Newswise — Courtney Burnette, Ph.D., an international expert in the diagnosis of children with autism spectrum disorders and the early identification of young children at risk for this diagnosis, has been named the director of the Munroe-Meyer Institute’s integrated Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (iCASD).

Dr. Burnette will join MMI, on the Omaha campus of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, on Sept. 1.
"Dr. Burnette is a superb leader, educator and clinician, and we are pleased to have her as the inaugural director of the integrated Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders," said Karoly Mirnics, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Munroe-Meyer Institute. "She brings a depth of knowledge and experience to the position that will greatly serve our MMI families. As MMI prepares to move into a new home in 2020, Dr. Burnette will ensure that the center is well-positioned to grow, work with community partners, and deliver world-class autism research, education and integrated clinical care." 
MMI will move to the former First Data building near the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Scott Campus in the summer of 2020.
UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., lauded Dr. Burnette’s hiring.
"The Munroe-Meyer Institute’s integrated Center of Autism Spectrum Disorders will transform the lives of many Nebraska families through its clinical services, and it will have a huge impact on families across the country through its research, education and treatment innovations," Dr. Gold said. "I am excited to have Dr. Burnette take the helm at the center, and I look forward to seeing the iCASD achieve new breakthroughs under her leadership."
Dr. Burnette said she sees a lot of opportunity at MMI.
"Munroe-Meyer is moving forward in very exciting directions," she said. "Everyone I met with was incredibly knowledgeable, enthusiastic about what they do and eager to collaborate for the benefit of the children, families and community. The opportunity to continue the great work they are already doing, as well as develop new programs to meet growing needs were big selling points for me.
"What is really impressive is the variety of disciplines that are represented at MMI," she said. "I am looking forward to being a part of MMI and working within that multidisciplinary community."
Dr. Burnette currently is the director of the Clinical Evaluation Services Unit at the Center for Development and Disability at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, a role she’s held since March 2015. She also has served as a faculty member in the department of pediatrics at UNM in Albuquerque, N.M., since October 2010. Prior to that, she was an assistant professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center in Nashville, Tenn.
She also established the ECHO Autism Clinic in September 2015 to partner with rural providers across New Mexico, using videoconferencing technology to connect providers across the state to an expert hub team.
Dr. Burnette received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology, with a specialization in children and families, from the University of Miami in 2006. Her clinical internship was in clinical child-pediatric psychology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill from 2005-2006, and she completed her postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences in 2007.
She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the International Society for Autism Research.
About the integrated Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Munroe-Meyer Institute
The integrated Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders will expand existing services and establish new adolescent and adult services, establish a comprehensive autism spectrum disorder (ASD) screening and diagnostic clinic, expand and coordinate care for the ASD interdisciplinary services, and focus on empowerment and education of parents as treatment providers. The center’s mission is to improve the quality of life of children and adults diagnosed with ASD or related disabilities. The center provides advanced, comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services, develops and refines effective treatments through clinical research, disseminates effective treatment technologies and offers training for students at the undergraduate through postdoctoral level.
The Munroe-Meyer Institute’s (MMI) mission is to be world leaders in transforming the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and communities through outreach, engagement, premier educational programs, innovative research and extraordinary patient care.
We are Nebraska Medicine and UNMC. Our mission is to lead the world in transforming lives to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities through premier educational programs, innovative research and extraordinary patient care.


John Keenan
UNMC Public Relations
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(402) 559-8329

Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
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