Cheryl Dissanayake is an Associate Professor and Reader in Psychology at La Trobe University, and Founder and Director of the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre, which is the first research facility in Australia dedicated to Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has been an autism researcher since 1984, when she began her PhD at Monash University. She undertook her post doctoral studies at UCLA, and has established and led an active autism research program in the School of Psychological Science at La Trobe University since her return to Melbourne in 1996. The Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre was established in 2008. Cheryl has been instrumental in establishing the new Australasian Society for Autism Research., and is also the co-founder and convenor of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Research Group in Victoria.