About the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Published on January 18th, 2018 by Diana Duren.

The mission of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development is to facilitate discoveries and best practices that make positive differences in the lives of persons with developmental disabilities and their families.

Over the past 52 years, the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center has evolved into an interdisciplinary research, training, diagnosis and treatment institute, embracing faculty and resources available through Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the College of Arts and Science, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, School of Engineering, Divinity School and Blair School of Music. The Center brings together scientists and practitioners in behavior, education, genetics and neuroscience to work together in unique ways to solve the mysteries of development and learning.

The VKC is a Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. This national network advances the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and amelioration of intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Additionally, VKC is home to the Vanderbilt Consortium Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, known as LEND, which prepares graduate-level health professionals in 15 disciplines to assume leadership roles to serve children with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities.

The VKC is also a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities in Education, Research and Service (UCEDD), which provides innovative leadership in education, research and services to people with disabilities, the community and families. The UCEDD works within the community and through public policy initiatives to promote the independence, self-determination, productivity, integration, and inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities and provide supports for families. The Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD), featured in the article on page 14, also falls within VKC.