Joseph Piven, MD, director of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, was named as one of 22 public members of this federal committee that coordinates activities and provides advice to national leaders and administrators.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the appointments of new and returning members to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), a federal advisory committee reauthorized under the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act of 2019.
Joseph Piven, MD, the Thomas E. Castelloe Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the UNC School of Medicine, and Director of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD), was appointed to the committee along with 21 other public experts in autism.
Piven, an international leader in the field of autism, is the principal investigator of the National Institutes of Health Autism Center of Excellence at UNC-Chapel Hill and member of the UNC Autism Research Center. He co-leads a multicenter research team using a five-year, $9.5-million NIH grant to further evaluate whether brain imaging can help detect very high risk of autism spectrum disorder in early infancy. His team at CIDD also houses SPARK, a landmark research partnership between the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI), UNC-Chapel Hill, and 31 other clinical and research institutions across the United states dedicated to helping individuals with autism and their families.
The first meeting of the new IACC will take place virtually on July 21-22 of 2021 and will be open to the public via webcast.
The IACC is a federal advisory committee composed of public stakeholders and federal officials that coordinates federal activities concerning autism spectrum disorder and provides advice to the HHS Secretary on issues related to autism. Committee meetings serve as a public forum for the sharing of community perspectives and concerns about autism. The committee uses this input as it formulates advice and recommendations for the HHS Secretary on matters related to autism research, services, and policy. The committee’s responsibilities include developing and annually updating the IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and preparing an annual summary of Advances in ASD Research.
After an open call to the public for nominations of individuals to serve on the committee, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, JD, appointed 20 new and two returning public members to the IACC to provide him with advice to advance research, enhance services, and increase opportunities for people on the autism spectrum. The committee also includes 23 new and returning federal agency officials representing key federal agencies and departments that serve the autism community across a wide variety of areas, including biomedical research, healthcare, education, and social services.
Joshua Gordon, MD, PhD, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, will continue to serve as the chair of the committee. A full roster and biosketches of all the new and returning members can be viewed on the IACC website.
IACC Executive Secretary, Susan Daniels, PhD, stated, “We are excited to welcome the largest and most diverse IACC to date, with a wider representation of perspectives from across the autism community than ever before.”