Patient Care

Philip W. Davidson Elected President of IASSIDD

Jan. 18, 2017

Philip W. Davidson, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center has been elected President of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD). IASSIDD is the largest and oldest scientific organization of its kind in the world and promotes worldwide research and exchange of information on intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is comprised of members from more than 50 countries.

Davidson, who came to the University of Rochester Medical Center in 1975, is formerly chief of the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and Director of the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities. He continues his research on the effects of methylmercury on child development and whether humans ingesting fish during pregnancy effects their developmental outcomes. He’s a renowned expert on aging as it relates to intellectual and developmental disabilities, behavior disorders, and neurotoxins and development.

“I’m planning to devote my three year term to securing [financial] support, implementing programs to develop scientists, and bring scientists who are already developed together in low and middle income countries,” said Davidson. “I’m also looking forward to expanding our special interest research groups and improving communication within the organization.”

Davidson plans on continuing the organization’s rich tradition of promoting new knowledge, research, and other scholarly activities to improve the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“It is an honor that Dr. Davidson was elected president of this august international organization,” said Susan Hyman, M.D., Chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital. “Dr. Davidson will be able to guide IASSIDD with the lens of what he accomplished in Rochester and create alliances and collaborations for program development and research for UR faculty and staff.”Under Davidson’s leadership, the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities received national recognition for studies on the needs of persons with autism spectrum disorders and their families, and for his research on the effects of consuming fish during pregnancy. His vision set the stage for current programs in the area such as the Community Consultation Program, which provides behavioral and other technical assistance to schools and community agencies.