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Spectrum: Autism Research News


Apoorva Mandavilli

Editor-in-Chief, Spectrum

Apoorva Mandavilli created Spectrum as an authoritative news source for scientists interested in autism. As editor-in-chief, she oversees Spectrum’s operations. 

Before launching Spectrum, Apoorva was senior news editor at Nature Medicine. She also worked as U.S. news editor at BioMedNet, health editor at and was a newspaper and radio reporter. Her work has been featured in The New York TimesThe New Yorker online, The Atlantic, Slate and Popular Science, among others. Her article for Spectrum,The Lost Girls,” won first place in its category in the 2015 Association of Health Care Journalism Awards for Excellence, and is included in the 2016 “Best American Science & Nature Writing” anthology. Another article for the site, on electroconvulsive therapy, also won first place in its category in the 2016 Association of Health Care Journalism Awards for Excellence.

Apoorva has an M.S. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.A. in science journalism from New York University.

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October 2016
drawing showing young boys journey before and after ECT therapy

How ‘shock therapy’ is saving some children with autism

by  /  26 October 2016

Given its reputation, the most shocking thing about electroconvulsive therapy might be how beneficial — and banal — it actually is.

May 2016

Dispatches from IMFAR 2016

by  /  14 May 2016

These short reports from our journalists give you the inside scoop on developments at the 2016 International Meeting for Autism Research.

October 2015

The lost girls

by  /  19 October 2015

Misdiagnosed, misunderstood or missed altogether, many women with autism struggle to get the help they need.

May 2015

Dispatches from IMFAR 2015

These short reports from our journalists give you the inside scoop on developments at the 2015 International Meeting for Autism Research.


Large study quantifies high risk of autism for ‘baby sibs’

by  /  15 May 2015

One in every five younger siblings of children with autism will end up being diagnosed with the disorder, according to the largest analysis to date of these ‘baby sibs.’


What’s in a name? Whatever you’d like

by  /  14 May 2015

What does ‘autism’ mean? And who owns this term? A keynote talk at the 2015 International Meeting for Autism Research dove headlong into this rabbit hole of words and their many meanings.

December 2014

Big changes ahead in 2015

by  /  22 December 2014

2014 was a remarkable year for autism research, and behind the scenes at, too, there were seismic shifts. Here’s how these changes will unfold over the coming year.

November 2014

Rising star: Stephan Sanders, accidental geneticist

by  /  6 November 2014

Stephan Sanders has quickly climbed the ranks in autism research. At 35, he’s already credited with bringing a measure of clarity to autism genetics. And that’s just one feat in a long and accomplished resume.

October 2014

Studies struggle to pin down gender differences in autism

by  /  14 October 2014

Two new studies, both by reputable teams of researchers, report that there are no detectable differences between boys and girls with autism.

October 2013

One year after Hurricane Sandy, kindness buoys New York labs

by  /  28 October 2013

Walking through Gordon Fishell’s lab now, you would never know that much of his research was swept away by Hurricane Sandy, almost exactly a year ago. But across the rest of New York University’s medical center, the recovery has been uneven.