Mary J. O’Connor, PhD, ABP
Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. O’Connor is a Professor, Emerita in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine in Los Angeles, California. She was the founder and Program Director of the UCLA Infant and Preschool Service, UCLA Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Clinic and the UCLA ABC Partial Hospital Program which provide diagnosis and treatment of children with psychiatric and behavioral problems. Over the past 35 years, Dr. O’Connor has taught clinical psychology interns, medical students, psychiatry and pediatric residents, and child psychiatry fellows working with children with developmental and psychiatric problems.
- 1966 – Wake Forest University, Psychology, B.A.
- 1977 – UCLA, Developmental Psychology, Ph.D.
- 1977 – UCLA, NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship, Developmental Psychology
- 1978 – UCLA, NIMH Postdoctoral Fellowship in Neuroscience, Brain Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics
- 1980 – UCLA, NIMH UAP Postdoctoral Fellowship, Neuropsychiatric Institute, Department of Psychiatry
Research & clinical interests
Her primary area of research is in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. She has conducted research on the prevention of alcohol consumption in pregnant women, intervention with children with prenatal alcohol exposure, and medical and allied health education on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. All of her recent work has been on collaborative national initiatives with the long-term goal of developing best practice models to be disseminated on local, state, and national levels. The results of her research have been adopted as national and international models for prevention and intervention. She has served on multiple national task forces and expert panels focusing on the topic of prenatal exposure to alcohol. Dr. O’Connor was a primary author of the DSM 5 diagnostic guidelines for Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. Dr. O’Connor’s work in the field exemplifies her dedication to children and families who have been touched by the consequences of prenatal exposure to alcohol and has earned her a place in the NOFAS Tom and Linda Daschle FASD Hall of Fame.
Roles in the Division/Fellowship
- Co-Director, Child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship, Child Development Seminar