Dr. Vismara is the co-founder of the M.I.N.D. Institute at the University of California, Davis. This multidisciplinary organization now serves as one of the foremost academic centers for the evaluation, research, and treatment of autism and other neurodevelopmental/learning disorders. Lou is a physician (interventional cardiologist) and a parent of four children. Since his son, Mark, was diagnosed with autism he has dedicated himself to issues of child development, learning differences, diversity, and appropriate access to health care for under-served populations. In the year 2000, Dr. Vismara changed careers, retiring from interventional cardiology, to work as a health-related policy consultant for Senator John L. Burton, President pro Tempore, California State Senate.
From 2004 until 2008, Lou served as a senior policy advisor to Sen. Don Perata during his term as the President of the California Senate. During that time, Lou worked extensively on the formation and the implementation of the California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism and the Autism Legislative Package of 2007-2008. Currently, Lou continues to work as a senior policy consultant for special projects with the current Pro Tem, Senator Darrell Steinberg. Lou, who was born in Italy and immigrated with his family to San Diego as a child, has served as a founding State Commissioner of the First 5CA/Prop 10 Initiative; the UCD School of Education Advisory Board; the Child Abuse Prevention Council; and other groups related to early education, healthcare and diversity.
Dr. Vismara received his MD from Baylor College of Medicine and his BA from Stanford University. He is the recipient of a Cardiology Fellow from UCD Healthcare System and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine & Cardiovascular Diseases.