The Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities (IBR) is a proud part of New York State’s long history of caring for its citizens with developmental disabilities. It was in the 1940s and 1950s that the idea of creating an institute dedicated to studies in mental retardation was first discussed. In 1958, enabling legislation was passed for the creation of the Institute for Research in Mental Retardation within the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene. Ground was broken for the Institute’s research tower in 1964, and when its first laboratories opened in 1968, IBR was the first large-scale institute in the world with the mandate to conduct basic and clinical research into the causes of mental retardation. IBR became part of the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) in 1979; a year later, it was renamed the Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities to reflect OMRDD’s broader focus on many developmental disabilities. Effective July 13, 2010, OMRDD officially became the New York State Office For People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).
More than 40 years after IBR opened its doors, its mission has grown from solely conducting research in the developmental disabilities to also providing services and offering educational programs: in 1980, IBR’s George A. Jervis Diagnostic and Research Clinic opened, and since 1987, IBR has been providing educational, training and mentoring opportunities, and access to resources for neuroscience research and scholarship to over 125 graduate-level students through the Programs in Developmental Neuroscience and Developmental Disabilities.
The Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities serves New Yorkers with developmental disabilities and their families. We further the goals of the New York State Office For People With Developmental Disabilities by:
- Conducting research into the causes and manifestations of developmental disabilities.
- Developing methods to improve the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of developmental disabilities.
- Providing specialized biomedical, psychological, and laboratory services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
- Educating the public and professionals regarding the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of developmental disabilities.