Patt Levitt named inaugural Chief Scientific Officer at CHLA

Pat Levitt (Photo courtesy of CHLA)
Pat Levitt (Photo courtesy of CHLA)

Pat Levitt, PhD, has been named Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer and Director of The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

“In addition to being a distinguished scholar and brilliant scientist, Dr. Pat Levitt’s commitment to advising policy makers on issues related to children’s health makes him the ideal person to assume this position of leadership,” said CHLA President and Chief Executive Officer Paul S. Viviano.

In his new role, Dr. Levitt will be responsible for scientific, administrative and financial oversight of all research efforts at CHLA and The Saban Research Institute. He will be charged with growth and enhancement of CHLA’s research enterprise through recruitment and development of a supportive environment for innovation that will impact improved clinical care of children.

“Dr. Levitt’s impressive background in both basic and clinical research and his demonstrated commitment to training and mentoring the next generation of scientists will help him lead CHLA’s research enterprise to a new level of excellence,” said Robert E. Shaddy, MD, senior vice president and pediatrician-in-chief at CHLA.

Dr. Levitt is an elected member of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He currently holds the Simms/Mann Chair in Developmental Neurogenetics in the Institute for the Developing Mind at The Saban Research Institute and will continue to hold the W. M. Keck Provost Professor of Neurogenetics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. In 2013, he was awarded the USC Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Mentoring Award.

His research team has made significant contributions to several breakthrough technical and translational research advances in determining the genetic and environmental factors that impact brain and child development, particularly related to cognitive and social-emotional functions. Dr. Levitt’s focus on the whole child has impacted integrated treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder and those exposed to early life adversity. He has published 296 scientific papers. Dr. Levitt’s laboratory has hosted and trained more than 100 undergraduates, medical students, MD/PhD, PhD and postdoctoral fellows, many of whom hold academic or private sector positions and lead programs and institutes.

Dr. Levitt is a Senior Fellow at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, and serves as Co-Scientific Director of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, a policy council that brings the best research from child development, physical health and neuroscience to assist state and federal policy makers and private sector business leaders in making decisions regarding child program investments.

He has held chair and institute directorships at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Vanderbilt University and the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Dr. Levitt currently serves on scientific advisory boards for institutions in the U.S. and Canada, and is editor-in-chief of Mind, Brain and Education science journal. He has been a National Institute of Mental Health MERIT awardee, McKnight Scholar, Klingenstein Foundation awardee, a Sloan Foundation and a March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Fellow, and has served as a member of the National Advisory Mental Health Council for the National Institute of Mental Health.

He holds a bachelor-of-arts degree in Biology from the University of Chicago, a doctorate degree in Neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University.

Dr. Levitt will assume his new role on July 1.

Mentioned in this article: Pat Levitt, PhD