Interactive Autism Network (IAN) Staff
Paul H. Lipkin, MD, Director
Dr. Paul Lipkin is the Director of the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Lipkin comes to IAN from Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Development and Learning, where he served as director for fifteen years. His work there focused on the evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with developmental disabilities, including learning and attention disorders and autism. His research focused on the early identification and treatment of young children.
Dr. Lipkin has provided national leadership on autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities through his work with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), where he served as Chair of its Council on Children with Disabilities from 2002 to 2007. During this period, he directed key initiatives, including the creation of guidelines on developmental and autism surveillance and screening of young children . He was awarded by the AAP for his efforts on behalf of children with disabilities as its recipient of the Arnold J. Capute Award in 2011. He was also honored as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow in 2010-2011, where he served in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.
“I have seen the importance of the IAN’s efforts with and on behalf of those affected by autism, where a vital link has been created between the families and researchers worldwide. IAN provides opportunities for families to work with researchers to gain knowledge about autism and improve the lives and the futures of those affected by it. I’d like to see more families and researchers take advantage of IAN’s resources and expand IAN in new directions.”
Dr. Lipkin is a graduate of Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He received his pediatric training at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore with specialty training in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He and his wife, Dr. Nancy Gordon, have three children.
Kiely Law, MD, MPH, Research Director
Dr. Kiely Law is responsible for developing and implementing IAN's research program. With a background in medicine and public health, she approaches ASD-related research from both an individual and community perspective. Dr. Law received her medical and public health degrees from Johns Hopkins University and then completed an internship in pediatrics at the University of Maryland Medical Systems in 2002.
In addition to her professional experience, she has been impacted personally by autism. At the age of three, her son was diagnosed with autism at Kennedy Krieger Institute. She is now helping him navigate the transition to adulthood as an individual with special needs.
"I jumped at the opportunity to be involved in this project. I was motivated by the mission of bringing together researchers and families to create a valuable resource for the autism community. There are so many unanswered questions about Autism Spectrum Disorder; I believe by collecting information from thousands of families, we can help researchers find the answers," states Dr. Law. "Parents experience the struggles and triumphs of autism every day. We can't overlook or underestimate the value of their perspectives and knowledge."
Cheryl Cohen, MS, Director of online and community programs
Cheryl makes sure that IAN provides the information and tools that you need to contribute your ideas and find the information. She is a writer, editor, interaction designer, information architect, and online community designer who has been helping people get the most out of their computers for years. She was a co-founder and editorial director of CTSNet, a successful online community of practice in medicine, and worked at Johns Hopkins University's MedBiquitous Laboratory helping the healthcare community develop and implement technology standards to advance healthcare education.
"I am all too aware of the economic, emotional, and social stresses that autism places on families, and the difficulties that families run up against when trying to find good information and compassionate, focused, and affordable care. I am also aware of the tremendous potential of the Internet to empower people, improve communications, and foster change. IAN is harnessing this potential by engaging families in research, engaging researchers in the lives of families, and making research accessible to everyone."
She has a Master's degree in Interaction Design and Information Architecture from the University of Baltimore and taught undergraduates there. In the distant past, Cheryl earned a diploma in Violin Making and Restoration and was a researcher and instructor of Sociology at Temple University.
Alison R. Marvin, PhD, Research Manager
Dr. Marvin manages subject recruitment and Institutional Review Board submissions, and also handles statistical, analytical, and data matters. She also writes academic publications, such as papers and posters.
She earned a Ph.D. in Health Sciences, an MPhil in Public Administration, an MS in Statistics and Operations Research, and a BA in Mathematics. She also earned a Graduate Certificate in Project Management. She teaches college-level statistics.
Originally from London, she lived in New York and Seattle before moving to Baltimore. She was employed in the corporate world before deciding to move into the world of research upon her move to Baltimore, where she joined the Kennedy Krieger Institute.
Jaimie Toroney, MHS, Research Coordinator
Jaimie, who hails from Long Island, NY, moved to Baltimore in 2005 to begin her career in medical research.
Before joining IAN in 2014, she worked as a data research project manager at the American Urological Association, a medical society, where she helped with the development of a prostate cancer registry. From 2008 to 2013, she did research on adults affected by serious mental illnesses as a senior research program coordinator at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Mental Health. She previously worked as a research program coordinator at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine doing research on Alzheimer’s disease. Early in her career, she worked as a developmental habilitation specialist and therapeutic staff support for people with intellectual disabilities, mental illness, and traumatic brain injury.
She received a Master’s degree in Health Science from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a Bachelor's of Science in Human Development with a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience from Cornell University.
Briella Baer, MHS, Research Coordinator
Briella joined the IAN team after completing her Master’s of Health Science in Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in May 2016. The previous year, she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and minor in Biology from Denison University, in Granville, Ohio.
Briella’s previous work in autism has been primarily education or intervention focused, with past positions ranging from research clinician to volunteer classroom aide.
Marina Sarris, Medical Writer/Web Content Administrator
Marina is responsible for producing articles for the IAN Community website and helping maintain the website. She is a former newspaper and magazine reporter. She has a master's degree in English and has studied web development.
Elisabeth Arthur Mekosh, Research Assistant and Community Coordinator
As IAN's Community Coordinator, Elisabeth's primary focus is promoting and establishing collaborations with autism community leaders and ensuring continued interest and participation in the IAN Project.
Elisabeth has a personal connection to autism as she has family members on the spectrum. She worked with children and adults with autism and developmental disabilities before joining IAN in 2012. She is a graduate of the University of Rochester with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
Kristy Dubose, Administrative Service Coordinator
Kristy is responsible for providing administrative support to IAN and for coordinating services provided to researchers and other institutions. She also helps manage email and phone communications. She has more than 10 years of administrative experience. She is a student at Baltimore City Community College, where she is focusing on business.