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 and Vice Chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, where he is also Director of the UT Southwestern Autism Center and of the First Episode Psychosis Program. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Syracuse University. Dr. Sweeney completed his internship Clinical Psychology at New York Hospital's Payne Whitney Clinic and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Chief Clinical Fellow at Cornell University College of Medicine. Dr. Sweeney's research program pursues investigations in clinical cognitive neuroscience, including cognitive, neurophysiological and neuroimaging work. His primary focus in on studies of autism and psychotic disorders. Dr. Sweeney is a member of numerous professional and scientific societies including the Society for Neuroscience, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the Society for Biological Psychiatry, and the International Society for Autism Research. He has served on multiple scientific advisory boards for NIH and pharmaceutical companies. He is an author of over 250 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
  • Family studies of psychotic disorders and autism
  • Neurocognitive abnormalities in schizophrenia, mood disorders and autism
  • 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