New research results from the Australian Autism Biobank study

  • Speakers
  • Jake Gratten, Ph.D.

    Group Leader, Mater Research Institute, The University of Queensland
    Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Molecular Bioscience

    Naomi Wray, Ph.D.

    National Health and Medical Research Council Leadership Fellow – Group Leader, Institute for Molecular Bioscience
    Affiliate Professor, Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland

Date & Time


Location

Webinar

Schedule
4:45 – 5:00 PM ET
Waiting room opens

5:00 – 6:15 PM
ET Talk + Q&A

 

Speakers
Jake Gratten, Ph.D.
University of Queensland

Naomi Wray, Ph.D.
University of Queensland

New research results from the Australian Autism Biobank study
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On May 12, 2021, Jake Gratten and Naomi Wray presented findings from the Australian Autism Biobank study, an initiative to establish an Australian resource of biospecimens, phenotypes and genomic data for autism research.

Their talk was part of the Simons Foundation Autism Research lecture series.

About the Lecture

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition whose biological basis is yet to be elucidated. The Australian Autism Biobank (AAB) is an initiative of the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism to establish an Australian resource of biospecimens, phenotypes and genomic data for autism research.

In this lecture, Jake Gratten and Naomi Wray reported on results from 2,477 individuals with DNA data from 546 families, including 886 participants ages 2 to 17 years with diagnosed (871 participants) or suspected (15 participants) ASD, 218 siblings without ASD, 1,256 parents, and 117 unrelated children without an ASD diagnosis. A subset of these AAB participants has fecal microbiome data (the largest data set to date internationally). Their analyses suggest that autism traits lead to restricted dietary intake, leading to reduced microbiome diversity, with no evidence for a reverse causal relationship.

Inquiries: lectures@simonsfoundation.org 

About the Speakers

Jake Gratten leads the Cognitive Health Genomics group at the Mater Research Institute at the University of Queensland in Australia. He is a former National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Fellow, and he leads systems genomics analyses of autism for the Australian Autism Cooperative Research Centre. His research aims to understand the causes of common brain disorders by combining cutting-edge laboratory methods with statistical analysis of large-scale genomic, psychometric and lifestyle data.

Naomi Wray holds joint professorial positions between the Institute for Molecular Bioscience and the Queensland Brain Institute at The University of Queensland in Australia. She is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and a fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. Her research intersects quantitative genetics, statistical methodology and disorders of the brain. She has played leading roles in analyses for International Psychiatric Genomics Consortia working groups.

Past Lectures

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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