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Autism Speaks Welcomes Assistant Director of Public Health Research

March 05, 2012

Autism Speaks is pleased to announce the appointment of Amy Daniels, Ph.D., to the newly created position of assistant director of public health research. Dr. Daniels will be involved in developing Autism Speaks’ research portfolio in public health, with an emphasis on improving delivery of high-quality autism services to underserved populations both nationally and internationally. She will also be integral part of Autism Speaks Global Autism Public Health initiative (GAPH) and its mission to improve autism awareness and services worldwide.

“We know that many people with autism and their families face barriers in accessing the services they need, and that we need to better understand these barriers – from logistical to cultural – in order to overcome them,” says Andy Shih, Ph.D., Autism Speaks vice president of scientific affairs. “Dr. Daniels brings to the science team and Autism Speaks expertise and experiences to help us address this important priority for our community in the coming years.”

Dr. Daniels developed an interest in underserved populations while in the Peace Corps in the Ukraine. “The most ignored populations were kids with developmental disabilities,” she explains. “I want to reduce disparities and increase access to care for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families, and I believe Autism Speaks can play an integral role in these efforts.”

Dr. Daniels, who received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, brings to Autism Speaks over ten years’ experience in project management, public health and autism research. Previously, she worked at the Behavioral Health Leadership Institute, a non-profit organization whose goal is to increase access to mental health and substance use services. Prior to that, she was a research coordinator at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, where she analyzed data from the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) research database, a web-based registry of over 40,000 individuals, including 14,000 children with ASD.

For more information on Autism Speaks public health efforts , please see our webpage on Global Autism Public Health and the recent news story on our Move the Needle Initiative.