Jefferson Scholars Foundation and U.Va.’s School of Medicine work together to attract internationally renowned neuroscientist who has devoted his career to studying autism

November 26, 2018

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation is pleased to announce that Kevin Pelphrey, an internationally renowned neuroscientist, has joined U.Va.’s School of Medicine as the Harrison-Wood Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professor. At U.Va., Pelphrey will continue his groundbreaking research on autism, using brain science to develop biologically based tools for detecting and tailoring treatments for individuals on the autism spectrum.

Pelphrey has had extensive experience teaching and conducting research at leading institutions like Carnegie Mellon, Duke, and Yale. Most recently, Pelphrey served as the Carbonell Family Professor in Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders at George Washington University, as well as the founding director of the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute.

U.Va. has invested significant resources in accelerating pan-university autism research. Several schools and units on Grounds, including the College of Arts & Sciences, the Curry School of Education, the School of Medicine, and the Brain Institute, have all developed initiatives to improve understanding and treatment of this complex disorder. “Attracting experts in the field such as Kevin Pelphrey is a huge leap for this pan-university effort,” says Jimmy Wright, president of the Foundation. “We are thrilled to partner with the School of Medicine in order to bring this type of leader to our community.”

For nearly four decades, the Foundation has helped recruit outstanding undergraduate and graduate students to the University. More recently, the Foundation has underscored its commitment to attracting outstanding talent to U.Va. by raising more than $50 million in support of endowed professorships.

“These funds will ensure exceptional teachers and leading-edge researchers find their way inside classrooms at the College of Arts & Sciences, the Darden School of Business, the Law School, and the School of Medicine,” says Wright. “We are grateful to the many generous donors for creating these endowed professorships and for helping the University compete on the world stage for truly remarkable faculty.”