At the Simons Foundation, Wendy Chung is working to characterize behavior, brain structure and function in people with genetic variations that may relate to autism.

Why you should listen

Wendy Chung is the director of clinical research at the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative, which does both basic and applied science to serve people affected by autism spectrum disorders. She's the principal investigator of the foundation's Simons Variation in Individuals Project, which characterizes behavior and brain structure and function in participants with genetic copy number variants such as those at 16p11.2, which are believed to play a role in spectrum disorders.
Chung also directs the clinical genetics program at Columbia University. In assessing and treating kids with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities, she uses advanced genomic diagnostics to explore the genetic basis of neurological conditions. She thinks deeply about the ethical and emotional questions around genetic medicine and genetic testing.

What others say

“She has a humanistic philosophy that animates everything she does. ... She's not only thinking on all cylinders, but also feeling on all cylinders.” — Hamilton Cain, parent of a patient, author of "This Boy’s Faith"

Wendy Chung’s TED talk

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Live from TED

What we know about autism: Wendy Chung at TED2014

March 20, 2014

Wendy Chung of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative says that she is constantly asked the same question by parents: “Why does my child have autism?” It’s a question that plagues them whether their child has a severe form of autism, to the point of being non-verbal, or a mild one. “Autism isn’t a single condition. It’s […]

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Live from TED

Why?: The speakers in session 7 of TED2014

March 19, 2014

Humans, ever-meaning-making creatures, will never cease to wonder: Why are things the way they are? Why do I think the way I do? And what does it all mean? Welcome to Session 7 of TED2014, in which speakers will ask big questions about how we — and the world — work. Here are the speakers […]

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