Nicole McDonald, PhD
Dr. Nicole McDonald is a Clinical Instructor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the early identification of ASD. As an Attending Psychologist at the UCLA Child and Adult Neurodevelopmental (CAN) Clinic, Dr. McDonald conducts ASD-focused evaluations, primarily in young children, and family-based treatment of behavior problems in preschool-aged children (e.g., PCIT), and she oversees the clinic practicum program. Dr. McDonald’s research integrates brain-based (fNIRS, EEG) and naturalistic behavioral methods to study early social and emotional development in infants with elevated risk for ASD. She is a member of the Baby Siblings Research Consortium, with much of her past research focusing on infants with familial risk for ASD and, more recently, children with genetic conditions (e.g., TSC). Currently, she has a K23 award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to longitudinally study early brain and social development in high-risk infants who experienced extended NICU hospitalizations. It is Dr. McDonald’s eventual goal to apply the information gained from her longitudinal studies and clinical experiences to develop family-based interventions to improve early social development in at-risk infants.