John Pruett

Professor of Psychiatry (Child)

Additional Titles & Roles

  • Member, The Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences (DBBS), Neuroscience Program

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,

Major Awards

  • Recognition for Hazlett et al., 2017 (role: middle author): Spectrum’s “Notable papers in autism research in 2017″, 2017
  • Autism Speaks’ “Top Ten 2017 Studies”, 2017
  • Autism Science Foundation’s “The Big News This Year: Biology Before Behavior”, 2017
  • Selected NICHD Research Advances, 2017
  • Back-Up Chair, NIH Developmental Brain Disorders (DBD) Study Section, 2017, 2018
  • Chartered Member, NIH Developmental Brain Disorders (DBD) Study Section, 2016

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

See more publications

Funded Research Projects


R01 (2R01) HD055741-11 (NICHD) (Piven, PI) 9/7/17-7/31/22
“A Longitudinal Brain and Behavior Study of Autism from Infancy through School Age” (fcMRI Imaging Processing Core)
This study is a competing continuation of an Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) Network grant supporting a prospective, longitudinal examination of brain and behavior at 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 24 months in infants at high familial risk (HR) and low risk (LR) for autism.
Role: Sub-Contract PI

1 U54 HD087011-01 (NICHD) (Constantino and Schlaggar, Co-PIs) 9/18/15 – 5/31/20
“Sex-Specific Modulation of ASD Liability: Compensatory Mechanisms and Recurrence”
The Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center at the Washington University School of Medicine is a scientific program composed of three core facilities, one dedicated to studies of cellular and molecular mechanisms of causation in IDD, one dedicated to the identification of “signatures” of developmental disability that can be imaged in the developing brain, and one dedicated to in-depth clinical assessment of human subjects and the translation of new understanding of causal mechanisms into higher impact intervention.
Role: Co-Investigator

WUIDDRC Pilot Fund (Pruett, PI) 5/27/16 – 5/26/17
“Toddler social motivation and communication”
The scientific objective of this study is to correlate dimensional measures of joint attention with ASD-relevant abilities.
Role: PI

The Drs. John R. (Sr.) and Patricia O. Pruett Fund for research in social cognition and for undergraduate training

The Azrieli Neurodevelopmental Research Program/ Brain Canada Multi-Investigator Research Initiative (A. Evans, PI) 4/1/14-3/31/19 “Structural and Functional Networks in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Fragile X Syndrome”
Role: Mentor/Collaborator

R01 MH104543 (NIMH) (L. Parr, PI)
“Effects of Oxytocin on Brain, Behavior, and Development” 5/1/15-4/30/20.
This project will examine the effects of repeated oxytocin administration on social behavior and neural development in infant monkeys as a first step towards understanding how this hormone modulates social behavior.
Role: Consultant