Autism Speaks National Conference for Families and Professionals
1st Annual Autism Investment Conference
26 July 26 - July 27, 2013
The Hilton Columbus at Easton Columbus, Ohio

Confirmed Speakers

Susan Swedo, MD  photo

Susan Swedo, MD

Tenured Investigator and Chief of Pediatrics & Developmental Neuroscience Research Branch

National Institute of Mental Health

Dr. Susan Swedo is Chief of the Pediatrics and Developmental Neuroscience Branch (PDN) in the intramural research program at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).  She received her M.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and completed a pediatrics residency at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.  Following her training, Dr. Swedo served as Chief of Adolescent Medicine for Northwestern University until 1986, when she moved to the Washington DC metro area and joined Dr. Judith Rapoport’s Child Psychiatry Branch.  Dr. Swedo received tenure in the NIMH Intramural Research Program in 1992 and became Head of the NIMH Section on Behavioral Pediatrics in 1994.  From 2003-2007, Dr. Swedo moved to the extramural program as the NIMH Associate Director for Child and Adolescent Research and became the founding Director of the (extramural) NIMH Division of Pediatric Translational Research and Treatment Development.  In those positions, she had oversight responsibility for all of the Institute’s efforts in child psychiatry and pediatric mental health.  

Dr. Swedo and her colleagues were the first to identify a post-infectious subtype of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), which is known as PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections).  This line of research resulted in several novel treatment and prevention strategies, including use of immunomodulatory therapies to treat acutely ill children and antibiotics prophylaxis to forestall future neuropsychiatric symptom exacerbations.  The multi-disciplinary clinical research efforts that proved fruitful for OCD are now being directed at understanding the causes and treatments of autism spectrum disorders. 


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