The first of its kind in the country, the program will offer a pre-medical pathway for Saint Joseph’s autism behavioral studies students to continue medical training.
Research at the Kinney Center is rooted in a two-fold mission: conducting research that meaningfully improves the lives of people with autism today while training the autism research and practice leaders of tomorrow.
The Kinney Center actively engages in clinical research and development (R&D) programs designed to meaningfully improve the lives of people with autism through advanced interventions, supports and understanding. Our clinical R&D projects also serve as a training ground for undergraduate and graduate students who go on to advanced training and leadership careers in fields serving people with autism, including academic psychology, educational leadership and medicine, among others.
As an innovative and entrepreneurial community-facing clinical center operating on Saint Joseph’s campus, the Kinney Center creates outstanding opportunities for clinical program research and development. Our ultimate goal is to rigorously develop and test impactful programming that can be shared and replicated in other organizations nationwide.
Mary Kate Sheplock ’20, spent the summer exploring if bike exercise has power to improve behavior for individuals on the autism spectrum as part of the Summer Scholars Program.
Researchers at the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support at Saint Joseph’s University have tested a high-tech approach to improving social and communication skills in non-verbal and minimally verbal children with autism.
Under the direction of our Academic Director, Joseph McCleery, Ph.D, and with the help of generous funding from the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institutes of Health, we have greatly expanded our research and R&D programs. This expansion encompasses research, clinical, and educational partnerships with leading centers for excellence in autism research and practice, including:
- Jefferson University Hospitals – Center for Autism and Neurodiversity
- The Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
- The National University of Ireland
- The University of Birmingham in England
- Stanford University
- The University of California, Los Angeles
- Rutgers University
Opportunities for Students
By participating in Kinney research initiatives, students broaden their understanding of autism research and intervention, often going on to study in highly competitive doctoral degree programs in the fields of medicine, clinical and experimental psychology, and applied behavior analysis, educational leadership, and biomedical and health sciences, among others.
We welcome inquiries from undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral fellow and other trainees from Saint Joseph’s University and beyond, who have an interest in conducting research that will meaningfully improve the lives of people with autism.
Scholar Research Impact
The Kinney Center has provided me with many hands on experiences as a SCHOLAR and Case Manager, working with clients across the lifespan to develop life, social, and vocation skills alongside our talented staff. In Dr. Joseph McCleery's Cognitive and Behavioral Interventions Research Lab, I learned more about researching social challenges and behavior interventions."
My experience at the Kinney Center and in the Behavioral Interventions Research Lab has increased my passion for working with and for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families, and I hope to provide the best quality of care to them in my future as a physician through pursuing Doctor in Medicine (MD) at Thomas Jefferson University's Sidney Kimmel Medical College."
The experiences and skills that I learned while working at the Kinney Center helped me to continue my passion of working with individuals with autism, and my time in Dr. Joseph McCleery's Cognitive and Behavioral Interventions Research Lab has inspired me to incorporate my experiences, new knowledge and skills into my future career and research."