Geraldine Dawson

Geraldine Dawson

Director, Duke Center for Autism & Brain Development

William Cleland Distinguished Professor

External Address: 
2608 Erwin Road, Room 3126, Duke University Med Center, Durham, NC 27705
Internal Office Address: 
Box 3527 DUMC, Durham, NC 27710


Geraldine Dawson is the William Cleland Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University, where she also is Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology & Neuroscience. Dawson is the Director of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences whose mission is to promote interdisciplinary brain science and translate discoveries into solutions for health and society.  Dawson also is Director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, an NIH Autism Center of Excellence, which is an interdisciplinary research program and clinic, aimed to improve the lives of those with autism through research, education, clinical services, and policy.  Dawson is Associate Director of the Marcus Center for Cellular Cures which aims to discover cellular treatments that can improve outcomes and quality of life for individuals with autism.  Dawson received a Ph.D. in Developmental and Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington and completed a clinical internship at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute.

Dawson previously served as President of the International Society for Autism Research and was appointed by the US Secretary of Health as a member of the NIH Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) which develops the federal strategic plan for autism research, services, and policy. Dawson was Founding Director of the University of Washington (UW) Autism Center and the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, Dawson was awarded the American Psychological Association Distinguished Career Award (Div53); Association for Psychological Science Lifetime Achievement Award; Clarivate Top 1% Cited Researcher Across All Scientific Fields; NIH Top Research Advances of the Year Award (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018); Autism Society of America Award for Research Contributions; Autism Society Medical Professional of the Year; and Autism Society Award for Valuable Service. Dawson is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society and American Psychological Association, and is Associate Editor or on editorial boards of four scientific journals. 

Education & Training

  • Clinical Internsship with speciality in Developmental Disabilities, Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California - Los Angeles 1979 - 1980

  • Ph.D., University of Washington 1979

Selected Grants

Novel Approaches to Infant Screening for ASD in Pediatric Primary Care awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2024

Scalable Computational Platform For Active Closed-Loop Behavioral Coding in Autism Spectrum Disorder awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2023

Duke CTSA (TL1) awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2018 to 2023

Co-occurring ADHD in young children with ASD: Precursors, detection, neural signatures, and early treatment awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2022

Marcus Foundation Phase II MSC ASD awarded by The Marcus Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2022

Digital Behavioral Outcome Measures for Autism awarded by Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (Co-Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2022

Tailoring treatment targets for early autism intervention in Africa awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2019 to 2021

Pilot Study to Improve Access to Early Intervention for Autism in Africa awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2015 to 2021

Building a streamlined birth cohort to study autism risk factors and biomarkers awarded by Drexel University (Principal Investigator). 2020 to 2021

Duke Expanded Access Protocol Proposal for the Cord Blood Association Foundation awarded by Cord Blood Association Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2020


Howard, J., and G. Dawson. “The early start denver model (ESDM).” Interprofessional Care Coordination for Pediatric Autism Spectrum Disorder: Translating Research into Practice, 2020, pp. 357–68. Scopus, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-46295-6_23. Full Text

McPartland, J. C., et al. “Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Encyclopedia of Mental Health: Second Edition, 2016, pp. 124–30. Scopus, doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-397045-9.00230-5. Full Text

Filipek, P. A., et al. “The screening and diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorders.” The Science of Mental Health: Volume 2: Autism, 2013, pp. 11–56.

Dawson, G., and L. Sterling. “Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Encyclopedia of Infant and Early Childhood Development, vol. 1–3, 2008, pp. 137–43. Scopus, doi:10.1016/B978-012370877-9.00016-5. Full Text

Dawson, G., and K. Toth. “Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Developmental Psychopathology: Second Edition, vol. 3, 2006, pp. 317–57. Scopus, doi:10.1002/9780470939406.ch8. Full Text

Minshew, N. J., et al. “Neuropsychology and neurophysiology of autism spectrum disorders.” Understanding Autism: From Basic Neuroscience to Treatment, 2006, pp. 379–415.

Tenenbaum, Elena J., et al. “A Six-Minute Measure of Vocalizations in Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder.Autism Res, vol. 13, no. 8, Aug. 2020, pp. 1373–82. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/aur.2293. Full Text Open Access Copy

Jones, E. J. H., et al. “Infant EEG theta modulation predicts childhood intelligence.Sci Rep, vol. 10, no. 1, July 2020, p. 11232. Pubmed, doi:10.1038/s41598-020-67687-y. Full Text

Simhal, Anish K., et al. “Measuring robustness of brain networks in autism spectrum disorder with Ricci curvature.Sci Rep, vol. 10, no. 1, July 2020, p. 10819. Pubmed, doi:10.1038/s41598-020-67474-9. Full Text

Dawson, Geraldine, et al. “A Phase II Randomized Clinical Trial of the Safety and Efficacy of Intravenous Umbilical Cord Blood Infusion for Treatment of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.J Pediatr, vol. 222, July 2020, pp. 164-173.e5. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2020.03.011. Full Text

Volkmar, Fred R., et al. “Duane F. Alexander, M.D.: August 11, 1940-February 16, 2020.J Autism Dev Disord, vol. 50, no. 7, July 2020, pp. 2641–42. Pubmed, doi:10.1007/s10803-020-04534-z. Full Text

Sun, Jessica M., et al. “Infusion of human umbilical cord tissue mesenchymal stromal cells in children with autism spectrum disorder.Stem Cells Transl Med, June 2020. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/sctm.19-0434. Full Text

Bangerter, Abigail, et al. “Clinical Validation of the Autism Behavior Inventory: Caregiver-Rated Assessment of Core and Associated Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder.J Autism Dev Disord, vol. 50, no. 6, June 2020, pp. 2090–101. Pubmed, doi:10.1007/s10803-019-03965-7. Full Text

Ness, Seth, et al. “Publisher Correction: ASPI: a public-private partnership to develop treatments for autism.Nat Rev Drug Discov, vol. 19, no. 6, June 2020, p. 427. Pubmed, doi:10.1038/s41573-020-0069-5. Full Text

Major, Samantha, et al. “Impact of a digital Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers-Revised on likelihood and age of autism diagnosis and referral for developmental evaluation.Autism, May 2020, p. 1362361320916656. Pubmed, doi:10.1177/1362361320916656. Full Text

Bangerter, Abigail, et al. “Automated recognition of spontaneous facial expression in individuals with autism spectrum disorder: parsing response variability.Mol Autism, vol. 11, no. 1, May 2020, p. 31. Pubmed, doi:10.1186/s13229-020-00327-4. Full Text


Li, Y., et al. “On target shift in adversarial domain adaptation.” Aistats 2019  22nd International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, 2020.

Carpenter, Kimberly L. H., et al. “RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SENSORY PROCESSING DIFFERENCES AND CLINICAL FEATURES OF CHILDREN WITH ASD.” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 58, no. 10, ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2019, pp. S151–S151. Wos, doi:10.1016/jaac.2019.08.037. Full Text

Carpenter, Kimberly L. H., et al. “1.14 GRAPH CURVATURE AS A METHOD FOR DISCERNING ROBUSTNESS IN BRAIN NETWORKS IN ASD.” Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 58, no. 10, Elsevier BV, 2019, pp. S151–S151. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2019.08.036. Full Text

Ressler, B., et al. “Meeting the demands of msc production for clinical studies.” Cytotherapy, vol. 21, no. 5, Elsevier BV, 2019, pp. S81–82. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.jcyt.2019.03.496. Full Text

Egger, Helen L., et al. “23.1 Autism and Beyond: Lessons From an Iphone Study of Young Children.” Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 57, no. 10, Elsevier BV, 2018, pp. S33–34. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2018.07.145. Full Text

Murias, Michael, et al. “1.31 The Utility of Electroencephalogram (EEG) Beta Power as a Moderator of Treatment Response in ASD Clinical Trials Involving Young Children.” Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 57, no. 10, Elsevier BV, 2018, pp. S145–S145. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2018.09.046. Full Text

Bovery, Matthieu D. M. J., et al. “5.18 A Scalable Off-the-Shelf Framework for Measuring Children’s Direction of Attention in ASD.” Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 57, no. 10, Elsevier BV, 2018, pp. S233–S233. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2018.09.313. Full Text

Li, Y., et al. “Extracting relationships by multi-domain matching.” Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems, vol. 2018-December, 2018, pp. 6798–809.