New genetic insights into autism

  • Autism Research
Speaker Matthew State, M.D., Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
Date & Time


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 25 April 2013, Matthew State reviewed the genetic discoveries made over the past several years in autism research and addressed challenges in the path forward — from reliable gene discovery to an actionable understanding of the disorder’s molecular underpinnings.

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

The genetics of autism has reached a tipping point. The recent focus on de novo mutations — or genetic variations not passed on from either parent — has led to systematic, highly productive gene discovery efforts. This work has begun to clarify a tremendously heterogeneous genetic architecture as well as to reveal specific genes contributing to social disability syndromes.

About the Speaker

Matthew State< received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Stanford University and completed his residency in psychiatry and fellowship in child psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, Neuropsychiatric Institute. He received his Ph.D. in genetics from Yale University and was a faculty member there from 2001 to 2013. He is currently chair of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.

State’s lab has a long-standing interest in the contribution of rare genetic mutations to childhood neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism and Tourette syndrome. He is currently leading a large, multisite, genome-wide study of autism funded by the Simons Foundation and is playing a leadership role in the Tourette International Collaborative for Genetics and the Autism Sequencing Consortium. Among many professional honors, he has been awarded the Ruane Prize for Outstanding Research in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.

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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