The Simons Foundation is pleased to announce that Louis F. Reichardt of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) will become the next director of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI). He is to begin his official duties at the foundation’s New York City offices in July.

Reichardt is currently the Jack D. and DeLoris Lange endowed chair in cell physiology at UCSF, where he has directed the renowned neuroscience graduate program since 1988. A Fulbright scholar with an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Stanford University, Reichardt was a research fellow at Harvard Medical School and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for more than twenty years.

Reichardt combines exceptional scientific accomplishment with outstanding leadership skills.

The recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship in 1985, he is a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was one of three founding editors of the journal Neuron and is a senior editor of the Journal of Cell Biology. He serves on the editorial boards of several other journals as well as the scientific advisory boards for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Spinal Cord Injury and Paralysis Foundation and the Myelin Repair Foundation. He is also widely acknowledged as a dedicated mentor to early-career scientists and students in the UCSF neuroscience program.

Dr. Reichardt is also a noted mountaineer who climbed both Mount Everest and K2 by new routes. He is an honorary member of the Appalachian Mountain Club and American Alpine Club and is past president of the latter. For the past 30 years he has been on the board of the American Himalayan Foundation, which promotes educational and economic opportunity, cultural preservation and environmental restoration in Nepal, Tibet and Tibetan communities in India.

About Simons Foundation  

The Simons Foundation is a private foundation based in New York City, incorporated in 1994 by Jim and Marilyn Simons. The Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. We sponsor a range of programs that aim to promote a deeper understanding of our world.

The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) started in 2003. SFARI’s goal is to sponsor research that promises to increase our scientific understanding of autism spectrum disorders. Since 2007, this initiative has provided more than $260 million in external research support to more than 250 investigators in the U.S. and abroad.