Senior Vice President, Public Health and Inclusion at Autism Speaks
Principal investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine and is an associate professor at the University of Washington.
Andy Shih is a principal investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine and is an associate professor at the University of Washington. He has always been fascinated by the microcosm. He enjoys peering into microscopes and teaching others how to use them.
Andy Shih, Ph.D., joined Autism Speaks in 2006, after its merger with the National Alliance for Autism Research, where he served as chief science officer.
In 2007, as vice president of scientific affairs overseeing the etiology and clinical research portfolios, Mr. Shih led the development of several large international research consortia that delivered high impact scientific outcomes for the community. They include research on autism risk genes by the Autism Genome Project; a revised recurrence rate of 19 percent for siblings of affected children by the Baby Siblings Research Consortium; novel parent-mediated interventions by the Toddler Treatment Network; parental age as a risk factor by iCARE; and the first prevalence estimates in South Korea and other countries.
After the 2008 passage of the World Autism Awareness Day resolution at the United Nations, Dr. Shih led the development of the Global Autism Public Health (GAPH) initiative that provides technical support to country governments to enhance autism awareness, advocacy, research and services worldwide. In addition to facilitating the passage of additional autism and developmental disabilities resolutions at the United Nations and the World Health Assembly, GAPH-related research contributed to the development and dissemination of innovative capacity-building approaches to enhance autism and developmental disabilities services in low-resource communities.
As senior vice president of public health and inclusion, Dr. Shih and his team currently support ministries, government agencies and leading nongovernmental organizations in more than 70 countries to deliver better outcomes and quality of life for tens of millions of individuals and families.
With emphasis on human rights, science-driven advocacy and policy-making, and the development and implementation of innovative tools and programs, the team aims to help address knowledge and health disparities that slow progress for the majority of individuals and families affected by autism and developmental disabilities worldwide, including underserved communities in the U.S. and other high-income countries.
Dr. Shih holds a Ph.D. in molecular cell biology from New York University School of Medicine, and his research background includes published studies in gene identification and characterization, virus-cell interaction, and cell-cycle regulation. He was instrumental in the cloning of a family of small GTPases involved in cell-cycle control and nuclear transport, and he holds three patents on nucleic acids-based diagnostics and therapeutics.