Cambridge Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Research Group
The Cambridge Intellectual & Disabilities Research Group (CIDDRG) is part of the Section of Developmental Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge (for more comprehensive information please see our website http://www.ciddrg.org.uk/ ). Since 2002, the Health Foundation has funded a Chair in Learning Disabilities held by Professor Tony Holland and also a second senior research post held by Dr Marcus Redley, a social scientist. Dr Howard Ring, University Lecturer and Consultant Psychiatrist and Dr Isabel Clare, Consultant Clinical and Forensic Psychologist and Affiliated lecturer, University of Cambridge are also senior clinicians and academics in the research group. They are funded through the University and the NHS, respectively. As a result of the Health Foundation award to the University, the Beebe Trust has also supported Dr Anthony Isles, a molecular biologist and neuroscientist, initially working at the Babraham Institute and now in the Department of Psychology, University of Wales.
The LDRG is based at Douglas House and has very close links with the Cambridgeshire Learning Disability Partnership (LDP) and with Cambridge and Peterborough Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. Together with the advocacy organisation Speaking Up, Mr Richard Byers in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge, Mr Simon Whitehead from the Valuing People support team, and Mr Mike Hay, representing local statutory services, the LDRG is a founder member of the Centre for Participation. The Eastern Region Learning Disability Research Network is at present also based with the research group.
The CIDDRG carries out interdisciplinary research in the four broad areas listed below. These themes are expanded further on our linked web site. It has established academic links with other disciplines including law (Professor Michael Gunn, University of Derby), genetics (Dr Tessa Webb, University of Birmingham and Dr Lucy Raymond, University of Cambridge), Philosophy (Professor John McMillan, University of Hull), and geography (Professor Bob Haining, University of Cambridge). Research is funded through the award of specific research grants and PhD studentships.
The group aims to undertake research that may address fundamental issues but has an emphasis on informing treatment development and/or policy and practice relevant to the lives of people with learning disabilities.
- Syndrome-based research focussed on the relationship between specific syndromes and the risk of particular psychiatric and behavioural problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease in people with Down’s syndrome, or over-eating and mental health problems in people with Prader-Willi Syndrome;
- Clinico-legal research including studies relating to decision-making capacity, care pathways of alleged offenders, ‘moral development’, outcomes for victims of abuse, and the impact of relevant legislation (such as the Mental Capacity Act 2005);
- Studies around the theme of citizenship, such as advocacy and voting;
- Neuropsychiatric studies including epilepsy in people with learning disability, and neurophysiological and neuropsychological investigations of functioning in people with autistic spectrum conditions.