Date: Friday, October 5, 2018
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Location: Simons Center Conference Room, Building 46, Room 6011, 6th Floor, MIT (43 Vassar Street, Cambridge, 02139 MA)
Speaker: Yang Zhou, Ph.D.
Affiliation: Research Scientist, Guoping Feng Lab, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
Talk title: Searching the Neural Basis of ASD from Genetically Engineered Model Systems
Abstract: Progress in understanding the neural basis of ASD is inspiring yet unsubstantial over the past decade, in part due to the lack of reliable model systems. Recapitulating core cognitive and behavioral dysfunctions which are closer and relevant to affected human individuals represents one of the significant challenges. Deletion or point mutation of synaptic genes, such as SHANK3 are frequently identified from idiopathic human ASD, allowing for the creation of engineered model systems with which to uncover the molecular, cellular pathophysiology and decipher the neural signature underlying ASD. I will report our efforts in developing advanced ASD models using cutting-edge genetic technologies and discuss behavioral as well as neural circuit alterations identified from models with the Shank3 mutation. We anticipate that our research will provide a critical step forward in the discovery of translatable biomarkers, as well as developing and testing of therapeutic strategies for ASD.