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.

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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, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART)
171218

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

How emotions shape our memories

Kelsey C. Martin, M.D., Ph.D.Director, SFARI
Director, Simons Foundation Neuroscience Collaborations
Leonard Mlodinow, Ph.D.Physicist and Author

Have you ever contemplated the difference between a feeling, a thought and a memory? And how do all these things fit together in making us who we are?

Leonard Mlodinow is a theoretical physicist and best-selling author. In his latest book, “Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking,” he unpacks the role emotions play in our thinking and mental well-being.

Kelsey Martin, director of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) and the foundation’s neuroscience collaborations, has spent much of her career as a neuroscientist seeking to understand better how experiences change brain connectivity to store long-term memories.

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.

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