Northwestern University

Thu 2:00 PM

Translating the Complex Genetics of Autism - Edwin H. Cook Jr., MD

When: Thursday, October 18, 2018
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM  

Where: Robert H Lurie Medical Research Center, Baldwin Auditorium, 303 E. Superior, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Michelle Mohney   312.503.5602

Group: Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment

Category: Lectures & Meetings


The Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine welcomes you to attend a lecture featuring:

Edwin H. Cook, Jr., MD
Earl M. Bane Professor of Psychiatry
Director, Center for Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Director, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
University of Illinois at Chicago

Substantial progress has been made in identifying specific genetic variants contributing to autism, with the pace of these findings accelerating over the past decade. This talk will review evidence that supports the role of genetics in the complex causes of autism. Although more are predicted, dozens of genetic variants have been identified, including those affecting a single gene (e.g. CHD8, SCN2A, GABRB3) and a smaller number leading to fewer or more copies of a region on a chromosome (e.g. maternal chromosome 15q11-q13 duplication). Since 3-5% of individuals with autism may currently be diagnosed as having a specific genetic condition associated with their autism, this knowledge may provide important clinical information such as risk for additional medical problems such as ADHD or epilepsy. In addition, study of these de novo genetic variants is providing information about the complexity of brain development that contributes to autism and is guiding the development of new therapeutics for autism and related comorbidities. Many misconceptions related to the complexity of autism will be addressed. As one example, the most clinically relevant genetic findings are de novo (not present in parents and not inherited). Conversely, most cases of autism are due to many, many genetic variations added together to increase risk for autism.

Edwin Cook, Jr., MD, attended Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He trained in Adult and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Chicago. After completion of training, he was promoted to the role of Professor of Psychiatry, Human Genetics and Pediatrics at the University of Chicago until his move to the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2005.

Dr. Cook is now the Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Earl M. Bane Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. His program of research focuses on collaborative molecular genetic studies of autism spectrum disorder, with an emphasis of studies of relationships between genotype and phenotype. He also focuses on study of the biomarker, hyperserotonemia, in autism. The goal of Dr. Cook’s research is the development of improved pharmacological treatments of autism. He has assessed and treated children, adolescents and adults with autism for over 30 years, including following many patients for 30 or more years.

Join us remotely via Blue Jeans, courtesy a partnership with the Institute for Innovations in Developmental Sciences.

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