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Catherine Lord, PhD

Catherine Lord, PhD

Co-Chair, Scientific Research Council
Child Mind Institute
George Tarjan Distinguished Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine
University of California, Los Angeles
Senior Research Scientist
Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior

Catherine Lord, PhD, is the George Tarjan Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She is a practicing clinical psychologist whose primary focus is autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related disorders in a range of ages from toddlers to adults. Her research and clinical work are aimed at improving methods of identifying strengths and difficulties in individuals with possible ASD and working with families and individuals to maximize independence and well-being for all concerned.  

She has also been a leader in the development of diagnostic instruments that identify individual profiles of skills and weaknesses, including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R), and the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ).

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.

She has over 300 referred journal publications and has been funded by NIH, Autism Speaks, and the Simons Foundation for numerous research grants.

Awards and Honors

  • 2020 – Bob Smith Award for Research on Assessment from the Society of Clinical child and Adolescent Psychology (Division 53 of the American Psychological Association)
  • 2019 – Inducted into American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2019 – INSAR Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2018 – Edgar A. Doll Lifetime Achievement Award, American Psychological Association, Division 33
  • 2013 – American Psychological Association (APA) Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2011 – Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Clinical Psychology (Society of Clinical Psychology)


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