Shafali Jeste, M.D.
Dr. Jeste is a behavioral child neurologist who was recently recruited to UCLA CART through an NIH award (P30) as an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Neurology. After earning a BA in philosophy from Yale University in 1997 and her MD from Harvard Medical School in 2002, Dr. Jeste completed a residency in child neurology and a fellowship in behavioral child neurology at Children’s Hospital, Boston. From 2007-2009 she pursued a post-doctoral training in developmental cognitive neuroscience with Dr. Charles Nelson at Harvard Medical School, where she gained expertise in the use of high density event related EEG and eye tracking to understand cognition in infants and toddlers with developmental disorders. Dr. Jeste has been the recipient of the Child Neurology Foundation’s Researcher-in- Training Award (2007) and the American Academy of Neurology’s Clinical Researcher-in-Training Award (2008). Through this funding she designed and implemented an ongoing study investigating neural correlates of autism in infants and toddlers with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. She moved to UCLA in January 2010 and is establishing an electrophysiology lab in CART. Her goal is to design and apply novel, brain-based methodology to better characterize behavioral and cognitive domains in infants at risk for autism and very young children with autism, and to determine how these domains predict clinical outcomes. As a child neurologist, Dr. Jeste is also very interested in motor impairments in children with autism and the relationship between motor and cognitive development in this population.
Dr. Jeste and her husband, Richard Spurling, also have founded a non-profit organization called ACEing Autism that provides tennis lessons to children with autism. Given its tremendous success in Boston, they have launched the program in Los Angeles through a partnership with UCLA Adaptive Sports. www.aceingautism.com