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Director, Center for Translational Research
Ravenel Boykin Curry Chair of Genetic Therapeutics
Greenwood Genetic Center
Contact: 864-250-7944 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Walter Kaufmann is a clinician and researcher with medical training in pediatric neurology and neuropathology (with emphasis on pediatric neurology). He also completed graduate training in neurobiology and behavioral sciences. His career and post-residency training has focused on neurodevelopmental disorders, more specifically in genetic disorders associated in intellectual disability and autism. In terms of research, after 15 years of work on the neurobiology and pathophysiology of these developmental disorders, which included among others the identification and characterization of several genes involved in synaptic plasticity and the delineation of autism in fragile X syndrome and Down syndrome, Dr. Kaufmann’s current focus is on developing novel therapies (translational research). As Director of the Center for Translational Research (CTR), he leads the Greenwood Genetic Center’s initiatives regarding the development of treatment of genetic disorders. Before joining the Greenwood Genetic Center, Dr. Kaufmann was a senior neurologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, and a Simons Investigator at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Simons Center for the Social Brain. He was also a member of the Harvard Catalyst Scientific Review Committee, which oversees clinical and translational research across the Harvard-affiliated hospitals. Prior to this and after completing clinical training, Dr. Kaufmann rose through the faculty ranks at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine culminating with an appointment as Professor of Pathology, Neurology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Radiology. He was also a member of the DSM-5 Neurodevelopmental Disorders Workgroup that developed the current diagnostic criteria for intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Kaufmann has published over 200 journal articles and has served on multiple editorial and scientific advisory boards. His work has been funded through numerous major grants from the NIH, CDC, Department of Defense, private foundations, and industry.
Dr. Kaufmann’s research activities cover a wide range of multidisciplinary approaches to the study of neurodevelopment disabilities, from a translational perspective. The main focus of his research is on the study of genetic disorders associated with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder with an emphasis on the bases, characteristics, and treatment of social interaction impairments. Dr. Kaufmann’s work focuses on Down syndrome, Rett syndrome, idiopathic autism spectrum disorder, and fragile X syndrome. In line with his focus in translational research, his current work emphasizes the identification of biomarkers and development of outcome measures, as well as design and implementation of clinical trials. Dr. Kaufmann also plays a critical role in the organization of the Rett syndrome and fragile X syndrome clinical research community.