Christine Wu Nordahl, Ph.D. for UC Davis Health

Christine Wu Nordahl, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Faculty, UC Davis Health MIND Institute




Locations and Contact

2315 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817

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Clinical Interests

Dr. Christine Nordahl's clinical interests are aimed at understanding how the brain develops during early childhood in both development and in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. She utilizes structural and functional MRI to study the developing brain.

Research/Academic Interests

Christine Wu Nordahl's research program utilizes neuroimaging to study brain development in autism across the life span. Since 2006, she has spear-headed neuroimaging efforts of the UC Davis MIND Institute Autism Phenome Project, a longitudinal, interdisciplinary study aimed at identifying clinically meaningful subtypes of autism. She is particularly committed to evaluating the entire autism spectrum, including girls with autism as well as the entire range of autism severity and intellectual abilities.



Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis MIND Institute

Undergraduate School

B.S., Cornell University, Ithaca NY 1996

Other School

Ph.D., UC Davis, Davis CA 2004


Postdoctoral Research, UC Davis Medical Center/MIND Institute, Sacramento CA 2004-2010

UC Women's Initiative for Professional Development, 2017, 2018

K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, National Institute of Mental Health, 2009, 2010, 2011

Trainee, National Institute of Mental Health, UC Davis, MIND Institute - Autism Research Training Program (T32), 2006, 2007, 2008

Pre-Doctoral National Research Service Award, National Institute of Mental Health, 2002, 2003, 2004

Northern California Alzheimer's Association Student Excellence Award, 2002

Achievement Reward for College Scientists (ARCS) Fellowship, 2000

Trainee, National Institute of Mental Health, UC Davis, Institutional Training Grant in Systems Neuroscience (T32), 1998, 1999, 2000

Reinhardt VP, Iosif AM, Libero L, Heath B, Rogers SJ, Ferrer E, Nordahl C, Ghetti S, Amaral D, Solomon M. Understanding Hippocampal Development in Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2020 Sep;59(9):1069-1079. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2019.08.008. Epub 2019 Aug 23. PubMed PMID:31449875.

Lee JK, Amaral DG, Solomon M, Rogers SJ, Ozonoff S, Nordahl CW. Sex Differences in the Amygdala Resting-State Connectome of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2020 Mar;5(3):320-329. doi:10.1016/j.bpsc.2019.08.004. Epub 2019 Aug 21. PubMed PMID:31563470;PubMed Central PMCID:PMC7033019.

Kerns CM, Winder-Patel B, Iosif AM, Nordahl CW, Heath B, Solomon M, Amaral DG. Clinically Significant Anxiety in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Varied Intellectual Functioning. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2020 Jan 23;:1-16. doi:10.1080/15374416.2019.1703712. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID:31971849.

Nordahl CW, Iosif AM, Young GS, Hechtman A, Heath B, Lee JK, Libero L, Reinhardt VP, Winder-Patel B, Amaral DG, Rogers S, Solomon M, Ozonoff S. High Psychopathology Subgroup in Young Children With Autism: Associations With Biological Sex and Amygdala Volume. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2020 Jan 20. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2019.11.022. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID:31972262;PubMed Central PMCID:PMC7369216.

Andrews DS, Lee JK, Solomon M, Rogers SJ, Amaral DG, Nordahl CW. A diffusion-weighted imaging tract-based spatial statistics study of autism spectrum disorder in preschool-aged children. J Neurodev Disord. 2019 Dec 16;11(1):32. doi:10.1186/s11689-019-9291-z. PubMed PMID:31839001;PubMed Central PMCID:PMC6913008.

De Meo-Monteil R, Nordahl CW, Amaral DG, Rogers SJ, Harootonian SK, Martin J, Rivera SM, Saron CD. Differential Altered Auditory Event-Related Potential Responses in Young Boys on the Autism Spectrum With and Without Disproportionate Megalencephaly. Autism Res. 2019 Aug;12(8):1236-1250. doi:10.1002/aur.2137. Epub 2019 Jun 3. PubMed PMID:31157516;PubMed Central PMCID:PMC7282708.

Libero LE, Schaer M, Li DD, Amaral DG, Nordahl CW. A Longitudinal Study of Local Gyrification Index in Young Boys With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Cereb Cortex. 2019 Jun 1;29(6):2575-2587. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhy126. PubMed PMID:29850803;PubMed Central PMCID:PMC6519847.

Solomon M, Iosif AM, Krug MK, Nordahl CW, Adler E, Mirandola C, Ghetti S. Emotional false memory in autism spectrum disorder: More than spared. J Abnorm Psychol. 2019 May;128(4):352-363. doi:10.1037/abn0000418. Epub 2019 Apr 11. PubMed PMID:30973243;PubMed Central PMCID:PMC6540798.

Nordahl CW, Schumann CM. Early Variations in Amygdala Development May Signal Divergent Behavioral Outcomes. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2019 Jan;4(1):3-4. doi:10.1016/j.bpsc.2018.11.009. PubMed PMID:30616748.

Shen MD, Nordahl CW, Li DD, Lee A, Angkustsiri K, Emerson RW, Rogers SJ, Ozonoff S, Amaral DG. Extra-axial cerebrospinal fluid in high-risk and normal-risk children with autism aged 2-4 years: a case-control study. Lancet Psychiatry. 2018 Nov;5(11):895-904. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(18)30294-3. Epub 2018 Sep 27. PubMed PMID:30270033;PubMed Central PMCID:PMC6223655.