|Susan Faja, PhD
Research Associate; Attending Psychologist, Division of Developmental Medicine
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics; Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Faja studied Neuroscience at the University of Michigan before receiving her doctoral degree in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington in 2009. She completed an internship at UCLA in the developmental disabilities track and postdoctoral fellowships focused on clinical neuroscience at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Washington. Her research within the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience investigates brain development and treatment response in clinical populations. In particular, she employs brain and behavioral measurement of social perception and executive control in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disorders. A key focus of her work is translating existing training programs in the cognitive neuroscience literature for clinical use. An additional benefit of evaluating these interventions is the opportunity to directly test the plasticity of systems that have been implicated in the neurocognitive profile of ASD. She is also currently testing whether individual differences measured during cognitive tasks are meaningfully related to the social function and symptoms of young children with ASD and health outcomes of adults on the spectrum. By answering these questions, Dr. Faja will gain information about the risk factors and developmental sequences that are critical for development of ASD, other neurodevelopmental disorders, and typical development. In order to answer these questions, Dr. Faja’s lab seeks to improve the sensitivity of measurement used to capture the skills of individuals across a wide range of functioning. Dr. Faja loves to eat dark chocolate, gave her first science lecture at the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum in 4th grade, and is fascinated by cormorants and moray eels.