Heather Hazlett, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Heather Hazlett is a board-licensed psychologist specialized in child neuropsychology and neurodevelopmental disorders. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill and an investigator in the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD).

Her research has focused on examining brain development in neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism, fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome and Angelman syndrome. Her current work seeks to identify early features of brain development that may be associated with later diagnostic or functional outcomes. She has led longitudinal brain imaging studies of toddlers with autism and fragile X and has published data from both of these projects.

Hazlett is currently the UNC site PI for a longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging study of infants at high risk for autism (the Autism Centers of Excellence [ACE] Infant Brain Imaging Study [IBIS]). She is also the site PI for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)–funded Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) network examining autism-related outcomes associated with prenatal exposure. She is also a co-PI on a longitudinal neuroimaging study of children with Angelman syndrome. Additionally, UNC and the University of Minnesota (UMN) were awarded a large multisite study of typically developing infants (the NIH “Baby Connectome” study) which examines trajectories for both brain and behavior development from birth to age 5 years. In this project, Hazlett oversees all aspects of the behavioral assessments for the UNC site and coordinates efforts with the UMN team as co-director for the behavioral core. She also serves as a behavioral consultant in the NIH-funded Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Center (IDDRC).

In addition to her research activities, Hazlett is a practicing clinician with expertise in pediatric neuropsychology. She participates in a weekly interdisciplinary clinic conducting evaluations for autism spectrum disorders and a biweekly pediatric neuropsychology clinic at CIDD. She is the lead psychologist on a multidisciplinary clinic focused on individuals with neurogenetic disorders.

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