Back to top

Dr. Helen Genova joins the Level Up Lab as an NIMH K Award Fellow

Dr. Genova was granted the NIMH Career Enhancement Award (1K18MH122847-01A1) to Advance Autism Services Research for Adults and Transition-Age Youth. This K18 award is meant to provide support for experienced scientists to augment their research programs through the acquisition of new research skills and knowledge. For Dr. Genova, the K18 award will provide her with support to develop her expertise in the field of transition-aged youth with autism.


Dr. Genova began working in the autism field through the partnership between Kessler Foundation and Children’s Specialized Hospital. Using pilot data she collected through this partnership (and with support from the Reitman Foundation), she has begun to study how adolescents with autism express themselves on job interviews. Through the K18 award, she will expand upon this work by examining how a behavioral training tool helps adolescents with autism identify and express their personal strengths to others. Dr. Genova will further develop her knowledge in the field of autism under supervision at the Level Up: Employment Skills Simulation Lab by her primary mentor Dr. Matthew Smith of the University of Michigan.


Her mentorship team also includes Dr. Robert McGrath of Farleigh Dickinson University and Dr. Alex Kolevzon of Mount Sinai. Under the guidance of these mentors, Dr. Genova will participate in formal coursework, hands-on research experiences and clinical/school-based observations of transition age youth with autism.