Tracing the Path from Spontaneous Mutation to Neurobiology in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Session Date: 
Dec 2, 2016
Session Order: 

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of diverse neurodevelopmental conditions defined by fundamental impairments in social communication as well as repetitive behaviors and highly restricted interests. After several decades of frustration, the genetic underpinnings of ASD are now coming into sharp focus. Dramatic progress has been made in just the last 6 years in understanding how spontaneous changes in both chromosomal structure and DNA sequence can confer substantial risks to the individual. These insights are providing a rapidly growing set of reliable molecular clues to the biological underpinnings of ASD and have begun to shed some light on the interplay of environment and genetics in the origins of this syndrome.  This lecture will summarize recent data on the role of new (de novo) rare mutation in ASD, provide evidence in support of the notion that gene discovery can be an important avenue to understand complex social behavior, and discuss the path forward in deepening the understanding of the causes of ASD.

File 2016_12_02_09_State-Web.mp482.67 MB