The Baylor College of Medicine Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) is one of 14 such centers funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; it is also a member of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.
The IDDRC is committed to advancing research in intellectual and developmental disabilities in order to contribute to the resolution of many of the problems encountered by individuals with these disorders and their families. The goals of the center are to identify as many causes as possible of intellectual and developmental disabilities, to prevent these disorders, and to provide interventional schemes that can improve the quality of life of affected individuals whenever possible.
The IDDRC at Baylor College of Medicine currently supports the research of over 40 investigators studying abnormalities in human development. The joint benefits of improved diagnosis, better patient care, and deeper understanding of human biology have come directly from IDDRC support for research leading to the discovery of the molecular basis of Stargardt syndrome, Miller-Dieker syndrome, glycerol kinase deficiency, 1p36 deletion syndrome, Smith-Magenis disease, Prader-Willi Syndrome and Angelman Syndrome, among others. The IDDRC has been a crucial player in all these discoveries, and Baylor College of Medicine's technological advances — multicolor FISH, genetic engineering in the mouse, shot-gun cloning and large-scale sequencing —have in turn strengthened the ability of the cores to support Baylor’s research endeavors and laid the groundwork for Baylor’s Human Genome Sequencing Center. The cores for neuropathological analysis, embryonic stem cell work, generating transgenic mice and performing neurobehavioral and synaptic plasticity analyses (to name a few) concentrate expertise and make it accessible to investigators who would otherwise have to find ways to import these technologies and develop these skills in their own labs. The IDDRC is an impressive venue for facilitating research in a cost-efficient way.