Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Associate Director of the University of Southern California UCEDD
Co-Principal Investigator, Embedding Cultural Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competence: A Guide for UCEDD Curricula and Training
Barbara Wheeler, Ph.D., R.N. has an undergraduate in Nursing and a Ph.D. in Special Education. She served on the President’s Committee on Mental Retardation for five-years during the Clinton administration. Much of her career has focused on studying and addressing racial disparities across many systems of service, starting with Black infant mortality research at Charles Drew Post-Graduate Medical School and then evaluating Black Infant Health Programs for the State of California for two years. Her recent work has focused on building capacity in minority community-based organizations to fill gaps in services for under-represented groups and organizing multi-cultural advocacy networks. With Dr. Clara Lajonchere, formerly of Autism Speaks, she completed an NIH Partners in Research grant and a larger NIMH Pathways to Translational Research Grant which addressed barriers to information for Latino parents of children with ASD who have low-literacy and limited English proficiency by distilling bio-medical research articles on ASD into a format (Autism Science Briefs) accessible by this group. She has also worked in the area of workforce diversity. She was the PI for one of the two Minority Partnership grants funded by AIDD with California State University Los Angeles (a minority and Hispanic serving institution), which led to the development of Minor in DD at Cal State LA, which continues to this day. In addition, she is the lead faculty for the LA Site of the CDC Undergraduate Public Health Scholars Program under the Kennedy Krieger Institute which is currently in the 6th and final year of this summer training program.