Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Welcomes Adithyan Rajaraman as new TRIAD Director of Behavior Analysis Research

May 6, 2022

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) Treatment & Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (VKC TRIAD) announces the hiring of Adithyan Rajaraman, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA, as Director of Behavior Analysis Research. As an assistant professor in Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a VKC investigator, Dr. Rajaraman will lead the research and dissemination of TRIAD’s innovative behavior analytic services and the growing portfolio of related projects.

Having already been a TRIAD collaborator, Rajaraman is excited about the alignment with his interests and values this move brings.

“I was privileged to collaborate with TRIAD during my doctoral training and recognized early on that the organization was not only uniquely positioned to provide comprehensive services to autistic individuals and their families on a global scale, but that they embraced values and commitments that ensure those services are delivered with compassion and dignity," he said. "I am so honored and excited to be coming to Nashville to join the team and contribute to TRIAD’s mission and vision.”

Early and ongoing priorities of TRIAD and Dr. Rajaraman will include research and dissemination of TRIAD’s current community-informed practices – practices anchored in broad shareholder feedback. Three other important initial areas of focus will be 1) developing and refining trauma-informed approaches to the analysis, treatment, and prevention of dangerous behavior; 2) increasing the feasibility and acceptability of behavior-analytic approaches to addressing dangerous behavior in underserved areas and for underrepresented individuals; and 3) promoting safety and choice in behavior-analytic research and practice.

“Dr. Rajaraman is joining us with a shared vision for developing approaches to compassionate care. These approaches are informed and assessed by the people we are serving, and the various communities we engage with across local, statewide, and national initiatives. There is a lot of good, progressive work happening in behavior analysis, but we also know there are many ways we can continue to improve as a field. With Dr. Rajaraman on board we aim to make significant contributions to that progress,” said Pablo Juárez, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA, TRIAD co-director and lead behavior analyst in VUMC’s Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Rajaraman has provided direct or consultative applied behavior analysis (ABA) services for over a decade to children and adolescents with intellectual/developmental disabilities and conditions impacting emotion regulation. He has conducted applied research broadly focusing on the assessment and treatment of dangerous behavior, which has been disseminated internationally via numerous presentations and publications. He received early training in ABA at the New England Center for Children, including one year serving young children in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He earned his Ph.D. under Dr. Greg Hanley’s mentorship at Western New England University before serving as assistant professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County for three years, teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in behavior analysis.

He will officially join the TRIAD team in mid-August of 2022.

Selected publications include:

  • Rajaraman, A., Hanley, G. P., Gover, H. C., Landa, R. K., & Ruppel, K. W. (2022). On the reliability and treatment utility of the practical functional assessment process. Behavior Analysis in Practice.
  • Rajaraman, A., Austin, J. L., Gover, H. C., Cammilleri, A. P., Donnelly, D. R., & Hanley, G. P. (2022). Toward trauma-informed applications of behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 55(1), 40-61.
  • Muharib, R., Dowdy, A., Rajaraman, A., & Jessel, J. (2021). Contingency-based delay to reinforcement following functional communication training for autistic individuals: A multi-level meta-analysis. Autism.
  • Rajaraman, A., Hanley, G. P., Gover, H. C., Staubitz, J. L., Staubitz., J. E., Simcoe, K., & Metras, R. L. (2021). Minimizing escalation by treating dangerous problem behavior within an Enhanced Choice Model. Behavior Analysis in Practice.
  • Ruppel, K. W., Hanley, G. P., Landa, R. K., & Rajaraman, A. (2021). An evaluation of “Balance”: A home-based, parent-implemented program addressing emerging problem behavior. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 14, 324–341.