INSAR Institute 2020 Presenter Bios

INSAR Institute 2020 Presenters

Catherine Lord, PhD
June 11, 2020: Working with Autistic Individuals Across the Lifespan: Current Perspectives

Dr. Catherine Lord is the George Tarjan Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Education at the Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She is a practicing clinical psychologist whose primary focus is autism and related disorders across the lifespan from toddlers through adulthood. Her research and clinical work have involved the development of diagnostic instruments that describe individual profiles of skills and weaknesses and carrying out longitudinal studies from age 15 months up to 26 years with the goal of identifying protective and risk factors that influence milestones of progress over the years. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a fellow of the American Association of Arts and Sciences.

Jonathan Green, MBBS, DCH, FRCPsych

June 18, 2020: Development and Early Intervention Science in Autism

Professor Jonathan Green is Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in the University of Manchester and Honorary Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist at Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s Hospitals University NHS Trust and Manchester Biomedical Research Centre. He studied medicine at Cambridge, Paediatrics in London and Psychiatry in Oxford before establishing his team in Manchester, UK with a clinical and research focus on early social development, particularly the developmental science and early intervention for autism.

Jonathan has focused particularly recently on parent-mediated early interventions in development; including RCTs of a prodromal intervention for infants at risk for autism in the first year (iBASIS) and of the pre-school Pediatric Autism Communication Therapy (PACT); both showing reductions in symptom severity sustained for 2 and 6 years respectively post-treatment. PACT has been widely implemented internationally and successfully adapted and tested for the low-income context in South Asia using task-shifting (PASS). Jonathan is currently leading a trial to scale of PASS in Delhi and collaborating in a number of other international trials of parent-mediated therapy for autism in infancy and early childhood. In parallel his programme pursues discovery of adjunctive biological treatments, using the monogenic syndromic model Neurofibromatosis 1 within basic science research and experimental medicine trials. Clinically, he runs a specialist Social Development Clinic at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, undertaking assessment and treatment innovation with ASD and other impairments of social development in children.

Jonathan has been associate editor for Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, a member of the UK 2013 NICE guideline for autism treatments and on an MRC methodology research group into process and causal analysis in clinical trials. He is an UK National Institute for Health Research Senior Investigator.


Peter Mundy, PhD
June 25, 2020: Symptom Continuity from Infancy through Childhood and Adolescence in Autism

Dr. Peter Mundy is a Distinguished Professor of Education and Lisa Capps Chair in Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Education in the School of Education and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California at Davis. Dr. Mundy was a professor of psychology at the University of Miami for 17 years where he was the founding director of the University of Miami Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. He is an expert in the developmental science and education of children with autism. As a developmental and clinical psychologist, Dr. Mundy has been working on defining the major dimensions of autism for four decades. His work has contributed to the understanding that impairments in the early development of infants’ ability to coordinate their visual attention with other people (i.e. joint attention) is a fundamental feature of the early onset of autism. He has studied the neurocognitive processes involved in the development of joint attention, and their role in learning and social-cognition in typical and atypical development. His most recent work has explored factors that hinder or facilitate school-based learning in elementary and secondary students with autism. Dr. Mundy is also the current president of International Society for Autism Research.



Bradley Cox, PhD, Brett Nachman, and Jiedi Lei
July 2, 2020: Education beyond School – Transition to College and University for Autistic Students


Bradley Cox, PhD

Dr. Bradley E. Cox is an Associate Professor of Higher Education at Florida State University (FSU), where he is also a Senior Research Associate with the Center for Postsecondary Success (CPS). Dr. Cox is also the Founder of the College Autism Network (CAN), a nonprofit organization linking varied stakeholders engaged in evidence-guided efforts to improve access, experiences, and outcomes for postsecondary students with autism.

Dr. Cox’s research on college student success has earned over $550,000 in grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the NASPA Foundation, the TG Public Benefit Program, and the Spencer Foundation. His work has been published in many of the field’s top-tier journals, including Educational Researcher, the Journal of Higher Education, and the Journal of College Student Development. His most recent scholarship examines the systemic, institutional, and personal conditions that shape college access, experiences, and outcomes for students on the autism spectrum.

Brett Nachman


Brett Ranon Nachman is a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He studies higher education and focuses, in particular, on the depictions and experiences of autistic college students. Brett's research also centers on community college transfer students and LGBTQ+ campus climate. He is a self-advocate with Asperger's who has worked as a graduate student researcher with the College Autism Network since 2017, in which he coordinates the College Autism Network Virtual Association of Scholars group. The group consists of more than 300 members, and CANVAS stages monthly online meetings featuring guest presentations on a variety of topics related to autism in higher education. Brett's recent scholarship has appeared in journals including Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, College Student Affairs Journal, and Community College Journal of Research and Practice. He is a 2020 recipient of the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award. Follow Brett on Twitter @bnachmanreports; email him at


Jiedi Lei

Jiedi Lei is a PhD student at the Centre for Applied Autism Research (CAAR), University of Bath, UK. Her research focuses on using a mixed-method approach to understand how changes in autistic students’ social networks may affect their university transition outcomes in first-year, and also the role of self-determination in enabling autistic students to navigate their university life. Since joining CAAR in 2017, Jiedi has assisted in the running and evaluation of the University of Bath Autism Summer School programme (or UBASS for short), an annual 3-day residential campus event that offers autistic students aged 16+ who are seeking to apply or transition to higher education first-hand insight into what university life is like in order to make better informed decisions. UBASS is now in its 7th year, and has worked with 183 students to date.



Chris Ashwin,PhD, Mark Brosnan, PhD, and Lee Corless

July 9, 2020: Transition to Employment and Independent Living in Adulthood



Chris Ashwin,PhD

Dr. Chris Ashwin is an Assistant Professor in Psychology at the University of Bath, and also Research Director at the Centre for Applied Autism Research. He carries out cognitive neuroscience research investigating the strengths (sensory processing, attention, deliberation etc.) and difficulties (emotion processing, empathy, gaze etc.) in autism; and then to use the knowledge from this research to help develop programmes for the autistic community. This includes the University of Bath Autism Summer School to help the transition into university, ProSperS which supports new students starting their university degrees, and the Bath Employment Spring School for Autism to facilitate the transition from university into employment.



 Mark Brosnan, PhD

Professor Brosnan is the Director of the Centre for Applied Autism Research (CAAR) at the University of Bath in the UK. He is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and a member of the Cognitive Psychology Section and the Division of Neuropsychology.

Professor Brosnan's research focuses upon supporting reasoning and learning. A particular focus is developing digital technologies to support children on the autism spectrum and their families. He embraces a participatory research approach, working with the autistic community throughout the research process. In addition, Professor Brosnan’s theoretical work focuses on exploring the strengths that can be associated with autism. Professor Brosnan is also involved in organising a number of programmes to support autistic students transitioning into university and employment, including the University of Bath Autism Summer School, and Bath Employment Spring School for Autism.

 Lee Corless


Mr. Lee Corless is a Vice President at JP Morgan Chase & Co. and leads diversity and inclusion for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for Global Technology. As an autistic self-advocate diagnosed in adulthood, Mr. Corless supports the advancement of adapting the workplace to embrace neurodiversity and encourage autistic students to seek employment. He is the leader of JPMorgan Chase’s Autism at Work program across the UK, EMEA and Asia Pacific (APAC) regions, and was recently awarded Outstanding Achievement by an Individual on the Autism Spectrum by the National Autistic Society in the UK.




Laura Klinger, PhD.

July 16, 2020:  Aging and Transition to Older Adulthood


Dr. Laura Grofer Klinger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and also the Executive Director of the UNC TEACCH Autism Program. She is a clinical psychologist committed to community-based care and methods to support the implementation of evidence-based practices in community settings. Her current research is focused on identifying and supporting service needs for individuals from young adulthood through aging. She is the Principal Investigator of two clinical trials examining the effectiveness of a community college program for adolescents and young adults with ASD, the TEACCH School Transition to Employment and Post-Secondary Education (T-STEP) Program. She is also conducting a longitudinal study examining outcomes related to employment, quality of life, and aging in 25-60-year-old adults with ASD who were served by TEACCH during childhood. 

INSAR Institute 2020 Sessions


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