Altered somatosensory processing in autism spectrum disorders: Mechanisms and emerging therapeutic opportunities

  • Autism Research
Speaker David Ginty, Ph.D.
Harvard University
Date & Time


Location

Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium
160 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10010 United States

Tea 4:15 – 5:00 pm
Lecture 5:00 – 6:15 pm

Autism Research

Autism Research lectures bring together scientists and scholars to discuss diverse and important topics related to autism.

On April 24, 2019, David Ginty presented his work on the neurobiological basis of touch over-reactivity in mouse models of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). He also discussed new pharmacological approaches aimed at reducing sensory over-reactivity and potentially improving cognitive and behavioral abnormalities associated with ASD.

His talk was part of the Simons Foundation Autism Research lecture series.

About the Lecture

Mounting evidence indicates that sensory processing impairments are a key feature of ASD. In this lecture, David Ginty described work that employs molecular genetics, electrophysiological, synaptic and behavioral analyses to define the neurobiological basis of touch over-reactivity in mouse models of ASD, and its relationship to brain development and ASD-associated behavior. He also discussed new pharmacological approaches to treat touch over-reactivity with the goal of reducing sensory over-reactivity and potentially improving cognitive and behavioral abnormalities associated with ASD.

About the Speaker

David Ginty is the Edward R. and Anne G. Lefler Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His research focuses on development and functional organization of neural circuits that underlie touch perception in normal and disease states, and he serves as associate director of Harvard’s Program in Neuroscience. Ginty is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Past Lectures

What do we mean by ‘autism risk genes’?

David Ledbetter, Ph.D.
Chief Clinical Officer, Dascena

Joseph Buxbaum, Ph.D.
Director, Seaver Autism Center
Professor, Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Genetics and Genomic Sciences
Vice Chair for Research and Vice Chair for Mentoring, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Heather Mefford, M.D., Ph.D.
Full Member, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

David Ledbetter and Joseph Buxbaum discussed whether there are genes for which mutations confer risk specific to autism or whether these genes are really conferring general risk of disrupted brain development. The discussion was moderated by Heather Mefford.

Small molecules, genes and antisense oligonucleotides: Industry perspectives on treatment development for ASD

Federico Bolognani, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice President, Head of Clinical Science, Axial Therapeutics

Stuart Cobb, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer, Neurogene; Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh

Yael Weiss, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice President, Business Development, Ultragenyx

Randy Carpenter, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, Rett Syndrome Research Trust; Co-Founder, Allos Pharma

Federico Bolognani, Stuart Cobb, and Yael Weiss joined a panel to discuss new industry developments on the use of small molecules, gene therapy and antisense oligonucleotides as treatment approaches for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The panel discussion was moderated by Randall Carpenter.

New research results from the Australian Autism Biobank study

Jake Gratten, Ph.D.Group Leader, Mater Research Institute, The University of Queensland
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Molecular Bioscience
Naomi Wray, Ph.D.National Health and Medical Research Council Leadership Fellow – Group Leader, Institute for Molecular Bioscience
Affiliate Professor, Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland

Jake Gratten and Naomi Wray presented findings from the Australian Autism Biobank study, an initiative to establish an Australian resource of biospecimens, phenotypes and genomic data for autism research.

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