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Centers of Excellence for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology

Pennsylvania Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology (PA CADDRE) is a research and public health center made up of a group of researchers, public health professionals, educators, and clinicians at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Center for Autism Research (CAR).  PA CADDRE projects study developmental disabilities (DDs) and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in Pennsylvania. PA CADDRE is one of six centers funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to study the prevalence and etiology of ASDs. 

The goals of CADDRE include the following:

  • Conduct epidemiologic research related to ASDs and other developmental disabilities. These studies address topics such as what factors (genetic, environment, and others) make it more likely that a child will have an ASD, what other disabilities children with ASDs have, the biomarkers, and the economic costs of ASDs.

  • Improve community and service provider awareness of ASDs and other developmental disabilities. Our ultimate goal is to improve access of children with ASDs and other developmental disabilities to comprehensive, community-based, family-centered care through dissemination of information about ASDs.

  • Work to understand the prevalence of autism and other developmental disabilities in Philadelphia and surrounding counties.

For more information about PA CADDRE, please contact Lisa Young at or 215-573-2469.

Jennifer Pinto-Martin, PhD, MPH, 
Director, PA CADDRE

Susan E. Levy, MD, MPH, 
Associate Director, PA CADDRE




What is Epidemiology?

Epidemiology is a branch of public health which examines health in groups of people. Epidemiologists study the numbers of people affected by health problems, the characteristics of those who are affected, and when and where the cases of health problems occur.