UCLA Distinguished Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry and Human Genetics
HIS BRAINCHILD IS CONNECTING THE LAB TO THE COMMUNITY.
UCLA was among the first major universities to engage in active research in brain disorders. Today, that vital effort is led by renowned researcher Daniel Geschwind, one of the world’s leading experts on autism. His goal: to help nonspeaking autistic people to speak. A distinguished professor of neurology, psychiatry and human genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and co-founder and director of UCLA’s Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART), Geschwind is changing the culture of science and creating new models of community engagement for autism research. One such model: the collaboration between UCLA and Special Needs Network, a South Los Angeles nonprofit that is addressing issues of autism and related developmental disabilities. “There are a lot of other childhood disorders that have been studied much longer than autism, like childhood schizophrenia, which is very rare, or even schizophrenia adolescent disorder, Tourette syndrome [and] ADHD,” Geschwind says. “Our genetics of autism has leapfrogged past that.”