Christine Wu Nordahl, PhD

Principal Investigator

Christine Wu Nordahl, PhD, is a professor and neuroscientist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and graduate degree in neuroscience from UC Davis. She began her career at the MIND Institute as a postdoctoral fellow and has been working on the Autism Phenome Project (APP) since the beginning of the project, spearheading efforts to acquire MRI scans in infants and toddlers during natural sleep, without the use of sedation or anesthesia. She is also committed to increasing inclusion of autistic individuals with intellectual disability in neuroimaging research. ​Dr. Nordahl joined the MIND Institute faculty in 2011 and was named the Beneto Foundation Endowed Chair in 2022. She initiated the Girls with Autism – Imaging of Neurodevelopment (GAIN) Study in 2014 to focus on autism in females. Together with her team, she founded NeuroTeens in 2021, a social support group for neurodivergent girls and nonbinary teens.

Joshua Lee, PhD

Assistant Professional Researcher

Joshua Lee, PhD, is an Assistant Professional Researcher in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. As a developmental neuroscientist, his research characterizes processes of brain development in individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Dr. Lee received his Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of California, Davis in 2016 where he conducted research on typical and atypical development of the hippocampus and episodic memory. As a post-doctoral fellow at the UC Davis MIND Institute Autism Research Training Program, Dr. Lee conducted research examining the development of autistic neurophenotypes in males and females. Dr. Lee has expertise in longitudinal statistical analysis, high-resolution structural MRI imaging, and resting-state functional MRI. Dr. Lee is currently pursuing research to elucidate elevated coincidences between autism and gender diverse identity, an under-served intersection. In addition to his analytical role on the study, Dr. Lee also operates MRI scan sessions for the APP and GAIN studies.

Derek Andrews, PhD

Assistant Project Scientist

Derek Andrews, PhD, joined the MIND Institute in 2017 as a postdoctoral scholar after receiving his PhD in Neuroimaging from King’s College London, UK. Dr. Andrews’s research focuses on the analysis of magnetic resonance images of the brain to increase our understanding of the biological basis of autism. As a member of the MIND Institute, he has published studies identifying brain measures associated with different autism symptom trajectories over childhood as well as co-occurring anxiety and sleep problems in autistic children.