Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry
Dr. Rujuta Bhatt specializes in behavioral neurology, with specific focus on autism spectrum disorders, and related neurodevelopmental disorders. She is an Assistant Professor in Pediatric Neurology and Psychiatry. She is also a faculty member in the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART).
After completing a combined BA/MD program at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dr. Bhatt completed residency in pediatrics and child neurology at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital. Dr. Bhatt was then the recipient of the Savant Behavioral Neurology Fellowship and she completed this training in the Jeste Lab and CART. Her interest and research in neurodevelopmental disabilities and neurogenetics began in medical school. Dr. Bhatt was awarded a grant from The Child Neurology Foundation and the recipient of the W.T. Gill Summer Research Fellowship to study brain malformations and cognitive profiles of patients with Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1). Dr. Bhatt also gained clinical expertise with this population by working in the NF1 Multidisciplinary Clinic at Children’s National Medical Center.
Throughout her training, Dr. Bhatt has remained engaged in gaining a better understanding of cognition and development in patients with neurologic disorders. While working at UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Bhatt worked with Dr. Raman Sankar to gain expertise in identifying and studying new treatments for Epileptic Encephalopathies with a goal to improve long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes. Dr. Bhatt’s current research interests are focused on understanding motor abnormalities in ASD, related genetic syndromes, defining the nature of, and sequelae of these motor deficits. Dr. Bhatt utilizes quantitative measures of motor function to better evaluate specific and subtle motor impairments in children with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Clinically, Dr. Bhatt sees patients in the Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Clinic, The Child and Adult Neurodevelopmental Clinic, and The Developmental Neurogenetics Clinic. Conditions evaluated in these clinics include, autism spectrum disorder, other neurodevelopmental disorders (i.e. hypotonia, global developmental delay, ADHD), Tics/Tourette Syndrome, and Neurogenetic conditions.
Dr. Bhatt also has a longstanding commitment to medical education. She currently serves as the Associate Program Director of the Child Neurology Residency and is the Pediatric Neurology Training Director of the UC-LEND program. Nationally, Dr. Bhatt is an active member of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the Child Neurology Society. She is an invited member of the AAN Education Committee and serves on numerous workgroups and subcommittees to improve training and education in child neurology.