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Catherine Rice, PhD

Emory Autism Center

School of Medicine

Phone: 404-727-8350



Catherine E. Rice, PhD, is Director of the Emory Autism Center and a Developmental Psychologist. She has worked with people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through teaching, diagnostic assessment, program planning, consultation, training and research for over 20 years.

Dr. Rice returned to Emory University in 2015 after 14 years as a Behavioral Scientist and Epidemiologist with the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Rice’s work at the CDC included working with partners to track the rates and describe the population of children with ASD in multiple areas of the United States through the Autism Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network. She also worked with the Learn the Signs-Act Early Team to improve the early identification of children with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Dr. Rice received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Emory University and her doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Boston College. She is a licensed psychologist in the state of Georgia and conducts specialized training on the assessment of autism. She formerly held positions at the Emory Autism Center as a teacher, clinician and researcher, as well as an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Emory University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

In addition to work on the prevalence of ASD in the US and internationally, Dr. Rice served as a CDC liaison to the Services Research and Policy Subcommittee of the Inter-agency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC). She has served on Advisory Boards for the Emory Autism Center, the Autism Society of America - Greater GA Chapter and the European Autism Information System. She currently serves on the boards for the Atlanta Autism Consortium, the New Jersey Governor’s Council for Autism Science, the Indiana HANDS in Autism Program and the World Health Organization. 

Dr. Rice is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Georgia Psychological Association, the Society for Research in Child Development, and the International Society for Autism Research. She was named the Autism Society of America Professional of the Year in 2008.