UCLA CART scientist honored with Presidential Early Career Awards

October 30, 2019

Dr. Shafali Jeste

The UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART) is proud to announce that Dr. Shafali Jeste is a recipient of the 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for their “exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.” This is the federal government’s highest honor recognizing scientists for their contributions to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. It also recognizes community service as demonstrated by scientific leadership, public education and community outreach.

Dr. Jeste’s contributions in autism and for CART have been transformative. CART recruited Dr. Jeste in 2010 to direct the Center’s biomarkers core. In her nearly 10 years here at UCLA, she has designed multiple studies to aid in the early prediction of autism. Dr. Jeste’s research is directly inspired by her clinical work. She is the founder and director of the UCLA Care and Research in Neurogenetics (CARING) Clinic, which is a multidisciplinary clinic that evaluates and treats children and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders. CARING is a “one-stop-shop” where families can go to help their children with rare genetic conditions meet their full potential and improve the quality of life for the entire family. Dr. Jeste's multidisciplinary research program includes studies of early brain development in early infancy and studies of brain function and behavior in genetic syndromes associated with autism, with the overarching goal of improving the timing and precision of diagnoses and interventions for neurodevelopmental disorders. In fact one of her studies of early brain development in a genetic syndrome called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex has led to the first early intervention clinical trial for this condition. We look forward to seeing more accomplishments and breakthroughs in autism from Dr. Jeste in years to come.

Our Center’s ability to recruit and retain such remarkable physician-scientists is in part due to philanthropic support we receive from our generous donors. We cannot thank you enough for your dedication to our efforts. If you would like to learn more about giving opportunities to CART please contact Lauren Bayans at (310) 794-3913 or by email at lbayans@support.ucla.edu.