Academy of Research In Occupational Therapy

AOREstablished in 1983, the AOTF Academy of Research in Occupational Therapy recognizes individuals who have made exemplary, distinguished, and sustained contributions toward the science of occupational therapy. Every year, the Academy of Research invites nominations for membership. After consideration of the nominations and supporting materials, the Academy selects individuals to be inducted into this distinguished body of researchers. Normally, inductions occur at the next AOTA Annual Conference and Exposition.  

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Presentations from 2021 Academy of Research Inductees and 2021 Early & Mid-Career Awardees

2023 Inductees to the Academy

Members of the Academy of Research

View Full List of Academy of Research Members At-A-Glance. * indicates a deceased member.

Grace T. Baranek, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Helene Ross

Grace T. Baranek, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA


Grace Baranek is a prolific scholar and internationally renowned expert on sensory features of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She earned her bachelor's degree in occupational therapy from the University of Illinois at the Medical Center and both her master's and PhD degrees in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to her 2016 appointment as associate dean and chair of the USC Chan Division, she was a professor and associate chair for research in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Beginning in 2003, Dr. Baranek was the Principal Investigator of the Sensory Experiences Project funded by the National Institute Health (NIH) National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The 10-year study totaling more than $4.5M in NICHD grant funding aimed to explain the developmental course, mechanisms and functional effects of sensory features in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Sensory features are highly prevalent in children with ASD and may impact daily activities, routines and social participation.
During her career, Dr. Baranek has served as either the Principal or Co-Principal Investigator of extramural grants funded by the NIH/NICHD, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Education, the Autism Speaks Foundation, and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). She has been a member of working groups of the National Academy of Science and the NIH to establish guidelines for evidence-based practices for children with ASD.
She has co-authored more than 65 peer-reviewed articles in interdisciplinary publications including Autism Research, Autism, the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders and the American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT). She is also the lead author of the First Years Inventory, a screening tool for infants aged 9-15 months who are at risk for a later diagnosis of ASD.
In 2016, Dr. Baranek was a co-recipient of the AOTA Cordelia Myers AJOT Best Article Award and in 2013 she received the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology Editor's Award. (Retrieved on February 27, 2017 from http://chan.usc.edu/faculty/directory/Grace_Baranek)

Selected References

Baranek, GT, Watson, LR, Boyd, BA, Poe, MD, David, FJ & McGuire, L.  (2013). Hyporesponsiveness to social and nonsocial sensory stimuli in children with autism, children with developmental delays, and typically developing children.  Development and Psychopathology, 25, 307-320.

Baranek, GT, Roberts, J., David, FJ, Sideris, J, Mirrett, PL, Hatton, DD & Bailey, D. B. (2008). Developmental trajectories and correlates of sensory processing in young boys with fragile X syndrome. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 28, (1), 79-98.

Little, LM, Sideris, J, Ausderau, K & Baranek, GT.  (2014). Activity participation among children with autism spectrum disorder.  American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68, 477-485.

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