University Designated Centers and Institutes

Life Span Institute

Director:  John Colombo, Ph.D.

The Life Span Institute (Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies) was created in 1990 from the 67-year-old Kansas Bureau of Child Research. Today it is one of the largest and most highly regarded human development and disabilities research centers in the country. LSI brings together scientists of diverse disciplines including, psychology, psychiatry, speech pathology, sociology, education, biology, pharmacology, physiology, gerontology and medicine to study human development from its genetic origins through the final stages of life. LSI supports basic and translational research, treatment and assessment clinics, service coordination and delivery, consultation, and training—notably, training of the next generation of scientists. Life Span Institute’s 13 centers and Peruvian affiliate have more than 150 programs and projects active at any one time in Kansas, as well as other states and Peru. Many projects directly serve individuals, families, and communities located in underserved Kansas City neighborhoods and rural Kansas counties.

Beach Center on Disability
The Beach Center on Disability is a multidisciplinary research and training center focused on individuals and families affected by disability and the professionals who support them.

Center for Community Health & Development
The Center for Community Health and Development promotes community health and development through collaborative research, teaching and public service.

Center for Research on Learning
The Center for Research on Learning is an Internationally recognized research and development organization noted for creating solutions that dramatically improve quality of life, learning and performance especially for those who experience barriers to success.

Centro Ann Sullivan del Perú
Centro Ann Sullivan del Perú is an educational organization in Lima, Peru that serves people with different abilities (such as autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or developmental delay) and their families.

Child Language Doctoral Program
The Child Language Doctoral Program is a specialized Ph.D. in Child Language focusing on the interdisciplinary academic preparation and research training of child-language specialists.

Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research & Treatment
The Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment seeks to understand, prevent, and treat addiction and related disorders, promote health and improved quality of life, and reduce stigma.

Juniper Gardens Children's Project
Juniper Gardens Children’s Project is recognized for its contributions to the development of effective approaches for accelerating learning and reducing classroom conduct problems in both special and general education.

Kansas Center for Autism Research & Training
The Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training is a multidisciplinary center that promotes research and training on the causes, nature and management of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Kansas Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Research Center
The Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center plays a major role in generating effective behavioral interventions aimed at the causes, prevention, and treatment for intellectual and developmental disabilities and in delineating basic knowledge of the underlying biology of typical and atypical development for more than four decades.

KU Center on Developmental Disabilities
Through research, training, technical assistance, and community service activities, the center enhances the quality of life, self-determination, and inclusion of Kansans with developmental disabilities and their families.

Merrill Advanced Studies Center
The Merrill Advanced Studies Center is a catalyst for scholarship on disabilities and policies that shape university research. 

The Life Span Institute at Parsons
The Life Span Institute at Parsons partners with national, state, regional and community partners to conduct research, develop model service programs and provide training for professionals involved in services to young children, youth and adults with disabilities and their families.

The SWIFT (Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation) Center
SWIFT is a national technical assistance center that builds whole system—state, district, school, and community—capacity to provide academic and behavioral support to improve outcomes for all students.

The Life Span Institute

University of Kansas
Dole Human Development Center, Room 1052
1000 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, Kansas 66045


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