gastroenterology, and treatment of sleep disorders, eating disorders, and psychiatric co-morbidities, such as anxiety disorders, depression, and ADHD.

The Duke Center for Autism is comprised of approximately 8,500 square feet of space that accommodates faculty and staff offices, conference rooms, a clinic, and a Clinical Research Core, all located in the same building. The clinic is part of the Duke Child and Family Study Center and provides nine therapy rooms with video capability and one-way mirror observation, physician exam rooms, and a spacious reception area with full time receptionists.  The Clinical Research Core includes an EEG laboratory and computation and analysis laboratory, eye-tracking laboratory, several observation rooms with one-way mirrors and video capability, break and conference rooms, phlebotomy room, research staff offices, and a welcoming and comfortable waiting room for research participants and their families.

Duke University offers a rich intellectual and scientific environment facilitated by several institutes, including the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, which are designed to promote interdisciplinary research. Translational autism research is facilitated through frequent seminars, retreats, and workshops supported by the university that are designed for both clinical researchers and those conducting preclinical studies.

Primary Activities: This postdoctoral training experience will include participating in team-based clinical activities focused on children with a range of ASD and related neurodevelopmental disorders.  The fellow will spend .50 time involved in clinical activities, which will include participation in psychological and interdisciplinary evaluations and intervention with children presenting with a wide array of challenges, with the majority of clinical work focused on autism spectrum disorders. The fellow will also supervise clinical psychology graduate-level practicum students.  The fellow will have an opportunity to obtain training in the Early Start Denver Model, an intervention for infants and toddlers with ASD.  In addition, the fellow will spend .50 time participating as part of an interdisciplinary assessment team on a research program that is evaluating the efficacy of cord blood (stem cell) therapy for improving outcomes of children with ASD. This research experience will provide training and exposure in how to design, conduct, and analyze clinical trials research with children with ASD and how to conduct comprehensive outcome measures, including EEG and eye-tracking measures. 

Qualifications: Applicants must have a doctoral degree in clinical psychology or related field from an APA-accredited doctoral program. Clinical experience with children with autism spectrum disorders is required.

Application: Applicants for the position should send the following:

1. Letter of interest
2. Current curriculum vita
3. Names and contact information for three references

Direct applications and questions to: 
Geraldine Dawson, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Director, Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development
2608 Erwin Road, Suite 300
Durham, North Carolina 27710
Phone:  919-684-3165

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