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Director, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University welcomes applications and nominations for the Director of the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute (AJDAI). This is a compelling opportunity for an experienced investigator to lead a university-wide research institute centered on a unique public health science approach to understanding and addressing the causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and supporting the experiences of individuals with ASD.

The impact of ASD spans individuals, families, the education system, the social service and healthcare sectors, and the policies that govern them. While it is hoped that fundamental biomedical research will reveal the elusive molecular mechanisms underlying autism, diverse scientific perspectives are needed to effectively address this life-altering condition. Founded in 2012, the AJDAI is the first research institute centered on the application of public health science methods to ASD. The Institute’s mission is to discover, develop, and disseminate population-level and community-based approaches to mitigate or prevent autism-related disability and to improve quality of life for individuals with autism of all ages.

Now in its seventh year, the Institute is composed of ten faculty members, 12 fellows, 36 staff, and a number of undergraduate and graduate students. This dedicated team has built tremendously successful research, clinical, and outreach programs to carry out the Institute’s mission; in 2018, research and contract expenditures at the AJDAI totaled $7.7 million. AJDAI is organized into four research program areas: Modifiable Risk Factors, Early Detection and Intervention, Life Course Outcomes, and the Policy and Analytics Center. The Institute’s Clinical Core supports research in all four program areas and has contracts with community agencies to diagnose and provide treatment for more than 300 children with autism each year. AJDAI members also provide training on evidence-based practices and interventions for autism throughout the community and have partnered with the Philadelphia Autism Project on more than 120 initiatives to improve the lives of people with ASD throughout the city.

Reporting to the senior vice provost for research, the next director of the AJDAI will build upon the Institute’s many strengths to create a strategic plan for the next phase of its development. The successful candidate will have a doctoral degree with academic credentials qualifying for appointment as a full professor at Drexel University. The director must possess exceptional communication and collaborative leadership skills together with a demonstrated track record of external funding and scholarly publications in the field of autism and developmental disabilities.  

The search committee will review candidates beginning immediately and continue until the position has been filled. Nominations and applications (CV and cover letter) should be submitted via this website.

Ariannah Mirick is leading this search with Laura Mariani.

Drexel University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and believes that an inclusive and respectful environment enriches the University community and the educational and employment experience of its members. The University prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, status as a veteran or special disabled veteran, gender identity or expression, genetic information, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions and any other prohibited characteristic. Please visit www.drexel.edu/hr to view all University Policies and Workplace Postings.


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