Matt Lerner, JF '12, receives a $2.3 million BRAINS grant from the National Institute of Mental Health

August 24, 2016

After receiving his Ph.D. from U.Va. in Clinical Psychology, Matt Lerner, JF ‘12, has quickly managed to establish himself as a leader in the field of autism research. In 2013, Matt joined the faculty at Stony Brook University as Assistant Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Pediatrics and Director of the Social Competence and Treatment Lab. The impact of his work, both at Stony Brook and beyond, continues to garner national recognition.

In addition to receiving grants and awards from the Simons Foundation, the Medical Foundation, the American Psychological Association, the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, he was named a recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Autism Research, was a Finalist for the Director’s Early Independence Award at the National Institutes of Health, and was designated a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, and Behavior Therapy and has himself published more than 40 peer-reviewed articles and chapters.

Most recently, the National Institute of Mental Health selected Matt as the recipient of a $2.3 million Biobehavioral Research Award for Innovative New Scientists (BRAINS), an award designed to support outstanding young scientists in launching innovative clinical, translational, basic or services research that can profoundly transform the understanding, diagnosis, treatment or prevention of mental disorders. Matt’s research project is entitled “Optimizing Prediction of Social Deficits in Autism Spectrum Disorders” and will examine the relation of biological and psychological factors to real-world social functioning in teens with and without ASD.

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation remains grateful to Matt for his continued involvement in our community of Scholars and Fellows and looks forward to seeing the impact of his work for many years to come.






The Jefferson Scholarship is the premier undergraduate scholarship at the University of Virginia. Scholars are selected through a rigorous selection process that is based on exceptional performance in the areas of leadership, scholarship and citizenship.

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The Jefferson Fellowship is the premier graduate fellowship offered at the University of Virginia. Based solely on merit, the Fellowship seeks to attract Ph.D. and M.B.A. candidates.

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The Jefferson Scholars Foundation, like its namesake, knows that virtue and talent come from all walks of life. Indeed it is this knowledge that drives the Foundation to search the world over for its recipients.

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