Uta is known for her research on autism and dyslexia resulting in over 250 publications. She developed and tested theories to explain the characteristic behavioural features of these conditions. These theories have resulted in new strands of research on how abnormalities in brain development might affect cognitive mechanisms.

She was chair of the Diversity Committee at the Royal Society from 2015-2018 and served on Council twice. She has been a Trustee of the Sir John Soane Museum as a Representative of the Royal Society. She is a member of the Senate of the Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Sciences, and a Foreign Member of the NAS. She has received numerous honorary degrees.