Mirella Dapretto, Ph.D.


Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences

Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART)

Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior

Member, Brain Research Institute

Neuroscience GPB Home Area

Contact Information

Work Phone Number: 310-206-2960

Laboratory Address:

Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Office Address:

Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center
660 Charles E. Young Drive South
Los Angeles, CA 90095


Dr. Dapretto is presently appointed as Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. She received a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the UCLA Psychology Department, specializing in language development. As a postdoctoral fellow at the UCLA Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, she later acquired expertise in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) under the mentorship of Dr. Susan Bookheimer. Dr. Dapretto has been the recipient of several awards, including NIH fundings to study the neural systems associated with language functions in typically developing children, and several grants (funded by the Cure Autism Now foundation, the M.I.N.D. Research Institute at UC Davis, the National Alliance for Autism Research, and Autism Speaks) to study the neural basis of the socio-communicative impairments observed in autism. As part of the UCLA Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) funded by NIH, Dr. Dapretto currently serves as the PI of the imaging project (Project 4), as well as Co-PI of a project in infants at ultra high-risk for autism (Project 1 ). In addition, Dr. Dapretto is also a co-investigator on several large-scale collaborative studies headed by Drs. Bookheimer, Geschwind, and Wang, including a recently funded multi-site ACE Network (PI: Pelphrey; participating sites: Yale, UCLA, Harvard, University of Washington). Capitalizing on her dual training as a developmental psychologist and a neuroscientist, Dr. Dapretto’s research combines neuroimaging, behavioral, and genetic data to better characterize typical and atypical brain function from infancy to adulthood. Her work has been published in prestigious scientific journals such as Neuron, Nature Neuroscience, Biological Psychiatry, Brain, and Archives of General Psychiatry.