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Title
Director RUCARES and CSH-RUCARES / Henry Rutgers Endowed Professor of Pediatrics

Wayne W. Fisher, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Director

Professional Summary:

Wayne Fisher is the Henry Rutgers Endowed Professor of Pediatrics in the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a core faculty member of the Brain Health Institute. He is also the inaugural director of the Rutgers University Center for Autism Research, Education, and Service (RU-CARES), a board-certified behavior analyst at the doctoral level (BCBA-D), and a licensed psychologist. He was previously a tenured professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger Institute, where he built clinical-research programs in autism and developmental disabilities with international reputations for excellence. Fisher’s methodologically sophisticated research has focused on several intersecting lines, including mathematical models of behavior, preference assessment, choice responding, and the assessment and treatment of autism and severe behavior disorders, that have been notable for the creative use of concurrent schedules of reinforcement, which have become more commonplace in clinical research primarily as a result of his influence. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers in over 30 different behavioral and/or medical journals, including: the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis; Psychological Reports; American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; Pediatrics; the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders; the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics; and The Lancet. Fisher has had near-continuous federal grant support for his research for over 20 years.  He is a past editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, a past president of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (SEAB), and a fellow in the Association for Behavior Analysis International. His is the recipient of (a) the Bush Leadership Award; (b) the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 25 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Applied Behavioral Research; (c) the UNMC Distinguished Scientist Award; (d) the University of Nebraska system-wide Award for Outstanding Research and Creativity Activity; (e) the SEAB, Don Hake Translational Research Award from Division 25 of the APA, and (f) the Outstanding Mentor of Graduate Students Award from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Education:

Postdoctoral Fellowship, John F. Kennedy Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 1987

PhD, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, 1982

BS, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 1977

Courses Taught:

Assessment and Treatment of Severe Behavior Disorders
Principles and Applications of Choice Responding and Behavioral Economics

Research Interests and Projects:

  • Function-based approaches to understanding and treating severe behavior disorders
  • Principles of choice responding and concurrent operants
  • Behavioral approaches to the assessment and treatment of autism
  • Using behavioral momentum theory to improve function-based treatments

Extramural Grant Funded Research:

  • R01HD079113-07 Fisher (PI)        07/30/2014-06/30/2025            $3,866,049

Stimulus control refinements of functional communication training in ID

Role: PI

  • R01HD083214-06 Fisher (PI)        08/18/2015-04/30/2021            $1,461,829

Preventing relapse of destructive behavior using behavioral momentum theory

Role: PI

  • R01HD093734 Shahan (PI)    02/09/18-01/31/23                   $2,302,662

Basic and clinical studies in reinforcing positive behaviors in intellectual and developmental disabilities

Role: Co-Investigator

Selected Publications (within the last 5 years):

  • Clements, A., Fisher, W. W., Keevy, M. (in press). Promoting the emergence of tacting three-digit numerals through a chain prompt combined with matrix training. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.
  • Miller, S. A., Fisher, W. W., Greer, B. D., Saini, V., & Keevy, M. D. (in press). Procedures for determining and then modifying extinction and alternative-reinforcement parameters of multiple schedules for destructive behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.
  • Fisher, W. W., Luczynski, K. C., Blowers, A. P., Vosters, M. E., Pisman, M. D., Craig, A. R., Hood, S. A., Machado, M. A., Lesser, A. D., & Piazza, C. C. (2020). Randomized clinical trial of a virtual-training program for teaching applied-behavior-analysis skills to parents of children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 53, 1856-1875. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jaba.711
  • Fisher, W. W., Fuhrman, A. M., Greer, B. D., Mitteer, D. R., & Piazza, C. C. (2020). Mitigating resurgence of destructive behavior using the discriminative stimuli of a multiple schedule. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. 113(1), 263-277. https://doi.org/10.1002/jeab.552
  • Saini, V., Fisher, W. W., Retzlaff, B. J., & Keevy, M. (2020). Efficiency in functional analysis of problem behavior: A quantitative and qualitative review. Journal of applied behavior analysis53(1), 44-66. https://doi.org/10.1002/jaba.583
  • Owen, T. M., Fisher, W. W., Akers, J. S., Sullivan, W. E., Falcomata, T. S., Greer, B. D., … & Zangrillo, A. N. (2020). Treating destructive behavior reinforced by increased caregiver compliance with the participant’s mands. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 53, 1494–1513. https://doi.org/10.1002/jaba.674
  • Fisher, W. W., Saini, V., Greer, B. D., Sullivan, W. E., Roane, H. S., Fuhrman, A. M., Craig, A. R., & Kimball, R. T. (2019). Baseline reinforcement rate and resurgence of destructive behavior. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 111, 75-93. https://doi.org/10.1002/jeab.488
  • Fisher, W. W., Felber, J. M., Phillips, L. A., Craig, A. R., Paden, A. R., & Niemeier, J. J. (2019). Treatment of resistance to change in children with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 52(4), 974-993. https://doi: 10.1002/jaba.588
  • Fisher, W. W., Retzlaff, B. J., Akers, J. S., DeSouza, A. A., & Kaminski, A. J. (2019). Establishing initial auditory-visual conditional discriminations in young children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 52, 1089–1106. https://doi.org/10.1002/jaba.586
  • Briggs, A. M., Fisher, W. W., Greer, B. D., & Kimball, R. T. (2018). Prevalence of resurgence of destructive behavior when thinning reinforcement schedules during functional communication training. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 51, 620-633. https://doi.org/10.1002/jaba.472
  • DeSouza, A. A., Fisher, W. W., & Rodriguez, N. M. (2018). Facilitating the emergence of convergent intraverbals in children with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 52, 28-49. https://doi.org/10.1002/jaba.520
  • Fisher, W. W., Greer, B. D., Craig, A. R., Retzlaff, B. J., Fuhrman, A. M., & Lichtblau, K. R. (2018). On the predictive validity of behavioral momentum theory for mitigating resurgence of problem behavior. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 109, 281-290. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jeab.303
  • Saini, V., Fisher, W. W., & Pisman, M. D. (2017). Persistence during and resurgence following noncontingent reinforcement implemented with and without extinction. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 50, 377-392. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jaba.380/full

Selected Editorial/Reviews (within the last 5 years)

  • Saini, V., Fisher, W. W., Retzlaff, B. J., & Keevy, M. (2020). Efficiency in functional analysis of problem behavior: A quantitative and qualitative review. Journal of applied behavior analysis53(1), 44-66. https://doi.org/10.1002/jaba.583
  • Craig, A. R., & Fisher, W. W. (2019). Randomization tests as alternative analysis methods for behavior-analytic data. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 111, 309-328. https://doi.org/10.1002/jeab.500
  • DeSouza, A. A., Akers, J. S., & Fisher, W. W. (2017). Empirical application of Skinner’s verbal behavior for the intervention of children with autism: 60 years of contribution. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 33, 229-259. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40616-017-0093-7