Jacqueline Crawley, Ph.D.

 Jacqueline  Crawley, Ph.D.


  • Professor
  • Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Robert E. Chason Endowed Chair in Translational Research and Systems Research at MIND Institute)


Neurodevelopmental and Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Research Summary

Our behavioral neuroscience laboratory employs mouse models of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders to understand genetic causes and to discover medical treatments.  We developed a constellation of mouse behavioral assays relevant to the symptoms of autism, including a 3-chambered social approach test which is widely used internationally.  Phenotypes relevant to autism and intellectual disabilities have been evaluated in mice with mutations in risk genes including Shank1 and Shank3, Neuroligins 2,3,4, Fmr1, Engrailed2, Gtf2i duplication, 16p11.2 deletion, and in several inbred strains of mice.  Investigations by our team have identified two compounds which reversed social deficits and reduced repetitive behaviors in two mouse models of autism, an mGluR5 receptor antagonist and a GABA-B receptor agonist.  As a founding member of the Autism Speaks Preclinical Autism Consortium for Therapeutics, we are now systematically evaluating potential pharmacological interventions in multiple mouse models of autism.

Dr. Crawley received her B.A. in biology from the University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Maryland, conducted postdoctoral research in neuropsychopharmacology at Yale University School of Medicine.  She was a principal investigator at the National Institute of Mental Health Intramural Research Program in Bethesda, Maryland since 1983, where she served as Chief of the Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience, until moving to the UC Davis MIND Institute in 2012.  Dr. Crawley has published over 260 scientific papers and 100 review articles, serves on 16 editorial boards of scientific journals and on numerous scientific advisory committees.  Honors include the IBNS Myers Lifetime Achievement Award in Behavioral Neuroscience, NIMH Director’s Award, Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease Distinguished Scholar Award, and IBANGS Distinguished Scientist Award in Behavioural Genetics.  Her sole authored book, What's Wrong With My Mouse? Behavioral Phenotyping of Transgenic and Knockout Mice, is in broad use throughout the biomedical research community.

Selected Publications

Crawley JN: Designing mouse behavioral tasks relevant to the symptoms of autism.  Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, Special Issue on Autism 10: 248-258, 2004.

McFarlane HG, Kusek GK, Yang M, Phoenix JL, Bolivar VJ, Crawley JN: Autism-like behavioral phenotypes in BTBR T+tf/J mice. Genes, Brain and Behavior 7: 152-163, 2008.

Chadman KK, Gong S, Scattoni ML, Boltuck SE, Gandhy S, Heintz N, Crawley JN: Minimal aberrant behavioral phenotypes of neuroligin-3 R451C knockin mice. Autism Research, 1: 147-158, 2008.

Scattoni ML, Ricceri L, Crawley JN: Unusual repertoire of vocalizations in adult BTBR T+tf/J mice during three types of social encounters.  Genes, Brain Behavior 10: 44-56, 2011. 

Yang M, Bozdagi O, Scattoni ML, Wohr M, Roullet FI, Katz AM, Abrams DN, Kalikhman D, Simon H, Zhang J, Harris M, Woldeyohannes L, Zhang JY, Harris MJ, Saxena R, Silverman JL, Buxbaum JD, Crawley JN: Reduced excitatory neurotransmission and mild autism-relevant phenotypes in adolescent Shank3 null mutant mice. The Journal of Neuroscience 32: 6525-6541, 2012.

Brielmaier J, Matteson PG, Silverman JL, Senerth JM, Kelly Sm, Genestine M, Millonig JH, DiCicco-Bloom E, Crawley JN: Autism-relevant social abnormalities and cognitive deficits in Engrailed-2 knockout mice.  PLoS ONE 7:e40914, 2012.

Silverman JL, Smith DG, Sukoff Rizzo SJ, Karras MN, Turner SM, Tolu SS, Bryce DK, Smith DL, Fonseca K, Ring RH, Crawley JN: Negative allosteric modulation of the mGluR5 receptor reduces repetitive behaviors and rescues social deficits in mouse models of autism.  Science Translational Medicine 4:131ra51, 2012.

Silverman JL, Crawley JN: The promising trajectory of autism therapeutics discovery.  Drug Discovery Today, S1359-6446(13)00425-X, 2013.

Portmann T, Yang M, Mao R, Panagiotakos G, Ellegood J, Dolen G, Bader PL, Grueter BA, Goold C, Fisher E, Clifford K, Rengarajan P, Kalikhman D, Loureiro D, Saw NL, Zhengqui Z, Miller MA, Lerch JP, Henkelman RM, Shamloo M, Malenka RC, Crawley JN, Dolmetsch RE: Behavioral abnormalities and circuit defects in the basal ganglia of a mouse model of 16p11.2 deletion syndrome.  Cell Reports S2211-1247(14)00214-9, 2014.

Silverman JL, Pride MC, Hayes JE, Puhger KR, Butler-Struben H, Baker S and Crawley JN:  GABAB receptor agonist R-baclofen reverses social deficits and reduces repetitive behavior in two mouse models of autism.  Neuropsychopharmacology 40: 2228-2239, 2015.

Yang M, Lewis FC, Sarvi MS, Foley GM, Crawley JN:  16p11.2 deletion mice display cognitive deficits in touchscreen learning and novelty recognition tasks.  Learning and Memory 22:622-632, 2015.


MIND Institute

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Neuroscience Graduate Program