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Scientific Advisory Board
Joseph Buxbaum, PhD is a molecular neuroscientist and Director of the Seaver Autism Center and Professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Buxbaum heads the Laboratory of Molecular Neuropsychiatry, which has identified genes in autism and translated them into animal models so that therapeutic approaches can be evaluated. In this context, Dr. Buxbaum and his group make use of multiple experimental systems to ultimately develop and evaluate novel therapeutics in autism spectrum conditions. Dr. Buxbaum is a lead investigator in the Autism Genome Project and is a part of the Psychiatric Genetics Consortium. Most recently, six lead investigators, including Dr. Buxbaum, initiated a large-scale next-generation sequencing project to identify additional genetic causes of autism. In addition, Dr. Buxbaum, together with fellow Autism Science Foundation SAB member Dr Matthew State, recently created the Autism Sequencing Consortium with 15 member groups to date dedicated to sharing and jointly analyzing large-scale next-generation sequencing data in autism. Dr. Buxbaum has received numerous awards for his research including recognition from the New York University Child Study Center (2004), from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (2005 and 2010), and from the Eden Institute Foundation for his "commitment and dedication to improving the quality of life in individuals with autism" (2008).
Emanuel DiCicco-Bloom, MD has served the autism community for over a decade, providing scientific expertise and strategies to the National Alliance for Autism Research, and more recently as a member of the Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Committee of Autism Speaks. He works at the interface of science and society through service on the Executive Committee and Tissue Advisory Board of the Autism Tissue Program, on the NJ Governor’s Council on Autism Research, as Chair of the NJ Commission on Brain Injury Research, on the Board of the International Society for Autism Research, and the Public Education and Communication Committee of the Society for Neuroscience. Dr. DiCicco-Bloom is a Professor in the Departments of Neuroscience & Cell Biology and Pediatrics (Neurology) at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and is member of graduate programs in Cell & Developmental Biology, Neuroscience and Toxicology at Rutgers University and UMDNJ. He graduated summa cum laude in Biology from Princeton University and received his MD from Cornell University Medical College. Following Pediatric and Neurology training at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, he received a Clinical Investigator Award supporting pioneering research on growth factor regulation of cell division in neuronal precursors.
Sharon Humiston, MD, MPH, FAAP is a Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri-Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, Division of Emergency and Urgent Care. She received her MD from the Medical College of Toledo and her MPH from the University of Rochester and completed her Pediatric residency at the University of Iowa. Dr. Humiston does immunization related health services research and is the medical director of immunization outreach programs for inner city children and adolescents in Rochester, NY. She is the mother of two children, one of whom is diagnosed with autism.
Bryan King, MD is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington and Director of the Seattle Children's Autism Center. Dr. King studies psychopathology in persons with developmental disabilities, and potential treatments for persons with these conditions. His primary focus is repetitive self-injurious behavior (SIB). He has explored animal models of self-biting with the aim of better understanding the causes of SIB in persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. Dr. King is currently involved in studies of the safety and effectiveness of medications to treat behavioral disturbances in persons with ASD. He is also interested in exploring better ways to collect data and to predict treatment response in clinical trials involving this population.
Ami Klin, PhD is the Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar Professor and Chief of the Division of Autism and Developmental Disabilities at Emory University School of Medicine, and Director of the Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of London, and completed clinical and research post-doctoral fellowships at the Yale Child Study Center. He directed the Autism Program at the Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine until 2010, where he was the Harris Professor of Child Psychology & Psychiatry. Dr. Klin’s primary research activities focus on the social mind and the social brain, and on aspects of autism from infancy through adulthood. These studies include novel techniques such as the eye-tracking laboratory that allows researchers to see the world through the eyes of individuals with autism. These techniques are now being applied in the screening of babies at risk for autism. He is the author of over 150 publications in the field of autism and related conditions. He is also the co-editor of the textbook Asperger Syndrome published by Guilford Press (soon to be released in its second edition), the third edition of the Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders published by Wiley, and several special issues of professional journals focused on autism and related disorders.
Harold S. Koplewicz, MD is the Founder and President of the Child Study Center Foundation, an organization founded in November 2009. Its mission is to improve child mental health by expanding scientific knowledge of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders, delivering evidence-based clinical care, and translating and disseminating new scientifically sound information to mental health professionals, pediatricians, educators, parents, and policy makers around the world. Previously Dr. Koplewicz was Director of the NYU Child Study Center, director of the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, the Arnold and Debbie Simon Professor and Chair of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, and director of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Bellevue Hospital Center. Dr. Koplewicz founded the New York University Child Study Center in 1997. He is a graduate of Albert Einstein College of Medicine He completed his psychiatric residency at New York Hospital Westchester Division, a fellowship in child psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, an NIMH Research Fellowship in Child Psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and the Executive Program in Health Policy and Management at Harvard University School of Public Health.
Eric London, MD is the Director of the Autism Treatment Laboratory at the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities. He is also Chief Science Advisor of the New York State Autism Consortium that is part of New York State’s Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities’ (OMRDD) comprehensive autism platform, a slate of initiatives developed in response to the growing autism crisis. He and his wife, Karen, were co-founders of the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR). Dr. London has served on the Board of Directors and the Scientific Affairs Committee of Autism Speaks for the past three years. He received his MD from New York Medical College, where he also completed his residency in psychiatry. He has an adult son diagnosed with autism.
Catherine Lord, PhD is the Director of the NY Institute for Brain Development and a professor of psychology, psychiatry and pediatrics. Dr. Lord is currently a Visiting Professor at NYU Child Study Center where she is setting up a preschool and toddler clinic using evidence-based assessments and treatments. She is a clinical psychologist who has worked in Canada and the U.K and at various universities in the U.S., including the TEACCH program. She was involved in developing the standardized diagnostic instruments for ASD (the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), an observational scale, and the Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADI-R), a parent interview), considered the gold standard for research diagnoses.
David S Mandell, ScD is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research and Associate Director of the Penn/CHOP Center for Autism Research. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, an Associate Scholar in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, a Research Affiliate of the University of Pennsylvania Population Studies Center, a member of the Pediatric Research Generalist Group, and a Senior Fellow in the Center for Public Health Initiatives. Dr. Mandell’s research focuses on the organization, financing and delivery of services to children with autism, and provides the basis for the development of interventions at the individual, provider and system levels to decrease the age at which children with autism are recognized and enter treatment, and to improve the services and supports available to them and their families. He is the recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) career development award, and principal investigator on an NIMH-funded study to examine the relationship between states’ policies and their delivery of health services to children with autism. Dr. Mandell co-chaired the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Autism Task Force and consults with the Department of Public Welfare to help them develop appropriate policies to meet the needs of families of children with autism. He also served as a member of the core team for the City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Children’s Behavioral Health in 2007. Dr. Mandell is the Chair of the Mental Health Section of the American Public Health Association. He holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from Columbia University and a doctorate of science from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, where he received the Paul V. Lemkau award for outstanding performance in doctoral studies.
Kevin Pelphrey, PhD is a cognitive neuroscientist and the Harris Associate Professor in the Child Study Center and Department of Psychology at Yale University. His laboratory conducts studies focused on fundamental questions regarding the typical and atypical development of the brain in children with and without autism and related neurodevelopment disorders. Dr. Pelphrey has received a Scientist Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health, a John Merck Scholars Award for his work on the biology of developmental disorders, and the American Psychological Association's Boyd McCandless Award for distinguished early career theoretical contributions to Developmental Psychology. His research program is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Simons Foundation, the Autism Science Foundation, Autism Speaks, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Pelphrey directs the Yale Autism Center for Excellence in Research and Treatment.
Celine Saulnier, PhD is the Clinical Director for Research at the Marcus Autism Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Assistant Professor in the Division of Autism and Related Disorders, Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, and Associated Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Emory University. She obtained her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut, after which she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center awarded by the National Alliance for Autism Research. After her postdoc, Dr. Saulnier joined the Yale research faculty, where she became both the Clinical Director and the Training Director for the Autism Program, managing and supervising multidisciplinary diagnostic evaluations on individuals with autism spectrum and related disorders from infancy through young adulthood. At the Marcus Autism Center, Dr. Saulnier oversees all activities related to the characterization of individuals participating in clinical research and she is Director of the Clinical Assessment Core for the Emory Autism Center of Excellence grant awarded by NIMH. Her research focuses on profiles of adaptive behavior in autism spectrum disorders, particularly on the discrepancy between cognitive ability and the application of functional skills to daily contexts and routines. She is also is co-author of the book, Essentials of Autism Spectrum Disorders Evaluation and Assessment.
Matthew State, MD, PhD is the Donald J. Cohen Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry, Associate Professor of Genetics and Co-Director of the Program on Neurogenetics at the Yale University School of Medicine. His research focuses on identifying and characterizing genes and genetic mechanisms involved in developmental and pediatric neuropsychiatric disorders. Currently his lab is focused on autism and related pervasive developmental disorders, Tourette syndrome, mental retardation, and structural abnormalities of the developing central nervous system. Dr. State serves on the editorial boards of Autism Research, Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Biological Psychiatry. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Stanford University and his PhD in Genetics from Yale University.