Matthew Lerner, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry and Pediatrics in the Department of Psychology at Stony Brook University, and Research Director of the Autism Initiative, has been awarded the American Psychological Association Division 33 (IDD/ASD) Sara Sparrow Early Career Research Award. This accolade is presented to one researcher every other year who has made substantial contributions to the understanding of intellectual or developmental disabilities, as reflected in his or her published and presented works.
“It is an incredible honor to receive this award as I have long admired all of the past winners,” said Dr. Lerner. “Each of their careers in the ASD/IDD field accelerated even further after receipt of this award, and so my hope is to follow in their footsteps by using this award as inspiration for deepening understanding of the social challenges and successes of those with ASD.”
Dr. Lerner has also been listed as one of the top autism researchers in the world in an analysis of autism research over the last decade. Spectrum reviewed more than 35,000 autism-related journal articles, as well as nearly 6,700 autism-related grants to highlight meaningful collaborations in autism research over the past decade. You can see an interactive map of the field showing the connections among 150 researchers here.
His accomplishments stem from research focusing on understanding and helping children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which he practices as director of the Social Competence and Treatment Lab, also called the “Lerner Lab.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has led Dr. Lerner to expand his research and explore the psychological effects for individuals impacted by the quarantine, specifically youth with ASD. He and his colleagues developed programs and strategies for families to cope and adjust during the pandemic. Learn more here.