Kimberly Carpenter

Kimberly Carpenter

Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

External Address: 
2424 Erwin Road, Suite 501, Durham, NC 27705
Internal Office Address: 
DUMC 2737, Durham, NC 27710


Dr. Kimberly Carpenter is a clinical neuroscientist specializing in understanding complex brain-behavior relationships in young children with autism and associated disorders. Her program of research includes four interrelated research themes: (1) Understanding the impact of comorbid disorders on clinical and behavioral outcomes of young autistic children; (2) Identification of early risk factors for the development of psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders; (3) Identification of brain-based biomarkers for group stratification and treatment response tracking in young children; and (4) Improving methods for screening, early identification, and treatment monitoring in autism and associated disorders. She currently leads an innovative research program exploring the shared and unique impacts that co-occurring anxiety and ADHD have on brain and behavioral biomarkers in young autistic children. She was the first to demonstrate that sensory over-responsivity, a symptom that has been described as part of a number of disorders including autism, anxiety, and ADHD, is a specific and unidirectional risk factor for the development of anxiety disorders in young children. She was also the first to demonstrate that, when accounting for comorbidity among individual anxiety disorders, specific anxiety disorders are associated with phenotypically meaningful differences in brain connectivity using MRI. Dr. Carpenter has also collaborated with experts in early childhood mental health, computer science, and engineering to develop novel technologies that utilize multi-modal methods via computer vision and machine learning to develop, refine, and test novel screening tools for early identification and treatment monitoring in young children with autism and related disorders.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill 2011

Selected Grants

Stratifying the Heterogeneity of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Impact of Co-Occurring Anxiety and ADHD awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2021 to 2026

Neural pathways linking early adversity and preschool psychopathology to adolescent mental health awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Principal Investigator). 2020 to 2022

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

The Role of Sensory Over-Responsivity in the Development of Anxiety in Children With and Without Autism awarded by Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2018

Precursors to the development of anxiety disorders in young children with autism spectrum disorder awarded by Department of Defense (Postdoctoral Associate). 2014 to 2017

Longitudinal Functional Imaging of Early Childhood Anxiety Disorders awarded by National Institutes of Health (Research Associate). 2008 to 2013

Major, Samantha, et al. “Shorter average look durations to dynamic social stimuli are associated with higher levels of autism symptoms in young autistic children.Autism, Dec. 2021, p. 13623613211056428. Pubmed, doi:10.1177/13623613211056427. Full Text

Tenenbaum, Elena J., et al. “Distance from Typical Scan Path When Viewing Complex Stimuli in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and its Association with Behavior.J Autism Dev Disord, vol. 51, no. 10, Oct. 2021, pp. 3492–505. Pubmed, doi:10.1007/s10803-020-04812-w. Full Text Open Access Copy

Perochon, Sam, et al. “A scalable computational approach to assessing response to name in toddlers with autism.J Child Psychol Psychiatry, vol. 62, no. 9, Sept. 2021, pp. 1120–31. Pubmed, doi:10.1111/jcpp.13381. Full Text

Chang, Zhuoqing, et al. “Computational Methods to Measure Patterns of Gaze in Toddlers With Autism Spectrum Disorder.Jama Pediatr, vol. 175, no. 8, Aug. 2021, pp. 827–36. Pubmed, doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.0530. Full Text

Harrop, Clare, et al. “A lost generation? The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on early career ASD researchers.Autism Res, vol. 14, no. 6, June 2021, pp. 1078–87. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/aur.2503. Full Text

Harikumar, Amritha, et al. “A Review of the Default Mode Network in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.Brain Connect, vol. 11, no. 4, May 2021, pp. 253–63. Pubmed, doi:10.1089/brain.2020.0865. Full Text

Carpenter, Kimberly L. H., et al. “Digital Behavioral Phenotyping Detects Atypical Pattern of Facial Expression in Toddlers with Autism.Autism Res, vol. 14, no. 3, Mar. 2021, pp. 488–99. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/aur.2391. Full Text

Chakraborty, Payal, et al. “Gastrointestinal problems are associated with increased repetitive behaviors but not social communication difficulties in young children with autism spectrum disorders.Autism, vol. 25, no. 2, Feb. 2021, pp. 405–15. Pubmed, doi:10.1177/1362361320959503. Full Text

Krishnappababu, P. R., et al. “Exploring Complexity of Facial Dynamics in Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Ieee Transactions on Affective Computing, Jan. 2021. Scopus, doi:10.1109/TAFFC.2021.3113876. Full Text

Hashemi, Jordan, et al. “Computer Vision Analysis for Quantification of Autism Risk Behaviors.Ieee Trans Affect Comput, vol. 12, no. 1, Jan. 2021, pp. 215–26. Pubmed, doi:10.1109/taffc.2018.2868196. Full Text


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 &Amp; Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 58, no. 10, Elsevier BV, 2019, pp. S151–S151. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2019.08.036. 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 &Amp; Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 57, no. 10, Elsevier BV, 2018, pp. S33–34. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2018.07.145. 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 &Amp; Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 57, no. 10, Elsevier BV, 2018, pp. S233–S233. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2018.09.313. Full Text

Carpenter, Kimberly L. H., et al. “Functional neuroimaging of social and executive processes in individuals with autism.” Biological Psychiatry, vol. 63, no. 7, ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2008, pp. 194S-195S.