John Pruett

Professor of Psychiatry (Child)

Additional Titles & Roles


  • also – Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences
  • Member, The Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences (DBBS), Neuroscience Program
  • Chartered Member, NIH Developmental Brain Disorders (DBD) Study Section, 2015-2021
  • Back-Up Chair, NIH Developmental Brain Disorders (DBD) Study Section, 2017 and 2018

Education & Training


  • Postdoctoral Training: Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 2007
  • Fellowship: Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 2005
  • Residency: Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 2003
  • MD: Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 2000
  • PhD: Neuroscience: Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 2000
  • BA: Princeton University , Princeton, NJ, 1990

Major Awards


  • Judge for the 37th and 40th annual O’Leary Prize for Excellence in Neuroscience Research. Washington University School of Medicine, 2014, 2017
  • Autism Speaks’ “Top Ten 2017 Studies”, 2017
  • Autism Science Foundation’s “The Big News This Year: Biology Before Behavior”, 2017
  • Recognition for Emerson et al., 2017 (role: co-senior author): Spectrum’s “Notable papers in autism research in 2017,” Autism Speaks’ “Top Ten 2017 Studies,” Selected NICHD Research Advances of 2017, and Autism Science Foundation’s “The Big News This Year: Biology Before Behavior”, 2017
  • Recognition for Eggebrecht et al., 2020 (role: co-senior author): Autism Science Foundation’s “Research Recap”, 2020
  • Castle Connolly Top Doctor™, 2021

Areas of Clinical Interest


-Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): early diagnosis (age 1-3)

Research Interests


-The neuroscience of ASD, social cognition, and comparative cognition

Key Publications


  • Hawks Z, Todorov A, Nishino T, Talovic M, Marrus N, Nebel M, Davis S, Marek S, Seitzman B, Eggebrecht A, Elison J, Dager S, Mosconi M, Tychsen L, Snyder A, Botteron K, Estes A, Evans A, Gerig G, Hazlett H, McKinstry R, Pandey J, Schultz R, Styner M, Wolff J, Zwaigenbaum L, Piven J, Pruett JR, Jr., for The IBIS Network. A prospective evaluation of infant cerebellar-cerebral functional connectivity in relation to behavioral development in autism. Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science. (in press)
  • MacDuffie KE, Estes AM, Harrington LT, Peay HL, Piven J, Pruett JR, Wolff JJ, Wilfond BS, (2021 05). Presymptomatic Detection and Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Pediatrics. 147(5):
  • McKinnon CJ, Eggebrecht AT, Todorov A, Wolff JJ, Elison JT, Adams CM, Snyder AZ, Estes AM, Zwaigenbaum L, Botteron KN, McKinstry RC, Marrus N, Evans A, Hazlett HC, Dager SR, Paterson SJ, Pandey J, Schultz RT, Styner MA, Gerig G, Schlaggar BL, Petersen SE, Piven J, Pruett JR, , (2019 01). Restricted and Repetitive Behavior and Brain Functional Connectivity in Infants at Risk for Developing Autism Spectrum Disorder. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 4(1): 50-61.
  • Emerson RW, Adams C, Nishino T, Hazlett HC, Wolff JJ, Zwaigenbaum L, Constantino JN, Shen MD, Swanson MR, Elison JT, Kandala S, Estes AM, Botteron KN, Collins L, Dager SR, Evans AC, Gerig G, Gu H, McKinstry RC, Paterson S, Schultz RT, Styner M, , Schlaggar BL, Pruett JR, Piven J, (2017 06). Functional neuroimaging of high-risk 6-month-old infants predicts a diagnosis of autism at 24 months of age. Sci Transl Med. 9(393):
  • Eggebrecht AT, Elison JT, Feczko E, Todorov A, Wolff JJ, Kandala S, Adams CM, Snyder AZ, Lewis JD, Estes AM, Zwaigenbaum L, Botteron KN, McKinstry RC, Constantino JN, Evans A, Hazlett HC, Dager S, Paterson SJ, Schultz RT, Styner MA, Gerig G, Das S, Kostopoulos P, , Schlaggar BL, Petersen SE, Piven J, Pruett JR, (2017 03). Joint Attention and Brain Functional Connectivity in Infants and Toddlers. Cereb Cortex. 27(3): 1709-1720.
  • Shaw JA, Bryant LK, Malle BF, Povinelli DJ, Pruett JR, (2017 May). The relationship between joint attention and theory of mind in neurotypical adults. Conscious Cogn. 51: 268-278.

See more publications

Funded Research Projects


R01 (2R01 HD055741-11) Piven (PI), Pruett (PI of sub. from UNC to WU)
“A Longitudinal Brain and Behavior Study of Autism from Infancy through School Age”

Co-Investigator, (1R01 MH116961) J. Wolff (PI)
“Development and Neural Mechanisms of Repetitive Behavior and Sensory
Responsivity in Autism”

Co-Investigator, R01 (1R01 HD088125-01) Botteron (PI)
“A Longitudinal MRI Study Characterizing Very Early Brain Development in Infants with Down Syndrome”

1 R01 MH118362-01 Pruett (Contact Co-PI with Piven)
“MRI based presymptomatic prediction of ASD”

Co-Investigator, 1 R01 MH121462-01 – Jeste (PI)
“Toward scalable biomarker-based prediction of ASD in high-risk infants”

1 R01 MH118362-02S1 Pruett (Contact Co-PI with Piven)
“MRI based presymptomatic prediction of ASD”

Tunc and Guthrie (Co-PIs), Pruett (PI of sub. from CHOP to WU)
“Computational Analysis of Interpersonal Synchrony: A Lens into the Early Emergence of Autism”

Co-Investigator, 1 R01 MH129426-01 – Wang (PI)
“Model-based investigation of aberrant neural face representation in Autism”