John Sweeney, Ph.D.


Endowed Title: Townsend Distinguished Chair in Research on Autism Spectrum Disorders

Department: Psychiatry, Pediatrics


John A. Sweeney, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics as well as Vice Chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He is also Director of the UT Southwestern Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Syracuse University, completed his internship in Clinical Psychology at New York Hospital's Payne Whitney Clinic, and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Cornell University College of Medicine. Dr. Sweeney's clinical research program involves cognitive, neurophysiological and neuroimaging work. His work has primarily focused on autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders and psychotic disorders. Dr. Sweeney is a member of numerous professional and scientific associations. He has served on multiple scientific advisory boards for NIH and pharmaceutical companies, and is an author of over 300 peer-reviewed articles.


Undergraduate University of Cincinnati Central Office (1974), Psychology
Graduate School Syracuse University Main Campus (1978), Psychology
Graduate School Syracuse University Main Campus (1980)

Research Interests

  • Autism and Fragile X Syndrome
  • Family studies of endophenotypes for autism and psychotic disorders
  • Pharmacological strategies for enhancing and preserving cognitive abilities


  • Von Humbolt Research Award
    Senior Scientists in Neurobiology (2009)
  • The Alliance for the Mentally Ill
    John M. Davis, M.D. Young Researcher Award (2002)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • International Society for Autism Research
  • Society for Biological Psychiatry
  • Society for Neuroscience