Daniel Geschwind, M.D., Ph.D., is the Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Chair in Human Genetics and is a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is director of the Neurogenetics Program and the Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART) and co-director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics at UCLA. Dr. Geschwind obtained an A.B. in psychology and chemistry at Dartmouth College and his M.D./Ph.D. at Yale School of Medicine prior to completing his internship, residency (Neurology), and postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA. He joined the UCLA faculty in 1997. His laboratory works to improve our understanding of human neuropsychiatric diseases, such as autism and neurodegenerative diseases, and their relationship to the range of normal human higher cognitive function and behavior. To accomplish this, the lab integrates computational and bio-informatic methods, along with evolutionary biology and basic neuroscience investigations at the bench. This includes development and application of systems biology methods for analysis of gene expression data in human brain, as well as their integration with multiple levels of phenotype and genetic data. Over the last decade, his laboratory has worked to find genes causing autism largely based on the study of autism-related endophenotypes such as language delay. Subsequently, he and collaborators have developed in vitro and in vivo models based on genetic findings, coupled with studies in humans to better understand disease mechanisms. In addition to understanding the genetic basis of human higher cognition, the goal of his work is to develop effective, targeted therapeutics for neuropsychiatric diseases such as autism.
Dr. Geschwind has also put considerable effort into fostering large-scale collaborative patient resources for genetic research and data sharing. He played a major role in the founding and has provided scientific oversight for the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE). He sits on numerous scientific advisory boards, including the Faculty of 1000 Medicine, the Executive Committee of the American Neurological Association, and the NIH Council of Councils. He received the Derek Denny-Brown Neurological Scholar Award from the American Neurological Association in 2004, the Scientific Service Award from Autism Speaks in 2007 and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.