Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

Print: Print this page

The Programs in Developmental Neuroscience and Developmental Disabilities (PDNDD)



PDNDD is committed to the educational training of graduate students and health professionals within the domains of psychology, biology, chemistry, and other neuroscience-related disciplines. In its 30-year history, PDNDD has collaborated with faculty from campuses of both the City University of New York (CUNY) and the State University of New York (SUNY), serving as a focal point and resource center for neuroscience research and scholarship, including seminars, colloquia, professional meetings, electronic and printed resources, and specialized training opportunities.

One of the central goals of PDNDD is to inspire our next generation of health professionals to provide informed, dedicated service to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is most appropriate to have this program near the site of the former Willowbrook State School, one of the largest institutions for the care of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In the context of this history, we believe that students will gain an appreciation of and sensitivity to the needs of this underserved community, and we hope that the educational opportunities will stimulate a strong desire to incorporate a sense of service in their future professional careers.


PDNDD draws upon a unique interaction between SUNY (through the Health Science Center at Brooklyn [HSCB]–SUNY Downstate Medical Center) and CUNY (through the College of Staten Island [CSI]), capitalizing on the expertise of well-established researchers, including over 50 research scientists and clinicians at IBR with academic appointments. Collaborating faculty and staff are provided full access to support at IBR, including scientific illustrations, manuscript preparation, library services, and laboratory support. Matriculated students have the opportunity to select rotations through laboratories at IBR in their first year of study, and can apply for continued support in years 2-5 with a primary mentor at IBR. In its nearly 25-year history, PDNDD has supported over 125 PhD or MD-PhD candidates, with more than 33% now working directly in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.


PDNDD is headquartered at IBR, on the first floor of the Research Tower, but also maintains dedicated space within CUNY (CSI, Bldg 6S) and SUNY (HSCB, Program in Developmental Neuroscience Office).


Individuals interested in applying to PDNDD may inquire about the program at any time. However, support is only offered to select graduate students fully matriculated in CUNY or SUNY. PhD candidates interested in matriculating through CUNY are encouraged to apply online for admission through the Graduate School and University Center; PhD and MD-PhD candidates interested in matriculating through SUNY are encouraged to apply online for admission through The School of Graduate Studies Programs.


For further information on the Programs in Developmental Neuroscience and Developmental Disabilities (PDNDD), please contact:

Elizabeth M. Lennon, PhD
Director of PDNDD

1050 Forest Hill Road
Staten Island, NY 10314
Phone: (718) 494-5310