Karen J. Parker, PhD

Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Karen J. Parker is Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, where she leads the Major Laboratories Steering Committee and directs the Social Neurosciences Research Program. The principal goal of her research program is to better understand the biology of social functioning across a range of species, and to translate these fundamental insights to drive diagnostic and treatment advances for patients with social impairments, with a core focus on autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Parker’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Simons Foundation, and Department of Defense, published in leading scientific journals, and featured across diverse media outlets (e.g., NPR, CBS, New York Times, LA Times, Science, Scientific American). Dr. Parker received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan. She completed postdoctoral training at Stanford University and joined the Stanford faculty thereafter. She is an Affiliate Scientist at the California National Primate Research Center, a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), and a Kavli Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. She has attended key opinion leader meetings at the U.S. National Academies and NIH, and held leadership roles on international research advisory committees for the Society for Neuroscience and ACNP. Dr. Parker was born in Boulder, CO and raised in suburban Chicago. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, three children, and two Australian shepherds.