Catherine Lord, PhD

Co-Chair, Scientific Research Council

Child Mind Institute

Distinguished Professor-in-Residence School of Medicine

University of California, Los Angeles

Senior Research Scientist

Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior

Catherine Lord, PhD

Catherine Lord, PhD, is the Distinguished Professor-in-Residence School of Medicine at UCLA and a Senior Research Scientist in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. She completed degrees in psychology at UCLA and Harvard, and a clinical internship at Division TEACCH at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Lord is a licensed clinical psychologist with specialties in diagnosis, social and communication development and intervention in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). She is renowned for her work in longitudinal studies of social and communicative development in ASD. She has also been involved in the development of standardized diagnostic instruments for ASD with colleagues from the United Kingdom and the United States (the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), an observational scale, and the Autism Diagnostic Interview — Revised (ADI-R), a parent interview, now considered the gold standard for research diagnoses all over the world.

Dr. Lord was the Chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on the Effectiveness of Early Intervention in Autism and is a member of the DSM5 Neurodevelopmental Disorders Committee.

Her work at the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain involves continued research in validity and longitudinal studies, early diagnosis of children with autism, regression in children with autism and clinical evaluations and diagnoses of children and adults who may have autism.


  • National Institute of Mental Health, Development of a Brief Screener for Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2009
  • National Institutes of Health, Longitudinal Studies of Autism Spectrum Disorders: 2 to 23, 2008
  • National Institutes of Health, Multi-Site Randomized Study of Intensive Treatment for Toddlers with Autism (Early Steps Study), 2008
  • The Simons Foundation, Simons Simplex Collection, 2008
  • Autism Speaks, Early Social Interaction for Toddlers with ASDs, 2007


  • University of North Carolina, Clinical Psychology Internship, 1977
  • Harvard University, PhD in Psychology, 1976
  • University of California at Los Angeles, BA in Psychology, 1971