Lauren Weiss, PhD
|School||UCSF School of Medicine|
|Address||401 Parnassus Ave, LangPorter |
San Francisco CA 94143
My laboratory focuses on understanding the genetic and molecular basis of autism. We are working with genome-wide SNP array data to identify additional susceptibility loci, the genetic and cellular mechanisms by which DNA variants influence autism risk, and the genetic and physiological pathways these risk loci implicate. We can use this rich dataset to ask questions about the genetic architecture of autism, the role for copy number vs. SNP variation, the genetic contribution to the imbalanced sex ratio in autism, and even start to identify novel pathways and the relationship between phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity.
We are also using cell culture models to test functional effects of risk loci using neural stem cells. We will first identify the effects of genetic risk variants and then be able to ascertain whether the effects of genetic risk can be modified at the cellular level by environmental or pharmacological agents.
In the long term, one of my primary goals is building a collaborative autism research sample with rich phenotypic data in order to utilize genetic information to identify biological subsets of autism, enhance assessment of autism risk, and improve prediction of treatment effectiveness.
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