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Each study site across the country has multiple research scientists who are experts in certain areas. They work together to design and conduct the research. When the study is complete and all the data has been analyzed, these researchers will share the results with other autism researchers and the public through journal articles and presentations.

Dr. Julie Daniels, PhD

Principal Investigator, SEED

Dr. Daniels oversees all aspects of all phases of NC SEED. She is Professor of Epidemiology and Maternal and Child Health at UNC Chapel Hill.

Dr. Rebecca Edmonson Pretzel, PhD

Co-Investigator, SEED


Dr. Pretzel oversees the autism-specific developmental assessments and conducts some of the child developmental assessments. She is Director of Clinical Services and the Psychology Section Head at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. She is also Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UNC Chapel Hill.

Dr. Kathleen Thomas, PhD

Co-Investigator, SEED


Dr. Thomas advises the NC research team on issues of health service use by families. She is a Research Associate at the Cecil B. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management at UNC Chapel Hill. She specializes in research on the types of services and treatments used by families of children with special needs.

Chyrise Bradley, MA

Project Coordinator


Ms. Bradley is the Project Coordinator for SEED under the NC-CADDRE. She oversees all participant enrollment and research activities for the study. She also oversees the staff that conducts these activities.

Julie Rusyniak

Clinic Visit Coordinator


Ms. Rusyniak assists families with preparing for and completing their clinic visits. She conducts some of the child developmental assessments and works with the study Lab to track biologic samples.

Joy Kloetzer

Interview and Call Coordinator


Ms. Kloetzer coordinates the phone contacts with families and conducts the maternal interviews.

Jordan White

Research Assistant

Jordan White

Mr. White calls families to invite them to participate in the study. He also schedules study appointments and answers questions from the SEED helpline.

Marti Kepner

Data Entry Coordinator


Ms. Kepner performs quality checks on study questionnaires we receive from families. She then conducts or oversees data entry of all study questionnaires and assessments.

These staff members organize the research activities and collect study data from families participating in SEED. They work with Children's Developmental Service Agencies, the NC Vital Records office, the UNC Healthcare System, NC Department of Public Instruction, and the UNC Research Registry to recruit families for participation in this study.