Laura Hewitson, PhD

lhewitson Laura Hewitson, PhD is the Director of Research for The Johnson Center for Child Health and Development and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern. Dr. Hewitson graduated with honors in Biology from the University of Essex, UK in 1990, and then earned her PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of York, UK. She relocated to the US in 1994 to pursue post-doctoral training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was a Staff Scientist at Oregon Health Sciences University from 1997-2001, held the position of Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences from 2002-2009; and held an Adjunct faculty position there from 2009-2010. She has also been appointed as an Affiliate Scientist at the Washington National Primate Research Center since 2009. Her research has focused on developing animal models in order to better understand the genetic and environmental influences that lead to infertility and/or adverse pregnancy outcomes. She has published over 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers, invited reviews, and book chapters during her fifteen-year career as a researcher, and has presented her work at many national and international conferences.

In 2002 Dr. Hewitson spearheaded a research program at the University of Pittsburgh to develop a non-human primate model for studying the cumulative effects of thimerosal-containing vaccines on infant development. This work has been presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR). In 2008 she joined Johnson Center for Child Health and Development in Austin, TX as a Staff Scientist in order to further develop these studies. She is one of the Principle Investigators on a five-year multi-disciplinary research study at the University of Washington that is investigating the safety of the pediatric vaccine schedule using a non-human primate model.

As the Research Director at Johnson Center for Child Health and Development, Dr. Hewitson oversees a diverse research portfolio for children with autism focusing on nutrition, mitochondrial dysfunction and the development of biomarkers as both diagnostic tools and as possible therapeutic targets.

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