Judith Anne Van de Water, Ph.D. for UC Davis Health

Judith Anne Van de Water, Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine




Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Neurodevelopmental Disorders


Internal Medicine

Locations and Contact

Genome and Biomedical Sciences Building

Genome & Biomedical Sciences Facility
451 Health Sciences Dr
Davis, CA 95616

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Phone: 530-752-2884

UC Davis MIND Institute

UC Davis MIND Institute
2825 50th St.
Sacramento, CA 95817

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Additional Numbers



Clinic Fax


Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Van de Water has a broad background in clinical immunology and immunopathology, with specific training and expertise in the gestational immune environment. Over the past 18 years, she expanded her research to include the immunobiological aspects associated with autism, which includes the maternal gestational immune environment, and how perturbation during gestation can impact the developing brain. Dr. Van de Water’s laboratory has worked to successfully understand the maternal cellular immune response and the humoral immune response during pregnancy and how dysregulation in these systems relates to neurobehavioral disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. Her group discovered the role of maternal auto-antibodies in the development of autism spectrum disorder that has led to the definition of a new sub-phenotype of ASD arising through this mechanism. In addition, she is a Co-Investigator on the UC Davis Conte Center studying neuroimmune mechanisms of psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, and is PI of Project 1. In addition, Dr. Van de Water is currently the Co-Director of the NICHD-funded MIND Institute Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, for which she heads the Molecular and Biological Analysis Core and is PI of the project embedded in the IDDRC.


Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis MIND Institute

Undergraduate School

B.S., UC Davis, Davis CA 1978

Medical School

Ph.D., Immunology, UC Davis, Davis CA 1988

Ball State University McGovern Award for Autism Research, 2012

Slifka/Ritvo Award for Excellence in Autism Research, 2011

Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program Division of Research Outstanding Paper for autism research, 2005

Visiting Professor: University of Konstanz, Konstanz Germany, 1998

UC Davis School of Medicine Team Recognition Award, 1997

Special Performance Award, UC Davis, 1989

American Association for Immunologists Travel Award for Berlin to attend International Congress of Immunology, Berlin, 1989

American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Research Prize, Chicago, Illinois, 1988

Bruce MR, Jones KL, Vernon AC, Silverman JL, Crawley JN, Ellegood J, Lerch JP, Van de Water J. Sexually dimorphic neuroanatomical differences relate to ASD-relevant behavioral outcomes in a maternal autoantibody mouse model. Mol Psychiatry. 2021. Epub 2021/07/23. doi:10.1038/s41380-021-01215-w. PMID:34290368.

Page NF, Gandal MJ, Estes ML, Cameron S, Buth J, Parhami S, Ramaswami G, Murray K, Amaral DG, Van de Water J, Schumann CM, Carter CS, Bauman MD, McAllister AK, Geschwind DH. Alterations in Retrotransposition, Synaptic Connectivity, and Myelination Implicated by Transcriptomic Changes Following Maternal Immune Activation in Nonhuman Primates. Biol Psychiatry. 2021;89(9):896-910. Epub 2021/01/03. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2020.10.016. PMID:33386132.

Matelski L, Morgan RK, Grodzki AC, Van de Water J, Lein PJ. Effects of cytokines on nuclear factor-kappa B, cell viability, and synaptic connectivity in a human neuronal cell line. Mol Psychiatry. 2021 Mar;26(3):875-887. doi:10.1038/s41380-020-0647-2. Epub 2020 Jan 21. PMID:31965031.

Ramirez-Celis A, Becker M, Nuño M, Schauer J, Aghaeepour N, Van de Water J. Risk Assessment Analysis for Maternal Autoantibody Related Autism (MAR-ASD): A Subtype of Autism. Molec Psych. 2021 Jan 22;26:1551-1560. doi:10.1038/s41380-020-00998-8. PMID:33483694.

Volk HE, Park B, Hollingue C, Jones KL, Ashwood P, Windham GC, Lurman F, Alexeeff SE, Kharrazi M, Pearl M, Van de Water J, Croen LA. Maternal immune response and air pollution exposure during pregnancy: insights from the Early Markers for Autism (EMA) study. J Neurodev Disord. 2020 Dec;12(1):42. doi:10.1186/s11689-020-09343-0. PMID:33327930.

Estes ML, Prendergast K, MacMahon JA, Cameron S, Aboubechara JP, Farrelly K, Sell GL, Haapanen L, Schauer JD, Horta A, Shaffer IC, Le CT, Kincheloe GN, Tan DJ, van der List D, Bauman MD, Carter CS, Van de Water J, McAllister AK. Baseline immunoreactivity before pregnancy and poly(I:C) dose combine to dictate susceptibility and resilience of offspring to maternal immune activation. Brain Behav Immun. 2020 Aug;88:619-630. doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2020.04.061. Epub 2020 Apr 23. PMID:32335198.

Ames JL, Windham GC, Lyall K, Pearl M, Kharrazi M, Yoshida CK, Van de Water J, Ashwood P, Croen LA. Neonatal Thyroid Stimulating Hormone and Subsequent Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Intellectual Disability. Autism Res. 2020 Mar;13(3):444-455. doi:10.1002/aur.2247. Epub 2019 Dec 10. PMID:31823519.

Ramirez-Celis A, Edmiston E, Schauer J, Vu T, Van de Water J. Peptides of neuron specific enolase as potential ASD biomarkers: From discovery to epitope mapping. Brain Behav Immun. 2020 Feb;84:200-208. doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2019.12.002. Epub 2019 Dec 5. PMID:31812776.

Bauman MD and Van de Water J. Translational opportunities in the prenatal immune environment: Promises and limitations of the maternal immune activation model. Neurobiol Dis. 2020;141:104864. doi:10.1016/j.nbd.2020.104864.

Bolandparvaz A, Harriman R, Alvarez K, Lilova K, Zang Z, Lam A,  Edmiston E, Navrotsky A, Vapniarsky-Arzi N, Van De Water J, Lewis JS.  Towards a nanoparticle-based prophylactic for maternal autoantibody-related autism. Nanomedicine. 2019 Oct;21:102067. doi:10.1016/j.nano.2019.102067. Epub 2019 Jul 23. PMID:31349087.