Jill L. Silverman, Ph.D.

Jill L. Silverman, Ph.D.Assistant Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; University of California Davis School of Medicine
4625 2nd Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95817



Phone:  916-734-8531
E-mail:  jsilverman@ucdavis.edu

Dr. Silverman completed her undergraduate education at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.  She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Sciences and Psychology (Honors) with a heavy emphasis in Neurobiology and Behavior.  During this time, Dr. Silverman gained insight into the clinical neurological community, by working with individuals with behavioral disruptions caused by traumatic brain injuries.  For her doctoral research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, she identified the impact of stress-related mechanisms in major mental illnesses.  Employing rodent models, Dr. Silverman investigated neuroendocrine regulatory mechanisms through which episodes of depression, schizophrenia and drug abuse are triggered or exacerbated by inappropriate responses to stressors. For her postdoctoral training, Dr. Silverman was recruited by Dr. Jacqueline Crawley, to join her Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda.  Dr. Silverman’s projects employed a multi-tiered comprehensive phenotyping strategy, designed by Dr. Crawley and refined by Dr. Silverman, which has led to the discovery and publication of clinically relevant phenotypes in mutant mouse models of human genetic diseases including autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression, intellectual disabilities and Phelan-McDermid Syndrome. 

In the summer of 2012, Dr. Silverman was recruited to the University of California Davis and MIND Institute. Her current expertise is in preclinical translational evaluation of pharmacological treatments for autism spectrum disorders.  Dr. Silverman’s research team administered promising compounds to mice with social deficits and repetitive behaviors, and conducted assays for improvements in those two primary diagnostic domains of autism.  Dr. Silverman’s group is currently working on new project topics that include phenotypes of autism relevant genetic mouse models, the complexities in interpretation of mouse behavioral data, additional pharmacological treatment reversals in mouse models of autism and the development of rodent cognitive behavioral assays using technology that is analogous to clinical assessment tools.

Dr. Silverman is also a leader in training new behavioral neuroscientists.  She has trained, supervised and mentored numerous undergraduates, postbaccalaureates, Howard Hughes Medical Institute intern students and postdoctoral fellows.  She also communicates and participates in dialogue aimed at informing parent advocates of the nation’s top non-profit organizations to aide support and funding tailored to basic research in neurodevelopmental disorders.  Dr. Silverman enjoys educating on the use of animal models in studies of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders to student and public communities.


Ph.D., University of Maryland, 2007
B.A., Rutgers University, 1999