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Developmental Medicine

The Division of Developmental Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at IU School of Medicine, led by Celanie Christensen, MS, MD and Angela Tomlin, PhD, provides services to children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and develops professionals to work with that population. The team values family-centered patient care and collaborates with families, community groups, primary care physicians and other Riley subspecialists to optimize health outcomes for our patients and their families.

Clinical Care

The Division of Developmental Medicine provides evaluation and treatment for children with a broad spectrum of neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorders in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The developmental pediatrics team works to design and implement highly individualized programs of care to evaluate and manage physical, mental, and social development from infancy to young adulthood.

Learn more about clinical care

Educational Opportunities

  • Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics fellows have access to a rich and dynamic interdisciplinary leadership training experience focused on the life course of autism spectrum disorders and other developmental conditions.
  • Leadership Education in Neurodevelopment Disabilities (LEND) training is a graduate-level interdisciplinary leadership program that develops leaders in the field of neurodevelopmental disabilities in multiple disciplines, including medicine, psychology, speech, social work, and related disciplines, including individuals with lived experience. The program provides fellowships, practicum placements and internships.
  • The Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Residency is an ACGME accredited 4-6 year training program.
  • Community-based trainings: The team of faculty and staff in the Division of Developmental Medicine also conduct training workshops and conferences for community practitioners around the state who seek specific skills and competence in their field of practice—particularly in the areas of neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorders. Recent trainings have included: infant and toddler mental health, social-emotional development, behavioral interventions, various diagnoses and patient care, trauma in young children, and health care advocacy. Workshops and conferences also include components that are useful for families seeking skills and ideas to support their children with developmental disabilities.
  • In addition, the Neurodevelopmental Behavioral System of Care helps train pediatricians and primary care physicians throughout Indiana to recognize the signs of autism and other developmental delays in children.


The Division of Developmental Medicine partners with IU Health in clinical and systems research efforts, performing a wide variety of interdisciplinary research projects in developmental pediatrics. Centrally located on the IU School of Medicine–Indianapolis campus, students and faculty have easy access to opportunities to collaborate with researchers across the full range of academic departments. We are always willing to partner on research initiatives.

Explore core research services from the Neurodevelopmental Phenotyping Program

Developmental pediatrics investigators successfully use knowledge gleaned from research to inform treatment options and health care policy. Currently, the division’s primary areas of research include:

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Care coordination for children with special health care needs
  • Down syndrome
  • Evaluation of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) training materials, reflective practice and supervision
  • Factors affecting early childhood development, including trauma, parental incarceration, access to quality daycare and foster care
  • Genetics
  • Injury prevention
  • Spina bifida
  • Transportation safety


The members of the Division of Developmental Medicine partner with organizations and institutions within the community on multiple councils and working groups as well as professional development training. This diversifies our offerings for educational opportunities as well as research partnerships.


Developmental medicine faculty follow an interdisciplinary model of care for children and their families and work with a diverse team of pediatric specialists.

Faculty in the Division of Developmental Medicine