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About William J. McIlvane

Dr. William McIlvane directs a broad research program that addresses a variety of scientific problems relevant to understanding and perhaps correcting behavior deficits of persons with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

One focus of Dr. McIlvane's program is development of methods to encourage progressively more rapid learning of symbolic behaviors. A second focus is to adapt behavioral neuroscience methods - including animal modeling - to further understanding of brain processes involved in symbolic behavior. Another focus of Dr. Mcllvane's program is to develop valid nonverbal neuropsychological testing methods for use with individuals and populations that do not understand verbal instructions. Methods developed in this aspect of his research have been adapted to further understanding of the behavioral profiles associated with disorders such as autism, depression, and neurotoxicant exposure.

In addition, Dr. Mcllvane's program has a strong research-to-practice emphasis. For example, methods emerging from laboratory research are being used to teach practical skills in regular and special education classrooms in both the United States and in Brazil.

A long-time mentor, Dr. McIlvane has a special interest in programs offering pre- and post-doctoral training within his areas of research. He is also a mentor to junior faculty in developing productive, competitive programs of research in the neurodevelopmental disabilities.


Present Professor Emeritus, Department of Pediatrics, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Present Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Present Director, Academic Development, Commonwealth Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Curriculum Vitae

Honors and Awards

  • Society for Advancement of Behavior Analysis Translational Science Award (2010)
  • Don Hake Translational Research Award, American Psychological Association (2003)
  • Association for Behavior Analysis Continuing Contributions Award (2001, award to Shriver Behavioral Technology Group)
  • Fellow, Division 25, American Psychological Association
  • Fellow, Association for Behavior Analysis

Contact Information

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center
University of Massachusetts Medical School
333 South Street, Shrewsbury, MA 01545 main UMMS campus)
200 Trapelo Road, Waltham, MA 02452 (Waltham campus)
Phones: 508-856-4104 (Shrewsbury), (781) 642-0153 (Waltham


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