Rebecca Landa, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Kennedy Krieger Institute

SFARI Scientific Review Board, SFARI Investigator Website

Rebecca Landa is a speech-language pathologist and developmental scientist who obtained her doctoral degree in developmental neurolinguistics and speech and hearing sciences from the University of Washington. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatric genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is the founder and executive director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Institute, where she also is vice president. She is professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Landa’s research and clinical interests focus on autism, communication development and communication disorders. Her prospective, longitudinal research with infants at elevated and low likelihood of developing autism focuses on developmental processes, trajectories and early indicators associated with autism, communication delays and other neurodevelopmental outcomes. She also focuses her research efforts on translating her developmental science findings into innovative early interventions, then examining the efficacy of those interventions through randomized control trials (RCTs).

To increase the accessibility of evidence-based intervention from infancy through pre-kindergarten and in community settings, Landa has taken a translational approach, using implementation and community-engaged participatory research designs to bring efficacious interventions to scale. The core of the interventions being translated for community implementation stem from her prior RCT focused on the Early Achievements intervention that demonstrated malleability of core social and communication learning in autistic toddlers.

Landa also develops assessment tools designed to be useful in research and clinical settings, such as the Pragmatic Rating Scale, for detecting developmental differences and assessing trajectories of change. Expanding her prior bio-behavioral research initiatives, she is engaged in collaborative research to leverage artificial intelligence and movement science innovations to detect autism early and assess intervention effects.

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