Systems Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Our laboratory has been working to identify autism risk genes and understand how these might lead to autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Many genes with distinct functions have been identified as ASD susceptibility genes. Our efforts using systems biology approaches demonstrate that pathways necessary for normal brain development and function are altered in ASD. Identification of these pathways has allowed us to begin to understand what these tell us about autisms etiology and aid in the development of treatments. Although ASD affects what are often thought to be human-related features of social cognition, the human specificity of these effects is still not well understood.