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Research Background & Assessment
THrough the looking glass

The UCLA Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry was named one of eight national centers in the National Institutes of Health (2003, NIH) that funded the research initiative, Studies to Advance Autism Research and Treatment (STAART). Subsequently, the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART) was established and has been recognized as an Autism Center of Excellence (ACE, 2007). As such, successive grants have been awarded and since beginning work at UCLA in 1997, Dr. Cronin’s leadership role as the Assistant Clinical Professor was to write the grant requirements for recruitment and assessment of potential research participants, conduct assessments, train, supervise other professionals to conduct best-practice assessments with gold-standard measures and provide progress reports.

Similarly, Dr. Cronin was the co-investigator for a grant from the Simons Simplex Consortium for a multi-site genetic study funded by the Simons Foundation. Similar to the other UCLA research, this study sought well-characterized families with more than one child but only one child identified with autism. The inclusion criteria were extremely strict in an attempt to identify the genetic underpinnings of autism and collect a great deal of information on the symptoms and behaviors associated with autism. The results of this study continue to be utilized internationally by many researchers and some of the analyses contributed to the body of research to inform the diagnostic criteria for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5th Edition. Data collection for this study was particularly rigorous, and Dr. Cronin supervised the clinical team to ensure the data integrity and participants’ diagnoses.

Since leaving her leadership role at UCLA, Dr. Cronin has continued to conduct evaluations, provide training, and consult on a variety of research projects.

Dr. Cronin is certified as research-reliable on the gold standard autism-specific measures, the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Second Edition (ADOS-2). She is experienced in providing these assessments for research studies and is available to provide these assessments for current research.