Dr. BiasiniSince 2005, the McNulty Civitan Scientist Award has been awarded to outstanding scientists with a long-term career commitment to research on developmental disabilities. The award is given each year in honor of the McNulty family who were long-time members of the Chesapeake District of Civitan International. Tom and Mary McNulty with their son Tommy were the driving force behind the creation of the Civitan International Research Center and the research focus of Civitan International Foundation. To date, the award has provided support for a number of successful research projects and helped to develop successful clinical programs benefitting individuals with developmental disorders.  

Fred Biasini, Ph.D., director of the UAB Civitan-Sparks Clinics, is the 2016-2017 recipient of the coveted McNulty Civitan Scientist Award. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and he is the director of the Lifespan Developmental Psychology Program. His research and teaching interests include autism spectrum disorder, developmental disability, social development and children of substance abusers. 
One of three Alabama Regional Autism Networks has opened at the UAB Civitan-Sparks Clinics to empower persons of all ages and all levels of functioning who have an autism spectrum disorder, as well as their families.

The UAB Civitan-Sparks Clinics were awarded a $75,000 grant to establish the network at UAB that will serve central Alabama by providing connections to resources for those with ASD, and for their families, technical assistance, and consultation services, as well as ASD-education programs to the general public and professional training. 

These network centers are a key step in developing a system of care for people with ASD and their families throughout Alabama,” said Fred J. Biasini, Ph.D., director of the UAB Civitan-Sparks Clinics in the UAB Department of Pediatrics, and associate professor in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology. “In working with Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, we will be able to provide additional resources and promote meaningful public awareness for those with ASD.”

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As of May 1, 2016, the Civitan - Sparks Clinics joined the Department of Pediatrics! This will now align these clinical and training efforts within the Department of Pediatrics and specifically with the new Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (DDBP). Dr. Fred Biasini and colleagues will continue to provide interdisciplinary evaluations for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and serve as a long and short-term training experience for many disciplines such as social work, audiology, psychology, occupational and physical therapy, speech/language pathology, nutrition, nursing, pediatric dentistry, and medicine. The Clinics are an important component of the Alabama University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), and are the home base of the MCH Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities training program (LEND).Clinics include the Child Development Clinic, Behavioral Assessment Clinic, Psychoeducational Clinic, and Autism Clinic. Located in the UAB Community Health Building at 930 20th Street, the Civitan-Sparks Clinics also includes Sparks Pediatrics, a primary care clinic that serves healthy children as well as children with complex medical and social needs. Dr. Snehal Khatri, a developmental pediatrician, leads this team. All of these professionals are strongly committed to serving children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.