Natacha Akshoomoff, Ph.D.


Natacha Akshoomoff, Ph.D.
Associate Adjunct Professor
Child & Adolescent Services Research Center
Rady Children's Hospital
3020 Children's Way MC 5033
San Diego, CA 92123-4282
Phone #: (858) 822-2757
UCSD campus office: AP&M 2864
UCSD Campus Mail Code: 0115

Dr. Akshoomoff received her B.S. in Psychobiology from UCLA and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the UCSD/SDSU Joint Doctoral Program. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Florida and a postdoctoral fellowship in developmental cognitive neuroscience with Dr. Joan Stiles at UCSD. 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 an Associate Professor in the UCSD Department of Psychiatry (School of Medicine). Her research lab is located within the UCSD Center for Human Development.

Research Focus
Dr. Akshoomoff's current research focuses on various aspects of pediatric neuropsychology: 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 on math skills. She is also involved in a variety of projects that aim to improve early identification and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders in children, that examine the emergence of the behavioral phenotype in autism and the associated genetic risk factors, and that examine variations in outcomes of children with autism who participate in intensive early intervention. Dr. Akshoomoff also examines the behavioral phenotypes associated with rare genetic syndromes and methods to improve identification of young children at risk for developmental disorders.

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

Selected Publications

Akshoomoff, N. A., Feroleto, C. C., Doyle, R. E., &  Stiles, J. (2002). The impact of early unilateral brain injury on perceptual organization and visual memory. Neuropsychologia, 40, 539-561.

Akshoomoff, N. A. (2002). Selective attention and active engagement in young children. Developmental Neuropsychology, 22, 625-642.

Akshoomoff, N., Lord, C., Lincoln, A. J., Courchesne, R. Y., Carper, R. A., Townsend, J., & Courchesne, E. (2004). Outcome classification of preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders using MRI brain measures. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 43, 349–357.

Akshoomoff, N. (2006) Use of the Mullen Scales of Early Learning for the assessment of young children with autism spectrum disorders. Child Neuropsychology, 12, 269-277. 

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. 2012 Mar 29.

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, Sep 25;22(18):1693-8.

Corsello, C. M., Akshoomoff, N., & Stahmer, A. C. (2012) Diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders in two year-olds: A study of community practice. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 2012 Aug 20.

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 Dec 4;109(49):20089-20094. Epub 2012 Nov 19.

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 Nov 27;109(48):19620-19625. Epub 2012 Nov 12.

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, Volume 151, Issue 7, 1431-1442.


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