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 at 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 (Co-Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2022

Digital Behavioral Outcome Measures for Autism awarded by (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 2020

1/5-The Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials awarded by Yale University (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2020


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.

Dawson, Geraldine, et al. “Author Correction: Atypical postural control can be detected via computer vision analysis in toddlers with autism spectrum disorder.Sci Rep, vol. 10, no. 1, Jan. 2020, p. 616. Pubmed, doi:10.1038/s41598-020-57570-1. Full Text

Rogers, Sally J., et al. “A Multisite Randomized Controlled Two-Phase Trial of the Early Start Denver Model Compared to Treatment as Usual.J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, vol. 58, no. 9, Sept. 2019, pp. 853–65. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2019.01.004. Full Text

Sabatos-DeVito, Maura, et al. “Methodological considerations in the use of Noldus EthoVision XT video tracking of children with autism in multi-site studies.Biol Psychol, vol. 146, Sept. 2019, p. 107712. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2019.05.012. Full Text

Franz, Lauren, and Geraldine Dawson. “Implementing early intervention for autism spectrum disorder: a global perspective.Pediatr Med, vol. 2, Aug. 2019. Pubmed, doi:10.21037/pm.2019.07.09. Full Text Open Access Copy

Davlantis, Katherine S., et al. “A novel method for measuring learning opportunities provided by parents to young children with autism spectrum disorder.Autism, vol. 23, no. 6, Aug. 2019, pp. 1563–74. Pubmed, doi:10.1177/1362361318817303. Full Text

Carpenter, Kimberly L. H., et al. “Sensory Over-Responsivity: An Early Risk Factor for Anxiety and Behavioral Challenges in Young Children.J Abnorm Child Psychol, vol. 47, no. 6, June 2019, pp. 1075–88. Pubmed, doi:10.1007/s10802-018-0502-y. Full Text

Amaral, David G., et al. “Gaps in Current Autism Research: The Thoughts of the Autism Research Editorial Board and Associate Editors.Autism Res, vol. 12, no. 5, May 2019, pp. 700–14. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/aur.2101. Full Text

Dawson, Geraldine. “Inappropriate Use of the Term Autism as Analogy.Jama Pediatr, vol. 173, no. 4, Apr. 2019, p. 395. Pubmed, doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.5421. Full Text

Yerys, Benjamin E., et al. “Brief Report: Pilot Study of a Novel Interactive Digital Treatment to Improve Cognitive Control in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Co-occurring ADHD Symptoms.J Autism Dev Disord, vol. 49, no. 4, Apr. 2019, pp. 1727–37. Pubmed, doi:10.1007/s10803-018-3856-7. Full Text

Campbell, Kathleen, et al. “Computer vision analysis captures atypical attention in toddlers with autism.Autism : The International Journal of Research and Practice, vol. 23, no. 3, Apr. 2019, pp. 619–28. Epmc, doi:10.1177/1362361318766247. 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

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

Pandina, G., et al. “Prospective, observational cohort study of JAKE (TM), an autism knowledge.” European Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 27, ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 2017, pp. S1118–S1118.

Li, Y., et al. “Targeting EEG/LFP synchrony with neural nets.” Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems, vol. 2017-December, 2017, pp. 4621–31.