Natacha Akshoomoff, Ph.D. 

Adjunct Professor

Center for Human Development

 

Contact Information

UCSD Office: AP&M 2864 (Annex)
UCSD Campus Mail Code: 0115
T: (858) 822-2757
natacha@ucsd.edu

Biography

Dr. Akshoomoff received her B.S. in Psychobiology from UCLA. She received her Ph.D. from the UCSD/SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology and completed her predoctoral internship in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Florida. Her postdoctoral fellowship in developmental cognitive neuroscience with Dr. Joan Stiles was funded by the McDonnell-Pew Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and the NICHD. After five years as an Assistant Professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta, she returned to UCSD in 2000 to pursue her research interests in autism and pediatric neuropsychology. Dr. Akshoomoff is a faculty member in the UCSD/SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (Neuropsychology Track) and the UCSD Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program. She is a Clinical Neuropsychologist at the Autism Discovery Institute at Rady Children's Hospital.  Dr. Akshoomoff is the Director of the Brain and Early Experiences Laboratory located in the Center for Human Development and member of the Executive Committee of the Center for Human Development.  

Research Interests

Research Focus

Dr. Akshoomoff's current research focuses on various aspects of pediatric neuropsychology, namely identifying normal variations in neural and neuropsychological development and their genetic associations, identifying how those factors are associated with variations in academic skill development in children, and the neural and neuropsychological impact of significant preterm birth. She is also involved in a variety of projects that aim to improve early identification and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders in children, examine the emergence of the behavioral phenotype in autism and the associated genetic risk factors, and examine variations in outcomes of children with autism who participate in intensive early intervention. She is also interested in identifying behavioral phenotypes associated with rare genetic syndromes and proper diagnosis of young children at risk for developmental disorders.

Clinical and Teaching Focus

Dr. Akshoomoff is actively involved in autism services and neuropsychological assessment at Rady Children's Hospital through Developmental Services and Child Psychiatry. She teaches seminars in neuropsychological development and developmental disorders and provides assessment workshops and supervision for graduate students in the Clinical Psychology JDP and the Clinical Psychology internship program, and postdoctoral fellows in Clinical Neuropsychology and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She also supervises undergraduate research at UCSD.

Publications

  • Akshoomoff, N., Stahmer, A.C., Corsello, C., & Mahrer, N.E. (2010). What happens next? Follow-up from the Children’s Toddler School Program. Journal of Positive Behavioral Interventions, 12, 245-253.
  • Stahmer, A.C., Akshoomoff, N. & Cunningham, A. (2011). Inclusion for Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders: The First Ten Years of a Community Program. Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice, 15, 625-641.
  • Cornew, L., Dobkins, K. R., Akshoomoff, N., McCleery, J. P., & Carver, L. (2012). Atypical social referencing in infant siblings of children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 2611-2621.
  • Brown, T. T., Kuperman, J. M., Chung, Y. H., Erhart, M., McCabe, C., Hagler, D. J., Venkatraman, V. K., Akshoomoff, N., Amaral, D. G., Bloss, C. S., Casey, B. J., Chang, L., Ernst, T. M., Frazier, J. A., Gruen, J. R., Kaufmann, W. E., Kenet, T., Kennedy, D. N., Murray, S., Sowell, E. R., Jernigan, T. L., & Dale, A. M. (2012). Neuroanatomical assessment of biological maturity. Current Biology, 22, 1693-8.
  • Walhovd, K. B., Fjell, A. M., Brown, T. T., Kuperman, J. M., Chung, Y. H., Hagler, D. J., Roddey, J. C., Erhart, M., McCabe, C., Akshoomoff, N., Amaral, D. G., Bloss, C. S., Libiger, O., Schork, N. J., Darst, B. F., Casey, B. J., Chang, L., Ernst, T. M., Frazier, J. A., Gruen, J. R., Kaufmann, W. E., Murray, S., van Zijl, P., Mostofsky, S., & Dale, A. M. (2012). Long term influence of normal variation in neonatal characteristics on human brain development. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 109, 20089-20094.
  • Fjell, A. M., Walhovd, K. B., Brown, T. T., Kuperman, J. M., Chung, Y. H., Hagler, D. J., Venkatraman, V., Roddey, J. C., Erhart, M., McCabe, C., Akshoomoff, N., Amaral, D. G., Bloss, C. S., Libiger, O., Darst, B. F., Schork, N. J., Casey, B. J., Chang, L., Ernst, T. M., Gruen, J. R., Kaufmann, W. E., Kenet, T., Frazier, J. A., Murray, S., Sowell, E. R., van Zijl, P., Mostofsky, S., Jernigan, T.L., & Dale, A. M. (2012). Multi modal imaging of the self-regulating developing brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 109, 19620-19625.
  • Michaelson, J.J., Shi, Y., Gujral, M., Zheng, H., Malhotra, D., Jin, X., Minghan, J., Greer, D., Bhandari, A., Wu, W., Corominas, R., Peoples, Á., Koren, A., Gore, A., Kang, S., Lin, G. N., Estabillo, J., Gadomski, T., Singh, B., Zhang, K., Akshoomoff, N., Corsello, C., McCarroll, S., Iakoucheva, L.M., Li, Y., Wang, J., and Sebat, J. (2012). Whole genome sequencing in autism identifies hotspots for de novo germline mutation. Cell, 151, 1431-1442.
  • Corsello, C. M., Akshoomoff, N., & Stahmer, A. C. (2013) Diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders in two year-olds: A study of community practice. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54, 178-185.
  • Akshoomoff, N., Beaumont, J. L., Bauer, P. J. Dikmen, S.S., Gershon, R.C., Mungas, D., Slotkin, J., Tulsky, D., Weintraub, S., Zelazzo, P.D., & Heaton, R.K. (2013). viii. NIH Toolbox Cognitive Function Battery (CB): Composite scores of crystallized, fluid, and overall cognition. Monograph of the Society for Research in Child Development, 78, 119-132.
  • Eicher, J. D., Powers, N. R., Miller, L. L., Akshoomoff, N., Amaral, D. G., Bloss, C. S., Libiger, O., Schork, N., Darst, B. F., Casey, B. J., Chang, L., Ernst, T. M., Frazier, J. A., Kaufmann, W. E., Keating, B., Kenet, T., Kennedy, D. N., Kuperman, J. M., Mostofsky, S., Murray, S., Sowell, E. R., van Zijl, P., Bartsch, H., Brown, T., Hagler, D. J., Dale, A. M., Jernigan, T. L., St. Porclain, B., Smith, G. D., Ring, S. M., & Gruen, J. R. (2013). Genome-wide association study of shared components of reading disability and language impairment. Genes, Brain, and Behavior 12(8):792-801.
  • Akshoomoff, N., Newman, E., Thompson, W. K., Bloss, C. S., McCabe, C., Chang, L., Amaral, D. G., Casey, B. J., Ernst, T. M., Frazier, J. A., Gruen, J. R., Kaufmann, W. E., Kenet, T., Kennedy, D. N., Libiger, O., Mostofsky, S., Murray, S., Sowell, E. R., Schork, N., Dale, A. M., & Jernigan, T. L. (2014). The NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery: Results from a large normative developmental sample (PING). Neuropsychology, 28(1): 1-10.
  • Douet, V., Chang, L., Pritchett, A., Lee, K., Keating, B., Bartsch, H., Jernigan, T. L., Dale, A., Akshoomoff, N., Murray, S., Bloss, C., Kennedy, D., Amaral, D. G., Gruen, J.R., Kaufmann, W.E., Casey, B. J., Sowell, E.R., & Ernst, T.M. (2014). Schizophrenia-risk variant rs6994992 in the neuregulin-1 gene on brain developmental trajectories in typically-developing children. Translational Psychiatry, 4, e392.
  • Heaton, R.K., Akshoomoff, N., Tulsky, D., Mungas, D., Weintraub, S., Dikmen, S., Beaumont, J., Slotkin, J., & Gershon, R. (2014). Reliability and validity of composite scores from the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery in adults. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 20, 588-598.
  • Akshoomoff, N., Mattson, S.N., & Grossfeld, P.D. (2014). Evidence for autism spectrum disorder in Jacobsen syndrome: Identification of a candidate gene in distal 11q. Genetics in Medicine.