Tuberous Sclerosis: Shedding light on the neural circuitry of autism

  • Autism Research
Speaker Mustafa Sahin, M.D., Ph.D.
Boston Children's Hospital
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 5 October 2016, Mustafa Sahin presented an update on translational research in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex.

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

About the Lecture

In this lecture, Mustafa Sahin presented the rationale for investigating Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) as a way to understand the cellular and circuitry alterations underlying autism spectrum disorder. Using a combination of cell culture, mouse behavior and human electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) experiments, Sahin and colleagues have demonstrated abnormalities in neuronal connectivity and neuron-glia interactions in TSC. Inhibitors of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) proteins are effective in mouse models of TSC and are being tested in clinical trials now. A better understanding of TSC can also provide insights for related neurodevelopmental disorders in which similar cellular and circuit abnormalities can be detected.

About the Speaker

Mustafa Sahin is a developmental neurobiologist and a pediatric neurologist. He received his B.S. degree from Brown University, his M.D. and Ph.D. from Yale School of Medicine. He completed a pediatrics residency at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a child neurology residency at Boston Children’s Hospital. He is currently the director of the Translational Neuroscience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. He directs two national consortia to study biomarkers and comparative pathobiology of TSC and related neurodevelopmental disorders.

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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