Eric Vilain, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Genetic Medicine Research at Children’s National Health System and the Chair of the Department of Genomics & Precision Medicine at George Washington University.
His laboratory explores the impact of genetic changes on human development in health and disease. Dr. Vilain has a longstanding interest in the genetics of sexual development, focusing on the molecular mechanisms of gonad development, as well as on the genetic determinants of brain sexual differentiation, including sexual orientation and gender identity. He has identified a large number of mutations in sex-determining genes and developed animal models with atypical sexual development. In addition, he has published extensively in the fields of genetics and endocrinology.
Dr. Vilain has received numerous awards, notably from the National Institute of Health, the March of Dimes, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Society for Pediatric Research. He is a fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics, a Member of International Olympic Committee on Hyperandrogenism in Athletes and a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
He earned his medical degree from the Paris Children’s Hospital Necker, his Ph.D., from the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. He then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in medical genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he became professor of Human Genetics, Pediatrics and Urology in the David Geffen School of Medicine and the Chief of Medical Genetics.