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Lauren Gist, MD, FAAP


Lauren Gist is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician who works with toddlers, children and adolescents with developmental challenges and behavioral concerns.  Dr. Gist is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at UC San Diego.  Dr. Gist has specific interests in systems of care for children with mental health and developmental concerns.  Clinically, she is interested in autism, Down Syndrome, managing emotional dysregulation and behavioral challenges in young children, behavioral phenotypes of children with various genetic conditions, and the neurodevelopmental consequences of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.  Dr. Gist is the Medical Director of the Rady Children’s Hospital Down Syndrome Clinic.  She is also an attending physician at the UCSD Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric Clinic and the Medical Director of KidSTART at Rady Children’s Hospital.Additionally, Dr. Gist serves patients at the Rady Children’s Hospital Autism Discovery Institute satellite clinic in Torrey Hills. 


  • Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Spanish, Wellesley College
  • Medical Degree: Duke University, School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
  • Residency: Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego
  • Fellowship:
    • Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego
  • Graduate Education:
    • Masters in Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Public Health
  • Special Certifications:
    • Board Certified, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics
    • Board Certified, General Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics

Areas of Interest

  • Autism
  • Down Syndrome
  • Emotional dysregulation/behavioral challenges in young children
  • Developmental/Behavioral/Mental Health phenotype of children with genetic conditions
  • Neurodevelopmental consequences of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

Selected Publications

  • Gist L, Matthews C, Williams KN, Stein MT. A 9-year-old girl with persistent obsessive and compulsive behaviors in a primary care pediatric practice. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2015 Apr;36(3):203-6.
  • Gist L, Stein M: Global Developmental Delay. In: Wenzel W (ed). The Sage Encyclopedia of Abnormal and Clinical Psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA; SAGE Publishing, 2017.

Selected Presentations

  • Gist L, Corsello C, Stadnick N, Gahagan S. Identifying Factors Impacting Early Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Latino Children. Poster Presentation at the Society of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Annual Meeting, October, 2015.
  • Gist, L. Medication and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Presentation at the Evidence Based Practices for Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference, San Diego, September, 2015.


  • Attending developmental-behavioral physicians for fellows and residents in UCSD and Rady Children’s Hospital Clinics


  • Member, Community Based Participatory Program Team, Fetal Alcohol Disorders Anti-Stigma Program, UCSD
  • Member, CANDo Committee, Subcommittee on Multidisciplinary Team for Autism, Rady Children’s Hospital


  • Medical Director of the Down Syndrome Center at Rady Children’s Hospital
  • Medical Director of KidSTART program at Rady Children’s Hospital