Joseph Piven, M.D

Joseph Piven, M.D. is currently the Thomas E. Castelloe Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Psychology, and Director of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) at the University of North Carolina.

He received a medical degree from the University of Maryland and completed residencies in General, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He completed a John Merck Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Psychiatric Genetics at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and School of Public Health.

Subsequently he joined the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Iowa. At UNC Dr. Piven currently directs an NIH-funded T32 Post-Doctoral Research Training Program in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, the federally funded University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), in North Carolina and an NICHD-funded Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center.

He is the Principal Investigator of an NIH-funded, multi-center Autism Center of Excellence (ACE), to examine early brain and behavior development in infants at high familial risk for autism.

Other NIH research projects include studies of brain and behavior development in children with Fragile X Syndrome, as well as examining late life manifestations and issues in elderly individuals with autism.

Dr Piven will present the opening plenary at APAC15.

Brain and Behavior Development in Autism during the First Two Years of Life:
The study of infant siblings of autistic individuals enables the study of brain and behavior development in infants who go on to later develop autism, prior to manifestation of the defining features of this condition. To date, these so-called ‘baby sibs’ studies have revealed that autistic behaviors are not generally apparent in the first six months of life but emerge in the latter part of the first and second years. The Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS) employs brain imaging (MRI/DTI/fcMRI) to examine trajectories of brain development as they emerge concurrently with the defining and associated behavioral characteristics of autism. These data have the potential to provide important insights into the early brain-behavior mechanisms in autism, along with examining the role of genetic liability and the early psychological environment in developing this condition. Additionally, findings from this study have the potential to identify early biomarkers, appearing prior to the onset of the defining features of the disorder, which could facilitate early detection and lead to pre-symptomatic intervention during a period of maximum brain plasticity.  Longitudinal data on early brain development will be presented from this large-scale, high-risk infant study of autism.