Radiology Personnel

Stephen Dager, M.D.

Associate Director, Center on Human Development and Disability


Stephen R. Dager, M.D. is a Professor of Radiology and Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Utah.  He is a Research Affiliate and Associate Director of the University of Washington Center on Human Development and Disability.  He previously served as Interim Director of the University of Washington Autism Center.

At the national level, Dr. Dager chairs the Department of Defense Congressional-Mandated Medical Research Program’s Vision and Integration panels for autism research (Combating Autism Act), and is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Autism Speaks.  He is on the Editorial Boards of JAMA-Psychiatry and  Autism Research.

Dr. Dager obtained his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Nebraska and completed his residency training in Psychiatry at the University of Washington. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. His primary research focus has been the development and application of novel imaging techniques to study brain mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric disorders.

Dr. Dager directs NIH-funded research studying brain structural, metabolic and chemical abnormalities in neuropsychiatric disorders affecting both adults and young children.  As principal investigator of an ongoing “Neuroimaging of Autism” study funded by the NIH during the past 15 years, he is using structural MRI, DTI and a chemical imaging technique, proton echo-planar spectroscopic imaging (PEPSI), that was developed at the University of Washington Diagnostic Imaging Science Center (DISC), to longitudinally investigate brain development in children with autism or developmental delays in comparison to typically developing children between 3 and 15 years of age.  Dr. Dager additionally directs NIH ARRA-R01 research applying 3-D chemical imaging to study brain and white matter development in infants. Dr. Dager is UW PI of a collaborative longitudinal imaging study of infants at high-risk for autism that is being conducted between UNC Chapel Hill, Washington University, UPenn and the UW. He has directed NIH-funded imaging research investigating brain metabolic mechanisms underlying Panic Disorder and Bipolar Disorder, and the effects of treatment.  Dr. Dager and colleagues have developed techniques to non-invasively characterize brain pharmacokinetics of medications commonly used to treat depression and anxiety in children and adults. As a passionate consumer of caffeine in all forms, Dr. Dager also conducts research studying brain mechanisms involved in caffeine addiction.

Recent Publications

See all publications on Scopus

Sex differences associated with corpus callosum development in human infants: A longitudinal multimodal imaging study
Schmied A., Soda T., Gerig G., Styner M., Swanson M.R., Elison J.T., Shen M.D., McKinstry R.C., Pruett J.R., Botteron K.N., Estes A.M., Dager S.R., Hazlett H.C., Schultz R.T., Piven J., Wolff J.J.
NeuroImage. 2020 Jul

Corrigendum: Joint Attention and Brain Functional Connectivity in Infants and Toddlers
Eggebrecht A.T., Elison J.T., Feczko E., Todorov A., Wolff J.J., Kandala S., Adams C.M., Snyder A.Z., Lewis J.D., Estes A.M., Zwaigenbaum L., Botteron K.N., McKinstry R.C., Constantino J.N., Evans A., Hazlett H.C., Dager S., Paterson S.J., Schultz R.T., Styner M.A., Gerig G., Das S., Kostopoulos P., Schlaggar B.L., Petersen S.E., Piven J., Pruett J.R.
Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991). 2020 May:3433-3434

“if He Has it, We Know What to Do”: Parent Perspectives on Familial Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder
MacDuffie K.E., Turner-Brown L., Estes A.M., Wilfond B.S., Dager S.R., Pandey J., Zwaigenbaum L., Botteron K.N., Pruett J.R., Piven J., Peay H.L., Hazlett H.C., Chappell C., Dager S., Estes A., Shaw D., McKinstry R., Constantino J., Pruett J., Schultz R., Paterson S., Ellison J., Wolff J., Evans A.C., Collins D.L., Pike G.B., Fonov V., Kostopoulos P., Das S., MacIntyre L., Gerig G., Styner M., Gu H.
Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2020 Mar:121-130

Quantitative trait variation in ASD probands and toddler sibling outcomes at 24 months
Girault J.B., Swanson M.R., Meera S.S., Grzadzinski R.L., Shen M.D., Burrows C.A., Wolff J.J., Pandey J., John T.S., Estes A., Zwaigenbaum L., Botteron K.N., Hazlett H.C., Dager S.R., Schultz R.T., Constantino J.N., Piven J.
Journal of neurodevelopmental disorders. 2020 Feb:5

The Association Between Parental Age and Autism-Related Outcomes in Children at High Familial Risk for Autism
Lyall K., Song L., Botteron K., Croen L.A., Dager S.R., Fallin M.D., Hazlett H.C., Kauffman E., Landa R., Ladd-Acosta C., Messinger D.S., Ozonoff S., Pandey J., Piven J., Schmidt R.J., Schultz R.T., Stone W.L., Newschaffer C.J., Volk H.E.
Autism Research. 2020 Jan

On the acquisition of the water signal during water suppression: High-speed MR spectroscopic imaging with water referencing and concurrent functional MRI
Posse S., Sa De La Rocque Guimaraes B., Hutchins-Delgado T., Vakamudi K., Fotso Tagne K., Moeller S., Dager S.R.
NMR in Biomedicine. 2020 Jan

Distributional Properties and Criterion Validity of a Shortened Version of the Social Responsiveness Scale: Results from the ECHO Program and Implications for Social Communication Research
Lyall K., Hosseini M., Ladd-Acosta C., Ning X., Catellier D., Constantino J.N., Croen L.A., Kaat A.J., Botteron K., Bush N.R., Dager S.R., Duarte C.S., Fallin M.D., Hazlett H., Hertz-Picciotto I., Joseph R.M., Karagas M.R., Korrick S., Landa R., Messinger D., Oken E., Ozonoff S., Piven J., Pandey J., Sathyanarayana S., Schultz R.T., St. John T., Schmidt R., Volk H., Newschaffer C.J., Benjamin D.K., Smith P.B., Newby K.L., Jacobson L.P., Parker C.B., Gershon R., Cella D., Teitelbaum S., Wright R.O., Aldous K.M., Fennell T., Hecht S.S., Peterson L., O’Brien B., Lee J.Y., Snowden J., Duarte C., Karagas M., Karr K., Trasande L., Newschaffer C., O’Shea M.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2020 Jan

Altered functional connectivity in the fear network of firefighters with repeated traumatic stress
Jeong H., Park S., Dager S., Lim S., Lee S., Hong H., Ma J., Ha E., Hong Y., Kang I., Lee E., Yoon S., Kim J., Lyoo I.
British Journal of Psychiatry. 2019 Jun:347-353

FMRI correlates of olfactory processing in typically-developing school-aged children
Kleinhans N., Reilly M., Blake M., Greco G., Sweigert J., Davis G., Velasquez F., Reitz F., Shusterman D., Dager S.
Psychiatry Research - Neuroimaging. 2019 Jan:67-76

The Importance of Temperament for Understanding Early Manifestations of Autism Spectrum Disorder in High-Risk Infants
Paterson S., Wolff J., Elison J., Winder-Patel B., Zwaigenbaum L., Estes A., Pandey J., Schultz R., Botteron K., Dager S., Hazlett H., Piven J., Chappell C., Shaw D., McKinstry R., Constantino J., Pruett J., Evans A., Collins D., Pike G., Fonov V., Kostopoulos P., Das S., Gerig G., Styner M., Gu H.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2019 Jan