Laura Nations, MA, LPA

Associate in Research, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

Laura Nations is an Associate in Research for the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, joining the Center in September 2015. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Furman University and her master’s degree in clinical child psychology from East Carolina University. She has experience in a wide array of assessments including intelligence, adaptive, neurocognitive, neurological, and autism specific. Ms. Nations has over 10 years experience working with a variety of individuals and populations which include autism spectrum, Fragile X, Down’s syndrome, other developmental delays, and dementia.

After completing her master’s, Ms. Nations worked in Mecklenburg County as a Licensed Psychological Associate evaluating children birth to five. In 2005, Ms. Nations moved into research and worked on an autism genetics project at Duke University and later the University of Miami. As part of this project, she was responsible for managing the three clinical sites, developing training materials and training staff, assessing participants, maintaining ADOS and ADI reliability across the staff, and working on publications. While at the University of Miami, Ms. Nations also coordinated the Amish Studies. This included conducting all the advanced assessments for the dementia study and autism epidemiological study within the Amish communities. In 2013, Ms. Nations returned to her native state of NC, where she joined the Brain Imaging Study at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities.

Ms. Nations is pleased to return to Duke as an Associate of Research. Her main responsibilities at the Center will include conducting assessments for the NIH Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials (ABC-CT), overseeing the broader aspects of the study for the Duke site, managing staff, monitoring study implementation, and maintaining and updating IRB submissions.

Representative Publications

1. Griswold, A.J., Ma, D., Cukier, H.N., Nations, L.D., Schmidt, M.A., Chung, R., et al. (2012). Evaluation of copy number variations reveals novel candidate genes in autism spectrum disorder-associated pathways. Human Molecular Genetics, 21(15), 3513-3523.

2. Hedges, D.J., Hamilton-Nelson, K.L., Sacharow, S.J., Nations, L., Beecham, G.W., Kozhekbaeva, Z.M., et al. (2012). Evidence of novel fine-scale structural variation at autism spectrum disorder candidate loci. Molecular Autism, 3(2), 2040-2392.

3. Salyakina, D., Cukier, H.N., Robinson, J.L., Nations, L.D., Ma, D., Jaworski, J.M., et al. (2010). Copy number variants including duplications of TNIP2 and FGFBP3 segregate in extended autism spectrum disorder families. PLoS One, 6(10), 1-8.

4. Robinson, J.L., Nations, L., Sacharow, S., McGregor, T., Suslowitz, N., Laux, R., Haines, J., Pericak-Vance, M. & Cuccaro, M. (2010). Determining prevalence rates and characterizing the autism spectrum disorder phenotype in the old order Amish. Poster at the 60th Annual American Society of Human Genetics Meeting, District of Columbia.