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Dan Smith to Lead Discovery Neuroscience

May 22, 2012

Autism Speaks is pleased to announce the hiring of Daniel G. Smith, Ph.D., to the newly created position of senior director of discovery neuroscience. Smith will report to Autism Speaks Vice President of Translational Research Rob Ring, Ph.D. He will be based primarily in the Boston area, a growing hub for academic-industry research collaboration. 

In his new role, Smith will be responsible for the development and management of scientific research programs. This will include targeted research projects and initiatives that support the goals of Autism Speaks Department of Translational Neuroscience. He will help develop strategies with the potential to transform the early pre-clinical phases of translational research. This will serve the larger goal of developing medicines that improve the quality of health and life for individuals living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Smith brings to Autism Speaks ten years of experience in neuroscience discovery and medicines development research. In his most recent position, he served as senior principal scientist and laboratory head in autism and neurodevelopment at Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development. There Smith led a multi-disciplinary research group investigating the brain circuits and cellular pathways underlying autism’s core symptoms and characterizing new targets for therapeutic development in autism and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Smith established and managed productive research collaborations with academic and private-industry partners. He helped lead public-private autism research groups that spanned preclinical, translational and clinical research. He also served in project leadership roles within the Neuroscience Research Unit at Pfizer. Prior to Pfizer, Daniel headed a behavior neuroscience lab at Lundbeck Research USA. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Temple University and a Ph.D. from Purdue University.