Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) is one of the nation’s leading pediatric hospitals, creating hope and building healthier futures since 1901. In 2014, the Foundation created the Simms/Mann Endowed Chair in Developmental Neurogenetics.

The Developmental Neurogenetics program serves as a bridge between basic discoveries in the research lab and the development of important new prevention strategies and therapies for young patients. Pat Levitt, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and an internationally renowned expert in brain development and neurodevelopmental disorders, is the inaugural chairholder. The Foundation also funds the Simms/Mann Discovery Research Fund to provide critical support for Dr. Levitt’s research activities.



Desired Impact

A child’s brain develops faster from birth to age 3 than any later period of life. This stretch of development creates the foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health. Dr. Levitt’s research holds the promise of identifying how genetics and environment come together to construct a healthy brain, and how alterations in this complex process can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dr. Levitt’s visionary leadership is crucial to help understand early brain development in the areas of learning, social behavior, communication, and emotional connection. Dr. Levitt’s most recent research focuses on creating new technologies for the early detection of toxic stress and enhancing the understanding of brain development using high-density EEG recordings in infants and toddlers.


Endowed Chair

Pat Levitt, PhD

Simms/Mann Endowed Chair in Developmental Neurogenetics and Chief Scientific Officer, CHLA

Dr Levitt is the Simms/Mann Chair in Developmental Neurogenetics at CHLA His research program probes the ways in which circuitries develop that control learning, emotional and social behavior.

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