Fred R. Volkmar, M.D., a longtime Yale faculty member and world authority in the diagnosis and treatment of autism, has been named director of the medical school’s Child Study Center (CSC) and chief of the Department of Child Psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital for a three-year term.

The CSC is an internationally known research and treatment facility for children’s mental health with acclaimed programs in early childhood development, trauma, Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, mental retardation, autism and other developmental disorders.

Volkmar, the Irving B. Harris Professor in the Child Study Center and professor of psychiatry, pediatrics and psychology, came to Yale as a fellow in 1980 and joined the medical school faculty two years later. At the CSC, Volkmar directs an autism clinic that attracts patients from all over the world and conducts cutting-edge research on the basic biology of autism and its diagnosis and treatment.

An editor of the Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Volkmar was the primary author of the autism section in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the standard guide to psychiatric diagnosis. In 2007, he will become editor of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, the field’s oldest academic journal. As a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Educational Interventions for Children With Autism, Volkmar made major contributions to the U.S. Department of Education’s 2001 report Educating Children with Autism, which documented the effectiveness of early intervention programs.

Volkmar succeeds Alan E. Kazdin, Ph.D., who has served as CSC director since 2002. Kazdin has returned to teaching and research as a professor in the Department of Psychology at Yale.