Wendy Chung, MD
Wendy Chung, MD
Wendy Chung serves as the principal investigator of SPARK, overseeing all aspects of SPARK development, with an emphasis on genetic research components of the project. She is also the P.I. for the Simons Variation in Individuals Project, which characterizes behavior and brain structure and function in participants with genetic variants believed to play a role in autism spectrum disorders. As principal investigator of SPARK, she is leading the effort to build a community of individuals with autism and their families, working with them to better understand the causes of autism and to develop better means of supporting individuals with the condition. She evaluates opportunities to develop new treatments and supports for autism and new outcome measures to evaluate the efficacy of these treatments.
A clinical and molecular geneticist, Chung received a B.A. in biochemistry and economics from Cornell University, an M.D. from Cornell University Medical College, and a Ph.D. in genetics from Rockefeller University. She is currently the Kennedy Family Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Columbia University, where she directs the clinical genetics program and performs human genetics research. At Columbia, she clinically assesses children with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities and uses advanced genomic diagnostic methods, including whole-exome sequencing, to identify the underlying genetic basis for neurological conditions. In her work, she strives to facilitate the integration of genetic medicine into all areas of healthcare in a medically, scientifically, and ethically sound, accessible, and cost-effective manner.
Chung has received the American Academy of Pediatrics Young Investigator Award, the Medical Achievement Award from Bonei Olam, and a career development award from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and is a member of the Dade County Hall of Fame. A renowned teacher and mentor, she is a member of the Glenda Garvey Teaching Academy and has won many awards for teaching, including the Charles W. Bohmfalk Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching, the American Medical Women’s Association Mentor Award, and the Columbia University Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. In 2014, Chung delivered a frequently viewed TED Talk, “What We Know About Autism.”