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DIBS welcomes Geri Dawson

June 11, 2013

DIBS is pleased to announce the appointment of Geraldine Dawson, PhD as Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center, effective August 1, 2013. Dr. Dawson is a joint hire of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. She will also hold secondary appointments in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience.   

Geri DawsonGeri Dawson

Dr. Dawson is coming to Duke from Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, where she has served as Chief Scientific Officer for the past six years. Prior to this, Dr. Dawson built a world class clinical and research program at the University of Washington. She is an expert in early childhood mental health and developmental disorders.

In her new role as a scientific leader at Duke, Dr. Dawson will strive to integrate Duke University School of Medicine’s and Duke University’s multi-disciplinary research programs to create an innovative, translational center that will seek to transform our understanding of autism and developmental disorders. This state-of-the-art, multi-disciplinary autism diagnostic and treatment center will have a signature focus on diagnosis and treatment of infants, toddlers and preschoolers. She will also be the clinical and scientific leader of Duke’s current Autism Program. Additionally, Dr. Dawson will collaborate with Dr. Egger, Chief of the Division of Child and Family Mental Health, and clinical colleagues within the Department of Psychiatry and Department of Pediatrics, to establish a Center for Children’s Social and Emotional Health within Duke’s Integrated Pediatric Mental Health Program. This center will focus on autism and developmental disorders, anxiety and mood disorders and ADHD, and will provide a continuum of care with strong integration with community providers and programs.

Dr. Dawson’s recruitment is due to the efforts of a number of involved parties, including Michael Platt, PhD, director of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, Sarah Hollingsworth Lisanby, MD, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Joe St. Geme, MD, chair of the Department of Pediatrics, and Helen Egger, MD and Scott Kollins, PhD, MS from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

About DIBS

The Duke Institute for Brain Sciences (DIBS) was created in 2007 as a cross-school, campus-wide, interdisciplinary Institute with a commitment to building an interactive community of brain science research and scholarship.