Headshot of SFARI Investigator Christopher Walsh.

Christopher A. Walsh, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief of the Division of Genetics and Genomics, Boston Children’s Hospital
Bullard Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

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Christopher A. Walsh is the Bullard Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at Harvard Medical School, the chief of the Division of Genetics and Genomics at Boston Children’s Hospital, an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and an associate member of the Broad Institute.

Walsh completed his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees under the supervision of Ray Guillery at the University of Chicago, his neurology residency and chief residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and his postdoctoral training in genetics at Harvard Medical School with Connie Cepko. In 1993, he became assistant professor of neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and he has been the Bullard Professor since 1999. He became an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2002, and from 2003 to 2007 served as director of the Harvard-MIT combined M.D.-Ph.D. training program. He moved to Boston Children’s Hospital in 2006, becoming chief of Genetics and Genomics.

Walsh’s research has focused on the development, evolution and function of the human cerebral cortex, pioneering the analysis of human genetic diseases that disrupt the structure and function of the cerebral cortex by fostering worldwide collaborations with physicians and families. His laboratory has identified genetic causes for more than 30 brain diseases of children associated with autism, intellectual disability, seizures and cerebral palsy, and has discovered that some of these disease genes were important targets of the evolutionary processes that shaped the human brain.

Walsh’s work has received such recognitions as the Jacob Javits Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Dreifuss-Penry Award from the American Academy of Neurology, the Derek Denny-Brown and Jacoby Awards from the American Neurological Association, the American Epilepsy Society’s Research Award, the Perl-Neuroscience Award from the University of North Carolina, as well as the Gruber Prize and Kavli Prize in Neuroscience. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Neurological Association, the American Association of Physicians, the National Academy of Medicine and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences.

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