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

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.

2022 UIUC Undergraduate Research Symposium

Our IDCL students presented their research at the 2022 UIUC Undergraduate Research Symposium. Learn more about their research presentations.

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Awards 2022

A record 6 students from our lab won departmental and college student awards. Congratulations!

Group of students holding their awards

Undergraduate Student Award Winners: Madison Barrera – Nanine S. Breon Scholarship, Melissa Bruce – Frances L. Johnson Student Scholarship, Nadia Hernandez – Frances L. Johnson Student Scholarship & Jerry D. Burnam Student Scholarship, Kelsey Libert – Silvia Wacker Herzog Scholarship.

Graduate Student Award Winners: Rebekah Bosley – Phyllis Ariens Burkhead Memorial Fellowship, Margo Lanier – John C. and Judith D. Turner Applied Health Sciences Scholarship.

Celebrating Down Syndrome Awareness and Acceptance Month

In October, we partnered with Dr. Mattie’s Development in Neurogenetic Disorders lab to support our local community of individuals with Down syndrome and their families. We had a blast dressing for the occasion!

Melissa Bruce Receives ASHA 2021 SPARC Award

Senior Melissa Bruce has been selected for the Students Preparing for Academic-Research Careers (SPARC) award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. This award supports her undergraduate thesis research on how young children talk about people’s thoughts, feelings, and other mental states during narrative storytelling. Congratulations, Melissa!

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