Peter Tsai is a child neurologist and physician scientist whose research focuses on delineating the underlying mechanisms behind autism spectrum disorders and on developing therapeutic strategies for the treatment of these disorders. He received his M.D./Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles, prior to performing his pediatrics and child neurology residency training at Boston Children’s Hospital. After residency, he completed a behavioral neurology fellowship where he became especially intrigued in the contribution of cerebellar dysfunction to autism spectrum disorders. There, with Mustafa Sahin, he established that cerebellar dysfunction was sufficient to generate autism-related behaviors in mouse models.
Tsai subsequently moved to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where he cares for patients in the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities and directs the Cerebellar Neurodevelopmental Disorders Clinic. In his laboratory, he is using a combination of genetic models, neuromodulation, physiology and molecular biology to better understand the cerebellar-mediated circuits regulating autism-related behaviors.