Catherine Lord, PhD
George Tarjan Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry & Education
Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
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.
- 1971 – B.A. in Psychology, UCLA
- 1976 – Ph.D. Psychology and Social Relations, Harvard University
Research & clinical interests
My primary focus is autism and related disorders across the lifespan from toddlers through adulthood. My research and clinical work are aimed at improving methods of identifying strengths and difficulties in individuals with possible autism and working with families and individuals to maximize independence and well-being for all concerned.
Roles within the division/Fellowship
- George Tarjan Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Education, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
- Professor, Division of Human Development and Psychology, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
- Clinical Psychologist, CAN Clinic