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Professor Cheryl Dissanayake Olga Tennison Chair in Autism Research, Autism Research Centre

Qualifications:  BSc Hons, PhD Monash, MAPS.
Professor Dissanayake is the Founding Director and inaugural Chair of Australia’s first research centre dedicated to autism, established in 2008. She has been an autism researcher since 1984, when she began her PhD at Monash University. On completion she undertook a postdoctoral fellowship in the Sigman lab at UCLA, and has established and led an active research program since joining La Trobe University in 1996. In addition to her scholarly activities, with numerous grants and publications, Prof. Dissanayake was instrumental in bringing together Victorian and Australian autism researchers, having co-founded the Autism Victoria ASD Research Group (in 2003), the Australasian Autism Research Alliance (in 2005), the Australasian Autism Research Collaboration (in 2009) and the Australasian Society for Autism Research (2011), a member based society of which she is vice-President. She is also a Project Leader in the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism. Professor Dissanayake is amongst the first scholars to be inaugurated as a Fellow of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) at its annual conference in Rotterdam in May, 2018. She was elected vice-President of INSAR in May 2019, and serves on its Senior Global Leaders Committee, representing the Western Pacific region.


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