Dr. Fran Conners trained in experimental psychology and intellectual disability research with Douglas K. Detterman at Case Western Reserve University and spent two years as a postdoctoral research associate working on reading disability research with Richard K. Olson at the University of Colorado. She received a 5-year NIH FIRST award (R29) as an early career investigator to study phonological skills in children with intellectual disabilities (ID). Her main research interests are in language and cognition in individuals with ID, especially those with Down syndrome. She looks for areas of strength as well as areas of specific difficulty, how they impact higher-level cognitive/language function, and what implications there are for intervention. Her focus areas are in implicit processing, working memory, and reading. Dr. Conners teaches courses in research methods and intellectual disabilities. For more information on Dr. Conners' work visit her website at
Registry Coordinator 
Dr. Eric Cooks coordinates the University of Alabama Intellectual Disabilities Participant Registry. Eric recently completed his doctoral studies at the University of Alabama where he received a Ph.D. in Communication and Information Sciences. Eric is the father of a 11 year-old with Down syndrome, Isabella, and is especially interested not only in recruiting families for research but also in serving as a resource.

Registry Assistants 
Kara Acosta is a junior from Atlanta, GA. She is double majoring in Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies with a Concentration in Adolescent Youth Development. A fun fact about Kara is that she works at a toy store in downtown Northport, and in her free time she likes to play video games and watch cheesy K-dramas with her roommates.
Andrea Nicastro is a sophomore from Pell City, Alabama. She is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Biology on the Pre-Medical track. A fun fact about Andrea is that she has lived in a lake town her whole life, and has gotten into the lake-spirit the past few years. In her free time she enjoys riding a jet ski, boat days, and going to the beach.
Ann Marie Young is from New Orleans, Louisiana. After graduating in May with a BA in Psychology and minor from the Blount Scholars Program, she will begin in one year internship with Casa de Esperanza. Her goal is to then attend graduate school and receive a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy.