Skip to main content
Northwestern School of Communication

Molly Losh

Jo Ann G. and Peter F. Dolle Professor of Learning Disabilities and Associate Dean for Research
Molly Losh

Molly Losh is the Jo Ann G. and Peter F. Dolle Professor of Learning Disabilities in the Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the Associate Dean for Research in the School of Communication at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on autism and related neurodevelopmental conditions, with a specific focus on understanding the basis of language and communication impairments that span diagnostic boundaries. Work from her lab has helped to identify key cognitive mechanisms that may underlie the social-communicative impairments in autism, in order to bridge gaps between observable clinical behaviors and underlying biology, necessary for understanding the causes of autism and related conditions.


Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Laboratory


PhD, Developmental Psychology, UC Berkeley

BA, Psychology, SDSU

Selected Publications

Nayar, K.*, Sealock, J., Maltman, N.*, Bush, L.*, Cook, E., Davis, L. & Losh, M. (2020). Elevated polygenic burden for ASD is associated with the broad autism phenotype in mothers of individuals with ASD. Biological Psychiatry.

Patel, S.*, Nayar, K.*, Martin, G.E., Franich, K., Crawford, S.*, Diehl, J.J., & Losh, M. (2020). An acoustic characterization of prosodic differences in autism spectrum disorder and first-degree relatives. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 50(8), 3032-3045. PMCID: PMC7374471

Lee, M.*, Nayar, K.*, Maltman, N.*, Hamburger, D.*, Martin, G.E., Gordon, P.C., & Losh, M. (2020). Understanding social communication differences in autism spectrum disorder and first-degree relatives: A study of looking and speaking. Journal of of Autism and Developmental Disorder, 50(6), 2128-2141. PMCID: PMC7261276

Martin, G.E., Barstein, J.*, Patel, S.*, Lee, M.*, Henry, L.*, & Losh, M. (2019). A Longitudinal analysis of communication repair skills across three genetically based neurodevelopmental disabilities. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 55(1), 26-42. PMC Journal – In process

Patel, S.*, Kim, J.*, Larson, C., & Losh, M. (2019). Mechanisms of voice control related to prosody in autism spectrum disorder and first-degree relatives. Autism Research, 12(8),1192-1210. PMCID: PMC6771711

Nayar, K.*, McKinney, W.*, Hogan, A.L.*, Martin, G.E., La Valle, C.*, Sharp, K., Berry-Kravis, E., Norton, E.S., Gordon, P.C., & Losh, M. (2019). Language processing skills linked to FMR1 variation: A study of gaze-language coordination during rapid automatized naming among women with the FMR1 premutation. PLoS One,14(7). PMCID: PMC6660192.

Losh, M., Martin, G.E., Lee, M.*, Klusek, J.*, Sideris, J., Barron, S. & Wassink, T. (2017).
Developmental markers of genetic liability to autism in parents: A longitudinal, multigenerational study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders,47(3), 834-835. 1-12, PMCID: PMC5352796

Current Grants

R01MH091131 (PI: Losh, M.) 9/23/19 – 7/31/24
National Institute of Mental Health
A Family-Genetic Study of Autism and Fragile X Syndrome
This project aims to inform the role of the FMR1 gene in autism symptomatology through the study of children with autism and fragile X syndrome, and their first-degree relatives who are at increased genetic liability.
Role: Principal Investigator

R01DC010191 (PI: Losh, M.) 9/20/16 – 8/31/21
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
A Family-Genetic Study of Language in Autism
This project aims to identify specific linguistic markers of genetic liability to autism which may be used to illuminate the pathogenesis of autism and its component features.
Role: Principal Investigator

R03DC018644 (PI: Losh, M.) 4/1/20 – 3/31/22
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Novel Computational Analysis of Prosody in ASD and the Broad Autism Phenotype
This project aims to provide clinically and biologically meaningful measures of rhythmic and intonational features of language used to convey intention and emotion, using state-of-the-art computational modeling of social language characteristics in ASD, to inform clinical assessment, treatment, and biological studies of ASD.