Evolving perspectives on autism

  • Autism Research
  • Speakers
  • Catherine Lord, Ph.D.

    Distinguished Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

    Steven Hyman, M.D.

    Core Institute Member, Director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

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.

Video Thumbnail

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On 26 September 2013, Catherine Lord and Steven Hyman presented conceptual frameworks for autism diagnosis and research, ranging from genetics to symptomatology, as part of the Simons Foundation Autism Research lecture series.

Eric London provided post-lecture commentary, placing the discussion in a clinical context and providing a physician’s perspective.

You can watch a complete video recording of the event above. Use the comments section below to discuss the lecture and pose follow-up questions.

About the Lecture

Tremendous progress has been made in our understanding of autism, with major contributions coming from a variety of research fields, including genetics, neuroscience and psychology. The clinical definition of autism has been revamped with the publication of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Accordingly, our concept of autism is evolving, which in turn affects the future of autism research and the development of interventions.

About the Commentators

Gerald D. Fischbach is chief scientist and fellow of the Simons Foundation.

Eric London is director of the Autism Treatment Laboratory at the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities.

About the Speakers

Catherine Lord is the George Tarjan Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Education at the Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior in the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

She is a practicing clinical psychologist whose primary focus is autism and related disorders across the lifespan, from the toddler stage through adulthood. Her research and clinical work have involved the development of diagnostic instruments that describe individual profiles of skills and weaknesses and carrying out longitudinal studies from age 15 months up to 26 years with the goal of identifying protective and risk factors that influence milestones of progress over the years.

She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a fellow of the American Association of Arts and Sciences.

Steven Hyman is director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, and is Distinguished Service Professor of stem cell and regenerative biology at Harvard.

From 1996 to 2001, Hyman served as director of the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, where he emphasized investment in neuroscience and emerging genetic technologies and initiated a series of large practical clinical trials to inform practice. He is editor of the Annual Review of Neuroscience, president-elect of the Society for Neuroscience, founding president of the International Neuroethics Society and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academies.

Past Lectures

Progress in understanding the genetic basis of mental health

Benjamin Neale, Ph.D.Associate Professor, Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Associated Researcher, Broad Institute

On May 6, 2020, Benjamin Neale discussed progress in mapping genetic risk factors for autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Autism, autisms, or neurodevelopmental disorders?

Jason Lerch, Ph.D.Director of Preclinical Imaging, Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, University of Oxford
Adjunct Scientist, Mouse Imaging Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children
Associate Professor in Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto

On January 29, 2020, Jason Lerch explored this question: What do modern ways of looking at brains and genes tell us about autism – or autisms – and its relation to attention deficit disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other related disorders of brain development?

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