Welcome Message from the Director

Dear Friends of the Duke Center for Autism,

Geraldine Dawson

This year, the Duke Center for Autism marks its 10th year and Duke University commemorates 100 years. We have much to celebrate. Our goal is to improve the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. Although much more work remains to be done, with your partnership, we have made significant strides in research, mentored many students and trainees who will dedicate their careers to the autism field, and addressed the needs of autistic individuals and their families through clinical services, advocacy, and policy.

In 2023, our ground-breaking research discoveries were published in journals such as JAMA, Lancet Neurology, and Nature Medicine, and featured in news outlets such as Forbes, NIH News in Health, ABC News, USA Today, and HealthDay. We were especially pleased that our center’s research was listed as one of the National Institutes of Health’s 2023 Research Highlights.

The center’s work has an impact here in North Carolina and across the globe. The breadth of our impact was illustrated in an email I received from autism clinicians in Ukraine shortly before Christmas.

In their message, they told us that, despite the current conditions in Ukraine, including the ongoing war, they are continuing to provide early intervention therapy for autistic children based on methods developed by faculty at our center.

They wanted us to know that autistic children in Ukraine are receiving the care they need to develop skills and thrive. They also noted that their clinicians would appreciate receiving support and recognition for their remarkable efforts and asked if we could record a video message of encouragement for Ukrainian professionals working with autistic children, which you can listen to here.

I hope you enjoy reading about our center’s accomplishments in this year’s Impact Report. None of this would be possible without our partnerships with autistic individuals and their families, the broader community, funding agencies, and our donors.

With gratitude,

Geraldine Dawson's signature

Geraldine Dawson, PhD

Director, Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development

Training and Education

training and education by the numbers

Autism Seminar Series

Seminar Series attendance

The Duke Center for Autism Seminar Series features leading investigators, clinicians, advocates, and practitioners sharing the latest in autism research, interventions, policy, and therapies. These free, virtual presentations were attended by people from 17 countries across 5 continents!


2023 Holiday Art Gallery

holiday card with a drawing of a snowman

Congratulations to our 2023 Holiday Greeting Art Gallery Contest winner, Charlotte. Her painting, “Warmie,” was featured on our holiday greeting card. More than 20 artists of all ages submitted art for the Duke Center for Autism Holiday Greeting Art Gallery.

ASNC Run/Walk for Autism

staff members at ASNC run

On October 14, 2023, Duke Center for Autism staff represented the center at the Autism Society of North Carolina's 2023 Triangle Run/Walk for Autism. Our team raised money for ASNC and got to meet some dedicated members of the community who enthusiastically participated in the event!