Dean Williams, Ph.D., Senior Scientist and Principal Investigator, Life Span Institute at Parsons, was recently granted emeritus status by the Chancellor of the University of Kansas. In 2018, Dr. Williams was recognized for thirty years of service to the University during which he gained recognition for his research interests and findings. He started his academic training at the University of Wisconsin, earning his B.A. in Psychology. He earned both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Florida.
The Parsons Research Center is well known for significant contributions to improving the lives of people with developmental disabilities and behavioral problems. Dr. Williams began his career studying aberrant behavior at the Parsons State Hospital and Training Center. He went on to complete his postdoctoral fellow at Wake Forest University, and returned to Parsons two years later under a grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Williams’ research interests include behavioral pharmacology in intellectual disabilities (ID) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In particular, effects of psychoactive medications on cognitive and aberrant behaviors and effects of drugs on animal models of ID and ASD. Funded Projects - NIH: Transition State Analysis of Chronic Aberrant Behavior in Laboratory, Clinical & Naturalistic Settings; USDE: Steppingstones of Technology Innovation for Children with Disabilities Improving Outcomes for Young Children with Hearing Impairment and Other
Disabilities: Technology for Audiometric Assessment; KCART: Bio-behavioral Measures of Aversive Transitions in Children with ASD; KCART: Propranolol Administration on Autonomic and Behavioral Responses in Children with ASD.
Career honors include: Board of Editors, Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior; Board of Editors, The Behavior Analyst; Editor, Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Bulletin; President, Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis; Faculty of Postdoctoral Training in Translational Research on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities program; Fellow of the American Psychological Association; University of Kansas Leading Light Award for Research; James A. Shannon Directors Award for Merits.
With a career spanning more than 30 years, Dr. Williams’ research and behavior analysis findings have been published in more than 40 publications, books, scientific, and applied journals. He has lectured in his areas of research throughout the United States, and internationally including Italy, Australia, Ireland, and Norway. In 2009, Dr. Williams was quoted in a Parsons Sun (Kansas) newspaper article about his research, “You are learning something and passing it on that lets people understand people with developmental disabilities. …It’s a good feeling to be contributing to the greater good.”
David Lindeman, KU LSI Parsons Director, said, “Dean is a valued member of the faculty here at the LSI/Parsons, his contributions to this setting and the broader field of study involving persons with disabilities will be missed”.