DDM Clinical Research Lab Research | Overview
The Developmental Medicine Clinical Research Laboratories (DM-CRL) are an integral part of the Division of Developmental Medicine (DDM), with a mission to conduct and foster clinical research to improve the lives of children with neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorders. The DM-CRL accomplish this mission through studies aimed at developing new and innovative approaches to diagnosis and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders, with the ultimate goal of improved long-term outcomes and quality of life. Our research is informed by respect for the unique strengths and challenges of every child, and the commitment to helping every child reach their full potential.
The DM-CRL represents an innovative approach to collaborative science, bringing together clinician investigators from a variety of backgrounds to accelerate research in neurodevelopmental disorders.
- Conducting and disseminating highly innovative research to develop new approaches to clinical care
- Supporting the research projects of faculty whose primary efforts are in research, clinical care, and/or education
- Structuring data collection during clinical encounters, which can facilitate clinical quality improvement and accelerate research
- Facilitating mentorship and training of investigators and their study teams
- Providing scientific support and collaboration via formal mentorship and group discussion of manuscripts and grants
- Hosting lecture series on relevant scientific topics
- Amplification and dissemination of research findings in both academic centers and the community of patients and their families
- Recruitment support through a centralized clinical recruitment process, resulting in more equitable access to research opportunities for all patient families
- Regulatory guidance and assistance with study startup
- Infrastructure support for clinical research projects and interventional trials, including project management, study staff mentoring and liaising with sponsors, community groups, and other hospital programs
CRL operations team
The CRL Operations team supports the infrastructure of the DM-CRL including our Centralized Recruitment, Structured Data, and educational efforts.
Dr. William Barbaresi, MD: Principal Investigator
Dr. Barbaresi is the Wade Family Foundation Chair in Developmental Medicine and Chief of the Division of Developmental Medicine, as well as Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. As Principal Investigator of the DM-CRL, Dr. Barbaresi is responsible for scientific oversight of the laboratories, overseeing laboratory operations in collaboration with other Key Staff, leading laboratory meetings, and fostering the development of new projects and collaborations.
Alyssa DaCunha, MPH: Program Manager, Clinical Innovation
With the DM-CRL since 2020, Alyssa DaCunha leads the DDM Structured Data Project, a large effort to improve the efficiency of documentation and capture more standardized data to facilitate innovation in clinical practice and research. She also manages the portfolio of clinical and operational quality improvement projects for the DDM.
Meredith Weaver, MS: Recruitment Navigator
Having joined the DM-CRL in 2021, Meredith organizes efforts in the Centralized Recruitment to ensure that patients and their families are informed of ongoing research projects and have opportunities to participate. She is also responsible for ongoing organizational operations and involved in the development of new initiatives to improve outreach and communication.
Katherine Pawlowski, BA: Clinical Research Manager
Kate has managed the Centralized Recruitment project since joining the DM-CRL in 2019, an initiative to make sure that clinic patients and their families are made aware of ongoing research efforts. She also manages a variety of research studies within Developmental Medicine and the Translational Neuroscience Center.
Polly Vernimen, MEd: Executive Assistant
As the Executive Assistant to William Barbaresi, Polly Vernimen provides administrative support for the DM-CRL and works with DDM clinical and research administrative staff to ensure effective implementation of DM-CRL activities and objectives.
Stephanie Jo Brewster is a licensed genetic counselor who has been active in the DM-CRL since its inception. She provides direct administrative oversight of all DM-CRL operations, drawing on her extensive experience with study coordination, project management, human subjects issues, and research infrastructure development. Ms. Brewster also serves as Director, Clinical Research Operations within the Translational Neuroscience Center and is a key member of the DM-CRL leadership team.
Olivia Osborn, BA: Administrative Associate
Having joined the DM-CRL in 2022, Olivia provides administrative support to multiple arms of the DM-CRL, including the Program for Clinical Innovation, Centralized Recruitment, and the Operations Team. Olivia works with multiple teams to ensure that projects, meetings and deliverables run smoothly while managing resources for various individual research projects throughout the Division of Developmental Medicine.