Curno has been made head of fundraising and communications, having joined Autistica from school-based mental health charity The Place2Be.
Her appointment coincides with the move of key staff to a new office in Camden, which will now run alongside an office in Henley and employees working from home.
Before joining the charitable sector, Curno was a lecturer and researcher in biology at the universities of Nottingham and Derby.
Chief executive Christine Swabey said: ‘Olivia brings with her an unusual blend of fundraising and communications expertise with a background in science.
‘We welcome Olivia at a crucial time in the growth of the charity, and a time when autism research is in real sight of bringing benefits for those affected by autism. At a time when we're looking to grow the charity, it's important to bring in someone who has the necessary skills for such a role.'
Austistica was founded by Dame Stephanie Shirley in 2004 and provides funding for research into autism, which affects more than 600,000 people in the UK, as well as working to change understanding of the brain disorder.
Curno will be starting her job in mid May and is expected, in the long run, to bring in a team to help her in the role.