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Geraldine Dawson

William Cleland Distinguished Professor
Psychiatry, Child & Family Mental Health & Community Psychiatry
Box 3527 DUMC, Durham, NC 27710
2608 Erwin Road, Suite 300, Duke University Med Center, Durham, NC 27705


Geraldine Dawson is the William Cleland Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University, where she also is a Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology & Neuroscience.  Dawson also is the Founding 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 diagnosed with autism through research, education, clinical services, and policy. 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's work focuses on improving methods for early detection and intervention for autism, understanding brain function in autism, and validation of autism EEG biomarkers. She co-developed the Early Start Denver Model, an empirically-validated early autism intervention that is used worldwide. She collaborates with colleagues in the departments of computer science and engineering, pediatrics, and biostatistics to develop novel digital health approaches to autism screening and outcome monitoring. 

Dawson previously served as Director of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, 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 is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was Founding Director of the University of Washington (UW) Autism Center and the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development. Dawson's awards include the American Psychological Association Distinguished Career Award (Div53); Association for Psychological Science Lifetime Achievement Award; Clarivate Top 1% Cited Researcher Across All Scientific Fields; among others. Dawson is a Fellow of the International Society for Autism Research, the American Psychological Society, and the American Psychological Association. 

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences · 2014 - Present Psychiatry, Child & Family Mental Health & Community Psychiatry, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Professor in Pediatrics · 2014 - Present Pediatrics, Clinical Science Departments
Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience · 2017 - Present Psychology & Neuroscience, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Affiliate of the Center for Child and Family Policy · 2016 - Present Sanford School of Public Policy
Affiliate, Duke Global Health Institute · 2018 - Present Duke Global Health Institute, University Institutes and Centers

Education, Training & Certifications

University of Washington · 1979 Ph.D.