Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development is a Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (EKS IDDRC) dedicated to improving the quality of life of persons with disorders of thinking, learning, perception, communication, mood and emotion caused by disruption of typical development.

MReserchers looking at an MRI on a computer screen


EKS NICHD Research Priorities

Overview of research priorities definitive of Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center core grants, funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Faculty Membership

To access Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Research Support services, Vanderbilt faculty must apply for membership.

National Scientific Advisory Board

The National Scientific Advisory Board brings a broad, national perspective to the Center's research, advising the Center's scientific leaders on promising research directions, administrative arrangements and program directions, and funding possibilities.

Research Areas

The major research areas of the VKC IDDRC are organized into four thematic research areas in which researchers interact regularly, sharing theoretical orientations and methodologies, but who vary widely in their academic disciplines. The four research themes are: basic mechanisms, cognitive processes and interventions, mental health and interventions, and life impact.

Research Support

The Core research support units, as established by our role as a Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, support research by providing services to support cutting-edge research by providing activities that promote collaboration and by attracting new investigators to the field.

Web Portal

A private, interactive website designed to enhance communication among researchers affiliated with the national network of Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual Developmental Disabilities Research Centers


Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D., Director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, (615) 322-8945

Karoly Mirnics, M.D., Associate Director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, (615) 936-1074

Jan Rosemergy, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, (615) 322-8238

Tim Stafford, Director of Operations, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, (615) 322-8233