Led by Dr. Marie Channell, the IDCL aims to better understand how individuals with different types of intellectual disability learn to communicate. Our overarching goal is to characterize the development of skills that support everyday communication in these individuals so that we can identify optimal strategies for supporting their social and academic success.

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Lab News and Activities

Celebrating 2023 Lab Graduates

The end of the academic year is always bittersweet. We are so happy for our IDCL students who graduated from the University of Illinois in May 2023, but we are so sad to see them go. Congratulations, Margo, Sarah, Madison, Alexa, and Ashley!

Student Awards 2023

4 students from our lab won SHS departmental awards this year. We are so proud of you!

Graduate Student Award Winner: Melissa Hauptman – Frances L. Johnson Student Scholarship. Undergraduate Student Award Winners: Sarah Pechtl – Joan Good Erickson Scholarship, Madison Barrera – Frances L. Johnson Student , Abigail Keasler – Nanine S. Breon Scholarship.

See previous IDCL student award winners.

Dr. Channell wins Faculty Award

Dr. Channell was recognized for exemplary undergraduate student mentoring with the 2023 Phyllis J. Hill Faculty Award from the College of Applied Health Sciences.

2023 Undergraduate Research Symposium

Our IDCL students presented their research at the 2023 UIUC Undergraduate Research Symposium. Learn more about their research presentations.

Celebrating Down Syndrome Awareness and Acceptance Month – October 2022

Group of people standing outside in front of tents.

We partnered with Dr. Mattie’s Development in Neurogenetic Disabilities lab to support our local community of individuals with Down syndrome and their families. We had a blast dressing up as “team spirit”!

New NIH Grant Awarded to Study Autism in Down Syndrome

Dr. Marie Channell (Principal Investigator), UIUC Co-Investigators Dr. Laura Mattie (Associate Professor, Development in Neurogenetic Disabilities Lab), Amy Cohen (Clinical Assistant Professor, Director of Psychological Services), and colleagues at Emory University and Johns Hopkins University/Kennedy Krieger Institute were awarded a two-year $440,000 R21 grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. This study will determine how to best apply autism screening tools and other developmental measures in children with Down syndrome and is part of the NIH INCLUDE (INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE) Project. See our Research page for more information.

Dr. Channell Featured on Podcast in 2020

Dr. Channell was recently featured on the College of Applied Health Sciences “A Few Minutes With…” podcast series. Listen to her explain some of the lab’s recent work.

See more lab news and activities


Marie Moore Channell, Ph.D.


(217) 265-6058