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Welcome to the ACCEPT Lab (Autism Community Capacity and Evaluation of Programs and Training) led by Dr. Melanie Penner

Our team

Meet the staff and students


Dr. Melanie Penner

Research overview: As a clinician scientist, Dr. Penner's clinical and research interests are in autism. In particular, she is interested in service delivery for this population, including evaluating the impact of new care models. Dr. Penner has done research and educational work to expand Ontario's diagnostic capacity for Autism diagnoses in the community setting, decreasing wait times and facilitating earlier access to essential therapy programs.


Research Staff

  • Salina Eldon, Project Manager
  • Genevieve Ferguson, Research Manager
  • Lisa Kanigsberg, Research Coordinator
  • Lili Senman, Research Coordinator
  • Victoria Rombos, Research Coordinator
  • Anmol Patel, Research Assistant
  • Zainab Salami, Research Assistant
  • Isabelle Caven, Research Assistant

Current Trainees

  • Carly Cermak, Post-Doctoral Fellow
  • Josie Kearney, Medical Student
  • Danielle Pearlston, Medical Student
  • Mays Alhellawi, Undergrad Student

Below are some of our publications.

Find more of our published work with Dr. Penner on PubMed and Google Scholar.

* denotes trainees.

Support and funding

Project: Project ECHO Autism Diagnosis and Integrated care Opportunities (ECHO AuDIO).

Researchers: Co-PI Applicants: Penner, M, Robeson P, Flynn R, Ip A.

Co-Applicants: Anagnostou E, Brian J, Christian E, Dever M, Hartling L, Khilji M, Kubow A, Lai J, Lai M, Munce S, Richardson A, Scorah J, Singal D, Smith I, Wijekoon S, Zwaigenbaum L.

Agency: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) - Transforming Health with Integrated Care Implementation Science Team Grant ($1,992,331, 2022 - 2027