Autism genetics: Searching for coherence

  • Autism Research
Speaker Daniel Geschwind, M.D., Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles
Date & Time


Location

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

Autism Research

Autism Research lectures bring together scientists and scholars to discuss diverse and important topics related to autism. The lectures are open to the public and are held at the Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium at the Simons Foundation headquarters in New York City. Tea is served prior to each lecture.

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On 28 November, Daniel Geschwind discussed his group’s use of RNA sequencing, chromatin structure and gene networks to help develop an understanding of potential convergent mechanisms in autism spectrum disorders.

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

About the Lecture

The understanding of autism spectrum disorder as a range of disorders, rather than a singularity, raises the question of whether conditions of the disorders converge on common molecular pathways.

In this lecture, Daniel Geschwind discussed his group’s use of RNA sequencing, chromatin structure and gene networks to help develop an understanding of potential convergent mechanisms in autism spectrum disorders. He illustrated how knowledge of chromatin structure informs the understanding of gene regulation during human brain development and disease-associated, non-coding variation.

Geschwind described his lab’s work leveraging multiple transcriptomic datasets and gene network analyses to predict how risk genes for autism spectrum disorders affect the development and function of brain circuits. His group now uses this framework to explore convergence and divergence with other neuropsychiatric disorders

About the Speaker

Daniel Geschwind is the Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics, Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. He leads the university’s Institute for Precision Health as senior associate dean and associate vice chancellor of precision health. Geschwind has fostered large-scale collaborative patient resources for genetic research and data sharing in autism research and his laboratory helped pioneer the application of systems biology methods in neurologic and psychiatric diseases. He is an elected member of both the Association of American Physicians and the National Academy of Medicine.

Past Lectures

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

David Ginty, Ph.D.Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard University

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

Mapping human cerebral cortex: Structure, function, connectivity, development and evolution

David Van Essen, Ph.D.Alumni Endowed Professor, Washington University in St. Louis

On April 3, 2019, David Van Essen provided an overview of basic principles of cortical organization and connectivity from studies of laboratory animals and analyses of individual variability in humans. He also highlighted a new map (‘parcellation’) of the human cerebral cortex based on data from the Human Connectome Project.

The genetic influences on autism spectrum disorder risk

Elise Robinson, Sc.D.Assistant Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Associate Member, Broad Institute

On January 30, 2019, Elise Robinson provided an overview of the role that genetic factors play in autism spectrum disorders and discussed the next steps to further understand autism genetics.

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