Dr. Escolar is the director of the Program for the Study of Neurodevelopmental Function in Rare Disorders (NFRD). The NFRD was established in 2000 because of the need to help children and their families understand the overall impact of pediatric neurological diseases. While the program initially focused on Lysosomal Storage disorders, it has now expanded to include many other rare disorders. The program has longitudinally evaluated over 400 children. Because these disorders are rare (incidence of 1 in 40,000 – 200,000), the many patients it follows represents a substantial proportion of the population of children with these disorders.
The NFRD is a program within the Clinical Center for Development and Learning (CDL), and the CDL is a program within the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. The Carolina Institute was recently established by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine to advance research, training and treatment efforts aimed at aiding children and adults with developmental disabilities.