NEWS | March 7, 2018

Geraldine Dawson will speak at the MIND Institute as the next Distinguished Lecturer on Mar. 14


The UC Davis MIND Institute will host autism researcher Geraldine Dawson on Wednesday, March 14 as part of the ongoing Distinguished Lecturer Series. She will present “Early intervention and brain plasticity” at 4:30 p.m. at the MIND Institute Auditorium, 2825 50th St. in Sacramento. The event is free to the public and no reservations are required, however, seating is limited. A 30-minute question-and-answer session will follow the hour-long lecture.

Geraldine Dawson
Geraldine Dawson

During her lecture, Dawson will describe how novel approaches to early detection of autism may ultimately improve the way young children with autism are identified. By identifying children early, behavioral interventions can positively influence behavioral and brain development. Children who have a slower response to early behavioral intervention may be helped by therapies designed to enhance neuroplasticity. By combining these interventions researchers hope to improve the quality of life for individuals with autism.

Dawson is the director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development at Duke University, the president of the International Society for Autism Research and she serves as a member of the NIH Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. Her research interests focus on the early detection and treatment of autism and the impact of intervention on the developing brain. Together with Sally Rogers, a MIND Institute faculty member and researcher, Dawson developed the Early Start Denver Model, the first comprehensive behavioral treatment for toddlers with autism.

Currently, Dawson is exploring innovative methods for screening for autism in primary care, unique approaches for assessing outcomes in clinical trials, early predictors and treatment of anxiety in autism, automated behavioral coding of early symptoms, use of music therapy to promote speech, and the effectiveness of umbilical cord blood for reducing symptoms in young children with autism.

Founded in 1998, the UC Davis MIND Institute is a collaborative international research center committed to the awareness, understanding, prevention, care of and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders. The MIND Institute brings together members of the community including families, educators, physicians, psychologists and scientists who work together to further understand causes, development and best treatments for neurodevelopmental disorders.

These presentations are intended for both professionals and community members. For more information, contact Gayna Guidici at 916-703-0237 or For media inquiries, contact Dorsey Griffith at 916-734-9118 or