Scientific Advisory Board

Matthew State, MD, PhD, Scientific Advisory Board Chair
Dr. State is the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Director of Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute at the University of California, San Francisco. 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.

Raphael Bernier, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington and the Clinical Director of the Seattle Children’s Autism Center. Dr. Bernier’s research interests span many aspects of ASDs—from genetics and neuroscience to phenotypic characterization and intervention. He is a clinician who sees families on a daily basis, and a researcher who integrates findings from the lab into his clinical practice.

Joseph Buxbaum, PhD is  the G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Genetic and Genomic Sciences, the Head of The Laboratory of Molecular Neuropsychiatry, and the Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai. Dr. Buxbaum is the Director of the Seaver Autism Center, and his research focuses on using techniques of molecular genetics and neurobiology to identify, and ultimately characterize, genes that contribute to autism susceptibility. His laboratory has identified common and rare genetic variants that underlie ASD and has developed model systems in which novel therapeutics can be tested. In addition, Dr. Buxbaum has taken a lead in several international consortia, most recently the Autism Sequencing Consortium aimed at sequencing 20,000 exomes, dedicated to advancing research in ASD. Dr. Buxbaum is the author of more than 200 publications, and he is co-editor-in-chief of the journal Molecular Autism.

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.

Susan Hyman, MD is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Neurodevelopmental & Behavioral Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center School of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr. Hyman’s research interests focus on comparing ASD to other developmental conditions, and investigating the role of diet and nutrition in autism. In collaboration with the Autism Treatment Network (ATN), Dr. Hyman’s research team is examining sleep, GI, and other medical comorbidities associated 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 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, a National Institute of Mental Health (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, 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/Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (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 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.

James McPartland, PhD is an Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center. He is a licensed child psychologist and Director of the Yale Developmental Disabilities Clinic. He is Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Yale Child Study Center and teaches an undergraduate seminar on autism spectrum disorder. Dr. McPartland’s program of research investigates the brain bases of neurodevelopmental disabilities to develop biologically-based tools for detection and treatment. He is the Principal Investigator of the Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials (ABC-CT), a nationwide effort to identify biomarkers to support intervention research in ASD. His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NARSAD, the Autism Science Foundation, the Waterloo Foundation, Autism Speaks, the Patterson Trust, and the Simons Foundation, and his contributions to the field have been recognized by the University of Washington’s Bolles and Gatzert Child Welfare Fellowships, a Clinical and Translational Sciences Scholar Award from the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, a Behavioral Science Track Award for Rapid Transition and a Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Mental Health, the NARSAD Atherton Young Investigator Award, the International Society for Autism Research Young Investigator Award, the Patterson Trust Clinical Research Award, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Klerman Prize, and the American Psychological Association Division of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Sara S. Sparrow Early Career Research Award. Dr. McPartland has published 5 books and 90 scholarly works on autism and related topics. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disability and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. He has served on the Executive Committee of the American Psychological Association’s Division of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and currently serves on the board of the International Society for Autism Research.

Eric Morrow, MD, PhD is a physician-scientist with extensive experience in autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Morrow received his MD-PhD from the Harvard Medical School/MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) program. He completed his psychiatry training at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and McLean Hospital. Since moving to the Institute for Brain Science at Brown University in 2009, Dr. Morrow has taken an active role in building a multidisciplinary, translational research program in autism research. His laboratory research focus is on normal mechanisms that regulate brain development and on genetic and cellular mechanisms that lead to severe forms of autism. Research in the Morrow lab is based upon an integrated approach involving mouse models, patient-derived stem cells, and clinical investigation in patients. Also at the Emma Pendleton Bradley Hospital, Dr. Morrow leads the Rhode Island Collaborative for Autism Research and Treatment (RI-CART), a statewide, population-based research network. The long-range goals regarding Dr. Morrow’s research are to contribute to the development of innovative medical interventions that will enhance cognitive and adaptive gains in the most difficult-to-treat forms of autism.

Kevin Pelphrey, PhD is an internationally renowned neuroscientist and the parent of a young woman with autism. He utilizes brain science to develop biologically-based tools for detection, stratification and individually tailored treatments. He leads the NIH Autism Center for Excellence—Multimodal Developmental Neurogenetics of Autism network that spans seven national sites. He directs an NIH postdoctoral training program to prepare scientist-clinicians for independent careers translating multidisciplinary science into novel treatments for neurodevelopmental disorders. At GW, Dr. Pelphrey is the Carbonell Family Professor and director of the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute. The institute serves as a focal point for translational research and comprehensive clinical services for autism, while also serving as a beacon for policymakers seeking information on issues surrounding policy, research and treatment of autism. Prior to joining GW, he was the Harris Associate Professor in the Child Study Center and Department of Psychology at Yale University and directed the Yale Autism Center for Excellence in Research and Treatment. Dr. Pelphrey has received a Scientist Career Development Award from NIH, 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 has been funded by NIH, the Simons Foundation, the Autism Science Foundation, Autism Speaks, and the National Science Foundation.

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 fellowship, 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.

Michael Tranfaglia, MD serves as Medical Director and Chief Scientific Officer of FRAXA. He coordinates the Foundation’s research strategy, working with academic and pharma scientists to develop new treatments for Fragile X and related developmental disorders. Dr. Tranfaglia has a BA from Harvard University and studied medicine at the University of North Carolina. After obtaining his MD, he stayed at UNC for Psychiatry residency training, and then entered private practice in Newburyport, MA. Mike had specialized in the treatment of Anxiety Disorders before his son was diagnosed with Fragile X in 1992 and subsequent founding of FRAXA.