Wendy Chung, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief of Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital
Principal Investigator, SPARK

Science, SFARI Investigator, SPARK Website

Wendy Chung was the director of clinical research at SFARI from 2012 to 2023. She joined the foundation after serving on SFARI’s Scientific Advisory Board. Her role included managing the research program in individuals with autism, evaluating opportunities to develop new treatments for autism including medications such as arbaclofen, and developing novel outcome measures to evaluate the efficacy of these treatments. She was involved in identifying novel genes for autism and characterizing the clinical features associated with these novel genes. She led the effort to build a community of individuals with autism and their families, working with them to better understand the causes of autism. Chung delivered a TED Talk, “What We Know About Autism.”

Chung earned her undergraduate degree in biochemistry and economics from Cornell University, her M.D. from Cornell University Medical College and her Ph.D. from the Rockefeller University in human genetics. She completed her residency in pediatrics and fellowships in medical and molecular genetics at Columbia University. She is currently the principal investigator of SPARK (Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research) and Simons Searchlight, the Chief of Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School, where she performs human genetics research. At Boston Children’s Hospital, she clinically assesses children with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities and uses advanced genomic diagnostic methods, including whole-genome 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.

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Funded Projects

SFARI Funded Publications

Integrating de novo and inherited variants in 42,607 autism cases identifies mutations in new moderate-risk genes. Zhou X., Feliciano P., Shu C., Wang T., Astrovskaya I., Hall J., Obiajulu J.U., Wright J., Murali S., Xuming Xu S., Brueggeman L., Thomas T.R., Marchenko O., Fleisch C., Barns S.D., Green Snyder L., Han B., Chang T.S., Turner T.N., Harvey W.T., Nishida A., O'Roak B., Geschwind D., SPARK Consortium, Michaelson J., Volfovsky N., Eichler E., Shen Y., Chung W.
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