Scientific Advisory Board member Patt Levitt elected to Institute of Medicine

October 25, 2013

NeuroDevNet Scientific Advisory Board Member Pat Levitt, PhD is a newly elected member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM).

The Institute is an independent, non-governmental organization within the National Academy of Sciences that provides unbiased, expert advice to policy makers and the public. Dr. Levitt's election to the IOM recognizes his outstanding professional achievements in neuroscience and his commitment to advancing health in the United States.

The IOM works to provide peer-reviewed, evidence-based information to help inform health and science policy. Each year, the membership nominates and elects up to 70 distinguished professionals to join the Institute. Election is based on career accomplishments, as well as the willingness to remain actively involved with issues such as healthcare, disease prevention, medical education and research

"This election is a great and very rare honor," Dr. Levitt said in an online article posted by the Fort Mill Times. "It recognizes my career in research that, in some way, is viewed by my peers as impacting medicine and those who depend on scientific discovery to improve the lives of their children and families.”

Dr. Levitt is an internationally recognized expert in autism and was recently named as the inaugural director of the Developmental Neurogenetics Program of the Institute for the Developing Mind within The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. 

His work focuses on the developing brain, specifically the components associated with learning, and emotional and social behavior. He examines the genetic and environmental interactions that increase the risk for neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia. Levitt recently published a paper on the impact of oxidative stress on the severity of autism symptoms and hopes to use his research to develop better diagnostic criteria and personalized treatments for children.

Levitt is provost professor of Pediatrics, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Psychology and Pharmacy at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, as well as director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program at USC. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and chairman of the Association’s Neuroscience Division. Levitt also serves as the scientific director of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, a consortium that brings together leading researchers in developmental neuroscience to advise industry leaders on program investments. He has published over 260 academic papers on autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, and currently is on the research advisory board for the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network.

Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Current, active IOM membership elects new members annually from candidates nominated for professional achievement and commitment to service. In 2013, 70 new members were chosen.