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.

 
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

Thinking differently about neurodevelopmental disorders and autism: Lumping vs. splitting

Evdokia Anagnostou, M.D.Assistant Director, Bloorview Research Institute
Child Neurologist and Senior Clinician Scientist, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto

On September 26, 2018, Evdokia Anagnostou will discuss the challenge of rethinking classification systems and diagnostic labels for autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders in light of recent findings from research and clinical studies.

Autism genetics: Where have we been and where are we going?

Matthew State, M.D., Ph.D.Oberndorf Family Distinguished Professor and Chair, University of California, San Francisco

On April 10, 2018, Matthew State reviewed the progress that has been made in autism genetics over the past 10 years and the role that the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC) played in this (r)evolution. He also addressed the potential contribution of ongoing genomic studies including whole-genome sequencing as well as the challenges and opportunities of leveraging the genetic findings to identify pathophysiological mechanisms.

On the road to precision health: Brain-based biomarkers in autism spectrum disorder

Shafali Spurling Jeste, M.D.Associate Professor in Psychiatry, Neurology and Pediatrics, University of California, Los Angeles
Director, Developmental Neurophysiology Lab, Center for Autism Research and Treatment, University of California, Los Angeles

On 7 February 2018, Shafali Spurling Jeste provided a topical overview of the current state of research in autism biomarkers. She shared data from studies of autism biomarkers in three key areas: early risk prediction (studies of high-risk infants), heterogeneity within the autism spectrum and genetically defined subgroups within autism. Finally, she discussed the challenges around clinical trial design and development and considered how more objective measures of brain function can improve clinical trials.

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