Dr. Fernandez received her BS in Human Physiology from McGill University, Montreal Canada. She obtained her MD from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada and then completed a residency in Medical Genetics at SickKids Hospital, University of Toronto. She has an MS in Clinical Epidemiology and is boarded in Medical Genetics in the US and Canada. During her career in Canada, Dr. Fernandez lead the development of Newfoundland’s Provincial Medical Genetic Program, as the program’s Medical Director for over 20 years. She later became Department Chair of Human Genetics at Memorial University’s Medical School (2012-20). She chaired Canada’s national Medical Genetics Examination Board (2006-10) and was President of the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists (2010-12). She joined Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and USC in 2020 and is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics. She is also Associate Director of Clinical Research at The Saban Research Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Fernandez' research focuses on building deeply phenotyped cohorts of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to better inform genomic studies. She has worked with over 1,000 Canadian families with an autistic child. In Los Angeles, her laboratory focuses on correlating rare and common ASD-associated genomic variants in Hispanic children who have been carefully clinically characterized, and on closing the knowledge gap about benign and medical significant genomic variation in individuals that self-identify as Hispanic or Latinx.