Daniel Geschwind, M.D., Ph.D.
Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Professor in Neurology, Psychiatry, and Human Genetics
Senior Associate Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor for Precision Health
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Director, Center for Autism Research and Treatment, Semel Institute at UCLA
Dr. Daniel Geschwind is the Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Professor in Human Genetics and the Senior Associate Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor for Precision Health at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is one of the world’s leading experts on autism and has been a strong advocate for data and biomaterial sharing. He guided development of the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange, founded by Cure Autism Now, and now a program of Autism Speaks. His work focuses on identifying genetic factors that cause ASD and then using this knowledge to understand the mechanism of the disease. This involves performing large-scale genomic studies and studying autism in a dish using human stem cell systems, and animal models. Once a mechanism is better understood, it provides the basis for developing more effective, targeted therapeutics. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently renewed funding to Dr. Geschwind to further ASD genetic studies in underrepresented populations through an NIH Autism Center of Excellence research network, which focuses on genetic studies in African American families with autism, the only study of its kind. In an effort to create new models of community engagement for autism research, Dr. Geschwind is collaborating with Special Needs Network, Inc., a South Los Angeles nonprofit that addresses issues of autism and related developmental disabilities. Dr. Geschwind has served on numerous scientific advisory boards, and has published more than 400 papers, serving on the editorial boards of many major scientific journals, including Cell, Neuron, and Science. Dr. Geschwind has received numerous awards for this work and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.