Lauren Weiss, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, University of California, San Francisco

SFARI Investigator Website

Lauren Weiss is a professor in the Institute for Human Genetics, the Department of Psychiatry and the Weill Institute for Neurosciences at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Weiss volunteered with children impacted by autism spectrum disorders starting as a young teen and simultaneously became interested in genetics. She earned her B.S. in human genetics from the University of Michigan, where she began studying the genetics of autism in the lab of Miriam Meisler. She received her Ph.D. in human genetics from the University of Chicago, where she worked with Carole Ober and Ed Cook, Jr. Her postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatric and neurodevelopmental genetics was carried out in Boston at Massachusetts General Hospital/Broad Institute (Harvard University/Massachusetts Institute of Technology) with Pamela Sklar and Mark Daly. She joined the faculty of UCSF as a Staglin Family/International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO) Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Institute for Human Genetics in 2008.

The Weiss lab is interested in complex genetic mechanisms with long-term goals to use genetic tools to improve understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of autism and related traits. The immediate goals of its research are two-fold. First, it works to identify autism susceptibility genes by conducting studies designed to investigate quantitative trait loci, parental genetic risk factors, and genetic interaction effects such as: gene x gene, gene x environment and gene x sex. Second, now that it is beginning to identify robust associations between DNA variants and autism, it is creating experimental models to understand how these variants influence neurodevelopment. Specifically, they are generating stem cells from the genetic material of individuals with autism and studying neuronal growth, morphology, and function in cell culture.

Read More

Funded Projects

SFARI Funded Publications

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive SFARI funding announcements and news