Angela John Thurman, Ph.D. for UC Davis Health

Angela John Thurman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences





Locations and Contact

UC Davis MIND Institute

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

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Physician Referrals

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

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Thurman's research focuses on characterizing the dynamic processes underlying the development of language and other skills in individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilties, particularly autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome and Williams syndrome. Because development stems from a continuous interplay of multiple influences across time, unpacking the influences of the behavioral phenotypes (areas of strength and challenge) in neurodevelopmental disabilities provides insight into the factors supporting and challenging development and how this differs across groups.

Dr. Thurman's current projects are focused on characterizing developmental similarities and differences across different neurodevelopmental conditions and identifying the factors influencing development. She is also interested in the development and validation of new methods for measuring cognitive, emotional, and behavioral skills across the lifespan in individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions. The long-range goal is that this work will help identify the extent to which similar and/or different processes should be targeted in intervention efforts across neurodevelopmental disabilities.


General Psychiatry

Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis MIND Institute

Undergraduate School

B.A., University of Colorado at Denver, Denver CO 2003

Other School

Ph.D., University of Louisville, Louisville KY 2011


Postdoctoral, UC Davis MIND Institute, Sacramento CA 2011-2016

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) Early Career Award, 2021

Thurman AJ, Edgin JO, Sherman SL, Sterling A, McDuffie A, Berry-Kravis E, Hamilton D, Abbeduto L. Spoken language outcome measures for treatment studies in Down syndrome: feasibility, practice effects, test-retest reliability, and construct validity of variables generated from expressive language sampling. J Neurodev Disord. 2021 Apr 8;13(1):13. doi:10.1186/s11689-021-09361-6. PMID:33827417.

Thurman AJ, Hoyos Alvarez C. Language Performance in Preschool-Aged Boys with Nonsyndromic Autism Spectrum Disorder or Fragile X Syndrome. J Autism Dev Disord. 2020 May;50(5):1621-1638. doi:10.1007/s10803-019-03919-z. PMID:30783899.

Thurman AJ, Potter LA, Kim K, Tassone F, Banasik A, Potter SN, Bullard L, Nguyen V, McDuffie A, Hagerman R, Abbeduto L. Controlled trial of lovastatin combined with an open-label treatment of a parent-implemented language intervention in youth with fragile X syndrome. J Neurodev Disord. 2020 Apr 22;12(1):12. doi:10.1186/s11689-020-09315-4. PMID:32316911.

Abbeduto L, Berry-Kravis E, Sterling A, Sherman S, Edgin JO, McDuffie A, Hoffmann A, Hamilton D, Nelson M, Aschkenasy J, Thurman AJ. Expressive language sampling as a source of outcome measures for treatment studies in fragile X syndrome: feasibility, practice effects, test-retest reliability, and construct validity. J Neurodev Disord. 2020 Mar 24;12(1):10. doi:10.1186/s11689-020-09313-6. Erratum in: J Neurodev Disord. 2020 Apr 2;12(1):11. PMID:32204695.

Roberts JE, Ezell JE, Fairchild AJ, Klusek J, Thurman AJ, McDuffie A, Abbeduto L. Biobehavioral composite of social aspects of anxiety in young adults with fragile X syndrome contrasted to autism spectrum disorder. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2018 Oct;177(7):665-675. doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.32674. Epub 2018 Oct 11. PMID:30307687.

Thurman AJ, McDuffie A, Kover ST, Hagerman RJ, Abbeduto L. Autism Symptomatology in Boys with Fragile X Syndrome: A Cross Sectional Developmental Trajectories Comparison with Nonsyndromic Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord. 2015 Sep;45(9):2816-32. doi:10.1007/s10803-015-2443-4. PMID:25904201.

Thurman AJ, McDuffie A, Hagerman R, Abbeduto L. Psychiatric symptoms in boys with fragile X syndrome: a comparison with nonsyndromic autism spectrum disorder. Res Dev Disabil. 2014 May;35(5):1072-86. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2014.01.032. Epub 2014 Mar 12. PMID:24629733.

Thurman AJ, Mervis CB. The regulatory function of social referencing in preschoolers with Down syndrome or Williams syndrome. J Neurodev Disord. 2013 Feb 13;5(1):2. doi:10.1186/1866-1955-5-2. PMID:23406787.