On March 3rd, the Escher Fund for Autism, Autism Speaks and the Autism Science Foundation invited the autism community, researchers and the general public to their second online symposia on the environmental epigenetics of autism:
“Environmental exposures and the germline:
Investigating causes of epigenomic and genomic errors”
“Many questions remain about the interaction of genetics and environmental factors in predisposing individuals for autism,” says Mathew Pletcher, Autism Speaks’ vice president of genomic discovery. “We established these symposia as a means for the thought leaders in environmental epigenetics to come together, share their learnings and build a research community that can collaboratively advance this field…
“We also wanted to provide the general autism community with a window into recent findings,” Pletcher adds, “while giving them the opportunity to pose questions directly to those conducting this critical work.”
Speaker Dana Dolinoy, of the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, will discuss inheritable epigenetic effects from toxic exposures. Dr. Dolinoy and leads the school’s Environmental Epigenetics and Nutrition Laboratory. Her team is investigating how nutritional and environmental factors interact with epigenetic gene regulate to shape health and disease.
Speaker Carol Yauk, of Health Canada and Ottawa’s Carleton University, leads research on “toxico-genomics,” which explores how toxic exposures affect the genome (a person’s complete set of genetic material). Her research team’s goal is to develop genomic testing as a faster, less expensive and more accurate way to determine the toxicity of common chemicals.