Sophia A. Colamarino
John and Maria Goldman Foundation; Stanford University School of Medicine
Sophia Colamarino, Ph.D., is a neuroscientist with over a decade of involvement in the non-profit autism research community. She currently works in private philanthropy where she serves as the Director of the Science & Health Program for the John & Marcia Goldman Foundation, which seeks funding opportunities focused on the autism spectrum and autoimmune disease spaces. Dr. Colamarino is also a Consulting Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University Medical School and teaches a course on autism spectrum disorder in the undergraduate Human Biology Program.
Prior to joining the Goldman Foundation, Dr. Colamarino served from 2004–2011 as the Vice President of Research for Autism Speaks and as the Science Program Director for Cure Autism Now, where she developed several important research initiatives including new efforts in neuropathology, innovative technology, and translational biology. While at Autism Speaks, Dr. Colamarino spearheaded development of a public access policy for publications resulting from the foundation's funded research, the first such policy for a US advocacy organization, for which she testified to Congress and was appointed to the NIH’s National Library of Medicine advisory board for the PubMed Central science archive. She also spends much of her time providing public science lectures for the autism community and has served on many autism boards and science committees.
Dr. Colamarino graduated with a BS in Biological Sciences and an AB in Psychology from Stanford University. She received her Ph.D. in Neurosciences from the University of California, San Francisco, where she studied brain development with neuroscientist Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Ph.D. After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Colamarino conducted research on the genetic disorder Kallmann Syndrome at the Telethon Institute for Genetics and Medicine in Milan, Italy, led by human geneticist Andrea Ballabio, MD. She then returned to the US to work at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA, studying adult neural stem cells and brain regeneration in the laboratory of stem cell pioneer Fred H. Gage, Ph.D.