Sophia Colamarino is a Consulting Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University Medical School where she works in the Stanford Autism Center . Sophia joined the non-profit research organization Cure Autism Now in November 2004 as Science Program Director prior to its merger with Autism Speaks, where she remained as Vice President of Research until 2011. During her tenure at Autism Speaks, the world's largest autism science and advocacy organization, she managed Autism Speaks’ Biology Division and developed several important research initiatives, including new efforts in neuropathology, innovative technology and translational biology. She also spent much of her time traveling the country providing science lectures for the autism community. In 2008 Sophia spearheaded the development of an open access policy for publications resulting from Autism Speaks’ funded research, for which she testified to U.S. Congress and has been appointed to the national advisory committee of the NIH's PubMed Central science archive.
Sophia graduated with dual degrees in Biological Sciences and Psychology from Stanford University. She received her PhD in Neurosciences from the University of California, San Francisco, where she studied brain development with neuroscientist Marc Tessier-Lavigne, PhD. After receiving her PhD, Sophia 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, PhD.