William Cleland Distinguished Professor
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 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. She directs the Duke Autism Clinic. 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 an elected 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 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, 2020); 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 International Society for Autism Research, the American Psychological Society, and the American Psychological Association, and is an Associate Editor on editorial boards of four scientific journals.