In an annual listing of notable autism research, UCLA scientists garnered three of the top 10 studies in the field, according to the 2018 list published by Autism Speaks.

Each year Autism Speaks, an advocacy and support group for people with autism spectrum disorder and their families, publishes a report naming the research studies that most powerfully advanced understanding, treatment and support for people with ASD. The selections came from more than 2,000 autism research studies published in scientific journals in 2018.

The autism group selected three studies by UCLA-led research teams to the current list. They are:

  • Connie Kasari and colleagues for a study in the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research about how a UCLA-developed approach to personalized autism interventions, known as SMART, can be used by researchers to improve how they evaluate new treatments. Kasari is a professor of psychiatry in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and principal investigator at the Center for Autism Research and Treatment at UCLA’s Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.
  • Catherine Lord and colleagues for a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry provided “important new information about the highly variable development of autism symptoms and their severity among very young children,” according to a description in an Autism Speaks news release. Lord is the distinguished professor-in-residence in the medical school and the George Tarjan Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the Semel Institute.
  • Dr. Michael Gandal, Dr. Daniel Geschwind and UCLA colleagues for a study in Science that found significant overlap in gene-expression patterns in the brains of people with autism, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Gandal is an assistant professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences. Geschwind is the Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Chair in Human Genetics, a professor of neurology and psychiatry and a co-founder and director of Center for Autism Research and Treatment.