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Geraldine Dawson, PhD

William Cleland Distinguished Professor
Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Professor in Pediatrics
Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Child & Family Mental Health & Developmental Neuroscience
Office: 2608 Erwin Road, Room 3126, Duke University Med Center, Durham, NC 27705
Campus Mail: DUMC 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 and Training

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

In the News

Selected Grants


Dawson, Geraldine. “Assessment of outcomes in autism clinical trials over the course of development.” Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 48 (July 2021): 40–41.

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McCracken, James T., Evdokia Anagnostou, Celso Arango, Geraldine Dawson, Tiffany Farchione, Valentina Mantua, James McPartland, et al. “Drug development for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Progress, challenges, and future directions.” Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 48 (July 2021): 3–31.

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Kaliukhovich, Dzmitry A., Nikolay V. Manyakov, Abigail Bangerter, Seth Ness, Andrew Skalkin, Matthew Boice, Matthew S. Goodwin, et al. “Visual Preference for Biological Motion in Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Eye-Tracking Study.” J Autism Dev Disord 51, no. 7 (July 2021): 2369–80.

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Franz, Lauren, Jill Howard, Marisa Viljoen, Linmarie Sikich, Tara Chandrasekhar, Scott H. Kollins, Lawrence Lee, et al. “Pragmatic adaptations of telehealth-delivered caregiver coaching for children with autism in the context of COVID-19: Perspectives from the United States and South Africa.” Autism, June 8, 2021, 13623613211022584.

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Borre, Ethan D., Evan Myers, Marianne Hamilton -Lopez, Geraldine Dawson, Joanne Kurtzberg, Jesse Troy, and Gillian D. Sanders. “PROJECTING THE LONG-TERM CLINICAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACT OF AUTOLOGOUS CORD BLOOD INFUSION IN CHILDREN WITH AUTISM.” In Medical Decision Making, 41:E31–32, 2021.


Chang, Zhuoqing, J Matias Di Martino, Rachel Aiello, Jeffrey Baker, Kimberly Carpenter, Scott Compton, Naomi Davis, et al. “Computational Methods to Measure Patterns of Gaze in Toddlers With Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Jama Pediatr, April 26, 2021.

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Carpenter, Kimberly L. H., Jordan Hahemi, Kathleen Campbell, Steven J. Lippmann, Jeffrey P. Baker, Helen L. Egger, Steven Espinosa, Saritha Vermeer, Guillermo Sapiro, and Geraldine Dawson. “Digital Behavioral Phenotyping Detects Atypical Pattern of Facial Expression in Toddlers with Autism.” Autism Res 14, no. 3 (March 2021): 488–99.

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Dawson, Geraldine, and Joanne Kurtzberg. “Reply.” J Pediatr 230 (March 2021): 272.

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Perochon, Sam, Matias Di Martino, Rachel Aiello, Jeffrey Baker, Kimberly Carpenter, Zhuoqing Chang, Scott Compton, et al. “A scalable computational approach to assessing response to name in toddlers with autism.” J Child Psychol Psychiatry, February 28, 2021.

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Chakraborty, Payal, Kimberly L. H. Carpenter, Samantha Major, Megan Deaver, Saritha Vermeer, Brianna Herold, Lauren Franz, Jill Howard, and Geraldine Dawson. “Gastrointestinal problems are associated with increased repetitive behaviors but not social communication difficulties in young children with autism spectrum disorders.” Autism 25, no. 2 (February 2021): 405–15.

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