Genetic and Brain Diversity in AutismS

Saturday 25 March
19:00 – 20:00 (7:00 PM – 8:00 PM) Hall E

Thomas Bourgeron
Department of Human Genetics and Cognitive Functions, Pasteur Institute, France


Scientists have concluded that hundreds of genes are likely to contribute to autism. The core symptoms of autism are rarely seen in isolation and usually coexist with other psychiatric and medical conditions, including intellectual disability, epilepsy, motor control problems, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders, and abnormal (too high or too low) response to sensory stimuli. Thomas Bourgeron and his research team found the first single-gene mutations linked to autism, pointing to the synapse as a site of autism’s pathology. Bourgeron’s lab gathers geneticists, neurobiologists, and clinicians to explore the genetic/epigenetic hallmarks of individuals with autism. The research group uses high-throughput genotyping and sequencing-based methods, in combination with clinical, neurobiological, and neuroimaging data collected from patients and from cell and animal models. Bourgeron will discuss how his research is not only identifying the various mutations linked to autism, but also the factors that increase risk (or protection) for comorbidities associated with autism.