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Environmental Epigenomics: Applications for Autism Research and Exposure Biomarkers
Start Date: 4/4/2018Start Time: 1:00 PM
End Date: 4/4/2018End Time: 2:00 PM

Event Description
Presented by the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute

Christine Ladd-Acosta, PhD
Assistant Professor
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

There is growing recognition that environmental factors contribute to risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Identifying the biologic targets of these risk factors can inform intervention and treatment strategies. Epigenetics, the study of reversible and mitotically-heritable cellular information outside of the DNA sequence, gives a cell its identity and function. It regulates gene expression, cell and tissue differentiation, genomic stability, organismal development, and imprinting. It has been linked to autism and has also been shown to be associated with environmental exposures, including during the prenatal period. Thus, it may provide a biologic mechanism to explain exposure effects on ASD risk. In this talk, Dr. Ladd-Acosta will present her findings on epigenetic changes observed in individuals with ASD. In addition, she will show specific regions of the genome she identified as being related to ASD-relevant prenatal exposures, including air pollution. Finally, she will discuss her work to explore the potential for epigenetic signatures to serve as biomarkers of exposure in studies that lack reliable exposure data, more broadly.
Contact Information:
Email: AutismInstitute@drexel.edu
Christine Ladd-Acosta, PhD
3020 Market Street
A.J. Drexel Autism Institute
Suite 501
Idea Lab
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