Meet the Directors

Under the leadership of Joseph Buxbaum, PhD, Alexander Kolevzon, MD, and Lynn Hendrickson, MBA, the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment works collaboratively to translate ground-breaking preclinical research into enhanced clinical care. Our diverse set of specialties means that our research benefits from a broad range of perspectives and expertise.

Joseph Buxbaum, PhD
Director

Dr. Joseph Buxbaum is a world-renowned molecular geneticist who has been intimately affiliated with the Seaver Autism Center since joining the faculty at Mount Sinai in 1997. Dr. Buxbaum was recruited in part to establish a molecular genetics program in autism spectrum disorder within Mount Sinai. As such, he was the Director of Molecular Genetics in the Seaver Autism Center for seven years and took over Directorship of the Seaver Autism Center itself in 2008. Dr. Buxbaum has focused on understanding the molecular and genetic basis of autism spectrum disorder, which will allow for a better understanding of what causes them, leading to the development of novel therapeutics for the negative aspects of these disorders.

Additionally, Dr. Buxbaum heads the Laboratory of Molecular Neuropsychiatry, which has taken the findings of the causes of autism and translated them into animal models where therapeutic approaches can be evaluated. In this context, Dr. Buxbaum has established the Autism Model Systems Initiative, which makes use of multiple experimental systems to develop and evaluate novel therapeutics in autism spectrum disorder.

Dr. Buxbaum has taken the lead in collaborations with multiple independent sites to ensure that the best science in the service of the families is carried out. Dr. Buxbaum is a lead investigator in the Autism Genetics Consortium, the Autism Genome Project, and the Autism Case Control Cohort, and is a part of the Psychiatric Genetics Consortium. These large Consortia have the benefit of advancing the best science at the fastest pace.

As the founder and co-leader of the Autism Sequencing Consortium, Dr. Buxbaum is part of an international group of scientists who share autism samples, data, and ideas in order to accelerate our understanding of the causes and treatments of autism.

Dr. Buxbaum, the G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Professor, has received numerous awards for his research. He has received recognition from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) in the form of the Daniel H. Efron award for "excellence in research in neuropsychophamacology" (2005), as well as from the Eden Institute Foundation for his "commitment and dedication to improving the quality of life in individuals with autism" (2008). In 2010, Dr. Buxbaum received the Richard D. Todd Memorial Award from the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics, the Joel Elkes Research Award from ACNP, and the Evans Research Award from the Marine Biological Laboratory. He also received the 2011 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Translational Science. In 2014, Dr. Buxbaum received the Beacon of Hope in Scientific Research Award from Autism Spectrum News. He was elected into the National Academy of Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine, in 2015.

Dr. Buxbaum has published more than 200 publications in esteemed journals and his work on autism and related conditions has been published in major journals including Nature, Nature Genetics, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Molecular Psychiatry, and Biological Psychiatry. He is the co-editor-in-chief of Molecular Autism, a journal that publishes cutting-edge research in autism genetics.

Alexander Kolevzon, MD
Clinical Director

Dr. Kolevzon is a Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and serves as the Clinical Director of the Seaver Autism Center and the Director of the Child Behavioral Health and Science Center for the Mount Sinai Health System. He completed residency and fellowship training (child and adolescent psychiatry) at Mount Sinai and joined the faculty upon graduating.

His research interests pertain to understanding the neurobiology of autism spectrum disorder and developing novel therapeutics. Most recently, his group has focused on studying specific genetic forms of autism, including Fragile X syndrome and Phelan-McDermid syndrome, in order to better understand the clinical presentation and to explore possible targets for pharmacological intervention.

Dr. Kolevzon leads the Experimental Therapeutics Program at the Seaver Autism Center, which conducts studies that range from small pilot trials to multi-centered pivotal FDA studies and are funded internally, through industry, and through the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Kolevzon also leads a national Rare Disease Clinical Research Consortium in Phelan-McDermid syndrome and is the Principal Investigator on the only clinical trial in the United States of a novel therapeutic for this rare disorder. He is a frequently invited speaker regionally, nationally, and internationally and has published numerous papers on autism spectrum disorder.

Dr. Kolevzon is also committed to medical student and residency education as an active teacher, mentor, and clinical supervisor. He has consistently won teaching and mentoring awards for the past 10 years and written several books designed for medical student and resident education in addition to co-editing the Textbook of Autism Spectrum Disorders published by American Psychiatric Publishing.

Lynn Hendrickson, MBA
Administrative Director

Lynn Hendrickson has served as Administrative Director of the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment since March 2017.  Since 2011, Lynn has supported research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as the Administrative Manager of the Department of Psychiatry, while simultaneously supporting the Division of Psychiatric Genomics and the Seaver Autism Center. Under Lynn’s management, the Department grew into one of the top-10 highest funded Psychiatry Departments, and the Division of Psychiatric Genomics and the Seaver Autism Center expanded into highly successful research teams.

Lynn works with Director Joseph D. Buxbaum, PhD, and the rest of the Seaver Leadership team, to create and implement a strategic plan to guide the Center’s growth in preclinical and clinical research, as well as expand the Center’s outreach, education and training initiatives. Lynn builds strategic partnerships, develops philanthropic relationships and expands the grant portfolio to support the Center’s development.

Lynn draws on extensive experience and expertise in research administration. Lynn was the Director of Operations at Addgene before joining Mount Sinai, and was previously the Administrative Manager for the Center for Human Genetics Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a Consultant for the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.