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Eric Vilain

Ph.D., Pasteur Institute
M.D.,  Faculté de Médecine Necker – Enfants Malades

Eric Vilain, M.D., Ph.D. is a Professor of Human Genetics, Pediatrics and Urology at UCLA, and the Institute for Society and Genetics. He is also Chief of Medical Genetics, and an attending physician in the Department of Pediatrics.

His laboratory explores the genetics of sexual development and sex differences, focusing on the molecular mechanisms of gonad development, as well as on the genetic determinants of brain sexual differentiation. An internationally renowned expert in the field of gender-based biology, he has identified a large number of mutations in sex-determining genes, developed animal models with atypical sexual development, and identified novel mechanisms of sex differences in the brain.

He currently works at several basic biological projects: the genetics of Disorders of Sex Development (intersexuality), the genetics of sexual orientation and gender identity, and the biological bases of sex differences in susceptibility to diseases, particularly for Parkinson’s disease and hypertension. He has also started a reflection and applied research on the social consequences of genetic research, at the level of the clinical context (do genetic data improve clinical outcomes, modify patient-physician relationship, and present risks to the patient?), and at the societal level (is genetic information on specific minorities helpful or harmful? Should genetic information influence public policy?).

His research program has been continuously supported by several grants from the NIH, and he has published extensively in the field of sexual development. He is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics, and a member of numerous professional committees, including those related to the care of intersex individuals. In addition, Dr. Vilain has developed a clinic devoted to the care of patients with a variety of genetic and endocrine issues, with a particular emphasis on variations of sexual development. He has received numerous awards, notably from the NIH, the March of Dimes, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Society for Pediatric Research.


the Brain Research Institute

News and Articles featuring Dr. Vilain:
UCLA scientists accurately predict age using just saliva sample
With new rules, doubts about Semenya should stop
Dr. Eric Vilain recipient of prestigious Mead Johnson award
Dr. Eric Vilain appointed as new ISG director