UNC Chapel Hill

The IBIS Network at UNC Chapel Hill is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

This site serves families participating in our study from AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, VA, WA, and WV.

Meet Our Team

Joe Piven, MD

Dr. Joseph Piven is one of the lead investigators on our project about early prediction of autism in infants. Dr. Piven is a child and adolescent psychiatrist specializing in individuals with autism and other  neurodevelopmental disorders. He is the Thomas E. Castelloe Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at UNC Chapel Hill, as well as the Director of the Carolina Institute of Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Piven is also the founding editor of the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

Heather Hazlett, PhD

Dr. Hazlett is a pediatric neuropsychologist with research interests in understanding how brain structure and development relate to behavior and cognition in infants and children with autism and related disorders. Dr. Hazlett has published findings about early brain differences in the IBIS cohort that may help identify infants most at risk for developing an autism spectrum disorder.  In addition to her research activities, Dr. Hazlett participates in a multidisciplinary clinic that provides evaluations for autism at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities.

Mark Shen, PhD

Dr. Shen is an Assistant Professor at UNC and has worked with children with autism and developmental disorders for the past 20 years, including the first half of his career as a behavior therapist and early interventionist. His research studies how the natural movement of the fluid in the brain (called cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF) cleans the brain and filters out inflammation – and what happens when this process isn’t functioning properly. This research is possible by acquiring safe, non-invasive MRI scans that measure CSF during natural sleep and awake children.

Jessica Girault, PhD

Dr. Girault is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UNC School of Medicine. Her work integrates neuroscience, brain imaging, behavior analysis, and genetics to study autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. She hopes her work will help to identify personalized early intervention targets for at-risk infants.  She has been a member of the IBIS Network since 2018.

Rebecca grzadzinski, PHD


Kelly Caravella, PhD

Dea Garic, PhD

Chad Chappell, MA

Kinh Truong, PhD

Martin Styner, PhD

Mike Graves, MChE

Rachel Smith, BA

Leigh Anne Weisenfeld, MSW

Heidi McNeilly, MSW

Shannon Sweeney

Contact Us

Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities
UNC Chapel Hill Campus Box #3367
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3367