Autism Research Team


Research Overview

Under the campus partnership, our research is embedded in MCRI.  Full research profile may be found at or

Individuals with an autism spectrum disorder can be as different as they are the same. Common difficulties include social communication and restricted and repetitive behaviours. Much is still not known about the underpinning biology of autism and how that manifests as the observed behaviour. There are many other gaps in our understanding of the lived experience of autism and how to optimise opportunities. With a focus on children and young people we are exploring possible genetic and epigenetic causes of subgroups of children with autism, as well as working toward understanding the prognosis, diagnosis, and best interventions. We are also working to understand mental health issues, participation and quality of life of children and young people living with autism, and their families. We use systematic reviews to bring together the best of existing evidence and rigorous clinical epidemiology and qualitative methods to generate new understandings. Our team comprises clinician-researchers, PhD students and other postgraduate students.


  • Professor Katrina Williams, APEX Australia Chair of Developmental Medicine, Paediatrician and Public Health Physician
  • Dr Alexandra Ure, Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Postdoctoral Fellow, Autism Research Team Leader & Clinical Psychologist
  • Dr Carmen Pace, Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Postdoctoral Fellow & Clinical Psychologist
  • Ms Veronica Rose, Research Assistant & Speech Pathologist
  • Ms Francesca Lami, PhD student
  • Ms Charmaine Bernie, PhD student & Occupational Therapist
  • Dr Rebecca Mitchell, PhD student & Paediatrician
  • Ms Marijke Mitchell, PhD student & Nurse


We collaborate with a range of different groups including those from the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, University of Melbourne, Deakin University, Djerriwarrh Health Services (DjHS) Melton, and the Living with Autism Cooperative Research Centre.


We are funded through the NHMRC, ARC and various philanthropic organisations.