Dr. Pat Levitt
Pat Levitt, PhD, is the Annette Schaeffer Eskind Chair and Director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.  He also is Professor of Pharmacology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  Dr Levitt received his PhD degree in neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT. He served as Chairman of the Department of Neurobiology and Co-Director of the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh for 6 years before moving to Vanderbilt in 2002.  Also named a McKnight Foundation Scholar in 2002, Dr Levitt is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an elected member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, and is a member of the National Advisory Mental Health Council for the National Institutes of Health.  Dr Levitt’s research interests are in the development of brain circuits that control learning and emotion.  His clinical genetics and basic research studies focus on understanding the basis of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia, and how genes and the environment together influence typical and atypical development. In 2006, his work on autism genetics received the Cozzarelli Prize from the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science as the Outstanding Biomedical Sciences paper.  He has received a large number of research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and foundations such as the McKnight Endowment Fund, the Joseph and Esther Klingenstein Foundation, the March of Dimes, Scottish Rite Foundation, and NARSAD. He is the author of over 190 scientific papers. Dr Levitt serves on the editorial board of Biological Psychiatry, Cerebral Cortex, and Neuron.  Dr. Levitt is a frequently invited speaker at national and international seminars and conferences, as well as public education and policy forums that promote the health and education of children.  In 2007, his work in public policy included a speech before Congress for the House Speaker-sponsored National Summit on America’s Children.

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