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Jessica Girault, Ph.D.

ASD Researchers at UNC

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Jessica Girault is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry with an appointment at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. Her research utilizes state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques and laboratory-based behavior assessments to study the dynamic interplay between brain and behavioral development during infancy and early childhood. A major focus of her work is to understand how brain-behavior associations across development are modulated by genetic factors.

Dr. Girault is the Principal Investigator of projects funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health and the Foundation of Hope to study how genetic background and genetic risk factors shape brain and behavioral development in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Fragile X syndrome, and Down syndrome. She is Co-Principal Investigator of an inaugural UNC Autism Research Center Pilot Project Award to study the molecular mechanisms involved in brain overgrowth and associated behaviors in ASD using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from individuals with ASD and their family members.

Dr. Girault is an investigator with the Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS) Network, the international Baby Siblings Research Consortium (BSRC), and the ORIGINs workgroup of the international ENIGMA Consortium.