Stephen Hooper has been named interim director of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, effective Jan. 1.
Former director Sam Odom stepped down after 11 years of serving in that position. Odom will continue to serve as a senior research scientist and as an integral part of FPG’s formidable team of autism experts—a team he himself helped to build as director.
As interim director, Hooper will provide overall administrative oversight. He will also work with the FPG leadership team, investigative groups and staff to facilitate ongoing projects that advance the Institute’s research, provide technical assistance and consultation and facilitate community outreach.
Hooper, who has been with the University for more than 30 years, currently serves as the chair of the department of allied health sciences, associate dean for allied health sciences in the School of Medicine, and professor of psychiatry, psychology, pediatrics and education.
He is an international expert in child neuropsychology and has dedicated his research, community outreach and clinical service activities to developmental disabilities, genetic disorders in children and pediatric chronic illnesses. He currently maintains federal funding with a variety of agencies including the Institute for Educational Science and the National Institutes for Health.
During his tenure as director, Odom oversaw the generation of more than 600 peer-reviewed publications along with hundreds of book chapters, reports and policy briefs produced by FPG scientists and specialists.
He also buttressed FPG’s work to bring research to real-world solutions, supporting projects that impact programs, practices and systems that serve young children. These projects include FPG’s Early Technical Assistance Center, the National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute and evaluations of pre-kindergarten and early learning programs.