Autism Hub Page

Boy With ASDThe Waisman Center is committed to providing high-quality services to children and adults with autism and their families.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs social interaction, communication, and behavior. It affects approximately one out of every 36 children.

The scope of the Waisman Center’s autism-related activities continues to expand as we actively pursue research into the causes, consequences and treatments of this complex disorder.

We are uniquely positioned to make major advances in the understanding of autism through our multidisciplinary approach and expertise in effectively combining research, training, service, and outreach programs under one roof.

Autism Researchers

Andrew Alexander, PhD

Position title: Professor, Medical Physics and Psychiatry

Rebecca Alper, PhD

Position title: Assistant Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders

Karla Ausderau, PhD

Position title: Associate Professor, Kinesiology

Lauren Bishop, PhD

Position title: Associate Professor, School of Social Work

Qiang Chang, PhD

Position title: Professor, Medical Genetics and Neurology

Luis Columna, PhD

Position title: Associate Professor, Kinesiology

Richard J Davidson, PhD

Position title: William James & Vilas Professor of Psychology & Psychiatry

Leann Smith DaWalt, PhD

Position title: Director, University Center for Excellence In Developmental Disabilities

Doug Dean III, PhD

Position title: Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Medical Physics

Maureen S. Durkin, PhD, DrPH

Position title: Evan and Marion Helfaer Professor of Public Health and Chair, Population Health Sciences and Pediatrics

H. Hill Goldsmith, PhD

Position title: Antoine Bascom Professor & Leona Tyler Professor of Psychology

Timothy M. Gomez, PhD

Position title: Professor, Department of Neuroscience

Sigan Hartley, PhD

Position title: Professor, 100 Women Distinguished Chair in Human Ecology

Edward Michael Hubbard, PhD

Position title: Associate Professor, Educational Psychology

Janet E. Lainhart, MD

Position title: Psychiatrist and Professor, School of Medicine and Public Health

Marsha R. Mailick, PhD

Position title: Emeritus Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education

Robert A. Pearce, MD, PhD

Position title: Professor, Anesthesiology

Ari Rosenberg, PhD

Position title: Associate Professor, Computational Neuroscience

Jenny Saffran, PhD

Position title: Letters & Science Mary Herman Rubinstein Professor, Psychology

André Sousa, PhD

Position title: Assistant Professor, Neuroscience

Brittany G. Travers, PhD

Position title: Associate Professor, Kinesiology

Donna Werling, PhD

Position title: Assistant Professor, Genetics

Xinyu Zhao, PhD

Position title: Professor, Neuroscience, Jenni & Kyle Professor

Our Partners

The Waisman Center works in collaboration with community partners to serve the autism community through outreach and training.

Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin



Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin

Waisman Autism News

Autism-Related Research at Waisman

  • Adolescence and adulthood
  • Brain imaging
  • Epidemiology
  • Family outcomes
  • Health and Aging
  • Molecular basis of ASD
  • Quality of life
  • Speech, communication and language

Resources & Services

Research Participation | 800.965.9205; 608.263.5192;; Participate in Research
The Waisman Center’s Research Registry links individuals and families to research projects at the Waisman Center. The Waisman Center maintains a confidential registry of families and individuals who would like to be contacted about upcoming research projects. Enrollment in the Research Registry does not obligate an individual or family to participate in any study.

Community Outreach for Children with Challenging Behaviors | 608-265-9438;
Community Training, Intervention and Evaluations Services (TIES) is an outreach program for children and adults with developmental disabilities who present various challenging behaviors, including withdrawal, aggression and self-injury. The mission of Community TIES is to address behavioral, psychological, and emotional needs using therapeutic approaches that insure continued participation in the community. TIES provides counseling, crisis response, psychiatric consultation, parent education and support, and training for personnel and program consultation in local human service agencies. Directed by Josh Lapin, MSW, and funded by Dane County, this program maintains an active caseload of approximately 250 children and adults in Dane County.

Wisconsin Wayfinder: Essential Children's Resources | 877-947-2929;
Wisconsin Wayfinder supports families of children with delays, disabilities, special health care needs, and mental health conditions. Children’s resource guides are helpers who assist families, caregivers, professionals, and organizations in finding a wide array of supports and services available through the Children’s Resource Network. Their services are free and confidential. Connect with a children's resource guide. Call (877) WiscWay or use our contact form.

Well Badger Resource Center | 800-642-7837; text: 608-360-9328;;
When you have questions about health and social services, figuring out where to go when you need help can be overwhelming. We’re here to make it easier. Well Badger Resource Center is your one-stop connection to community, social, health, and government programs — a place to find what you need, when you need it.