Dr. Hooper is currently Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, Pediatrics, and Education at UNC and carries a number of titles at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD), including Director of Training and Education, Director of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychology, and Associate Director. He is an international expert in child neuropsychology with much of his research, clinical activity, and community outreach devoted to developmental disabilities. He joined the UNC faculty in 1987 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and as Director of Psychology at the Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning. His appointment as Chair and Associate Dean became effective October 1, 2013.
"I am grateful for this new leadership opportunity and for the confidence that the UNC School of Medicine leadership has shown in appointing me to this position," Dr. Hooper said. "I am excited about advancing new initiatives within the Department, and I look forward to working with all Allied Health Sciences faculty and staff in my new role."
DAHS educates more than 400 students and offers academic programs ranging from entry-level professional certificates through advanced professional doctorates and research PhDs. The department includes six divisions: Clinical Laboratory Science, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Radiologic Science, Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology, and Speech and Hearing Sciences. In addition, the department is home to the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies and the Neurodiagnostics and Sleep Science program, and is currently developing a Physician Assistant master's degree program.
"Dr. Hooper is an international leader in treating childhood developmental disabilities, a field that requires an exceptional level of multidisciplinary coordination and interprofessional capabilities," said William L. Roper, MD, MPH, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine. "Dr. Hooper is familiar with the breadth and depth of the Allied Health faculty's expertise. I'm confident he will be an effective leader for the department."
Dr. Hooper succeeds Lee McLean, PhD, who retired on September 30 after serving as Chair of the Department of Allied Health Sciences for 13 years and as Associate Dean for the School of Medicine since 2005. "We owe Dr. McLean a tremendous thank you for everything she's done for the department and school over the years," said Dr. Roper.
Dr. Hooper's interests revolve around child neuropsychology, with specific activities devoted to teaching, community outreach, translational research, and clinical endeavors. In his work with the CIDD, Dr. Hooper has been a well-recognized provider of neuropsychological evaluations of children with a wide variety of neurodevelopmental and acquired neurological disorders and their families. A large number of interdisciplinary trainees have rotated through his Child and Adolescent Neuropsychology Clinic. In this regard, Dr. Hooper has provided training to students from many disciplines across the University through his clinical and research efforts, and has been a professor of formal course work through the UNC School of Education for over 20 years.
Dr. Hooper's research focuses on increasing the understanding of the neurobiological bases of childhood disorders, with a particular emphasis on phenotypic neurocognitive functioning. He is the PI on many federally-funded grants and also serves as the lead on a number of projects for the state of North Carolina. In addition, he maintains longstanding relationships with departments across the UNC campus, with faculty at universities across the nation, and with key agencies and divisions in the state of North Carolina.
Dr. Hooper graduated with a BS in Child Psychology from Juniata College, earned a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from Western Kentucky University, and earned his PhD in School Psychology from the University of Georgia. He completed a clinical child psychology internship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he focused on child psychology and behavioral pediatrics, and he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Child Neuropsychology at Brown University. He spent one year as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Pennsylvania State University Medical School prior to his arrival at UNC in 1987.