Meet the Directors

Under the leadership of Joseph Buxbaum, PhD, Alexander Kolevzon, MD, and Ana Kostic, PhD, 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

Joseph Buxbaum, PhD 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. He was the Center's Director of Molecular Genetics for seven years prior to becoming the Director of the Center in 2008. Dr. Buxbaum has focused on understanding the molecular and genetic basis of autism, leading to the development of novel therapeutics for the negative aspects of the disorder.

Dr. Buxbaum also 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.

Additionally, he is the founder and co-leader of the Autism Sequencing Consortium, 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 is a G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Professor who has received numerous awards for his research and 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

Alexander Kolevzon, MD 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. 

His research interests pertain to understanding the neurobiology of autism 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.

Dr. Kolevzon is a frequently invited speaker regionally, nationally, and internationally and has published numerous papers on autism, won teaching and mentoring awards for the past 10 years and written several books.

Danielle Halpern, PsyD
Director, Graduate Training

Ana Kostic, PhD
Director, Drug Discovery and Development

Ellen Paley
Administrative Manager

Avi Reichenberg, PhD 
Director, Population Research and Environmental Epidemiology Program (PREP)

Paige Siper, PhD 
Chief Psychologist