Lauren Gist

Lauren Gist is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician who works with toddlers, children and adolescents with developmental challenges and behavior concerns. She is a health sciences assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at UCSD and works in both UCSD and Rady Children’s Hospital clinics. She has specific interests in systems of care for children with mental health and developmental concerns. Clinically, her interests are in autism, Down syndrome, managing emotional dysregulation and behavior challenges in young children, the behavioral phenotypes of children with various genetic conditions, and the neurodevelopmental consequences of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. She is medical director of the Down Syndrome Clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital, an attending physician at the UCSD developmental-behavioral clinic, medical director of the KidSTART Center at Rady Children’s Hospital, and she sees patients in association with the Rady Children’s Autism Discovery Institute satellite clinic in Torrey Hills. She holds a medical degree from Duke University and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She completed her internship and residency pediatrics at UCSD and was a practicing general pediatrician before she went back to complete fellowship training in developmental-behavioral pediatrics at UCSD.

Areas of Interest

  • Autism
  • Down syndrom
  • 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