John Spiro, Ph.D.
Deputy Scientific Director, Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI)
John E. Spiro, PhD, is Deputy Scientific Director of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI). The Simons Foundation is a private non-profit foundation dedicated to advancing the frontiers of research in the basic sciences and mathematics. The mission of SFARI, a division within the Simons Foundation with a budget of ~$75 million/year, is to improve the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders by funding innovative research of the greatest quality and relevance. Working with the SFARI Director, John is involved in all aspects of the foundations initiatives in the field of autism, which include supporting more than 200 investigators, assembling large cohorts of individuals with autism for study, developing tools and resources to speed the progress of research, and organizing workshops and meetings to bring together leaders in the field and to attract new researchers to think about the challenges in autism research.
John earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Haverford College and his PhD from the University of California, San Diego. His thesis work was in the laboratory of the late Walter Heiligenberg, and his postdoctoral work was with Richard Mooney at Duke University Medical Center. Johns research interests were in cellular and systems neuroscience. In 2000, he joined the Nature Publishing Group as an editor at Nature Neuroscience, where he was involved in evaluating research findings across the field of neuroscience. In 2004, he joined Nature as a senior editor on the biology team, where he oversaw a group of editors responsible for editorial decisions and peer review of manuscripts across all areas of neuroscience. John joined the Simons Foundation in 2007.