Inter-professional Perspectives

Integral to the mission of FACE is an appreciation of and value for diverse perspectives and the ways in which an “inclusive” framework can enhance our understanding of ASD.  Below are some perspectives from members of our FACE Team who share their knowledge and experience from their respective areas of expertise.

Research Perspectives

Autism-related research in Drs. Baudry and Bi Laboratories

Drs. Baudry & Bi Laboratories is interested in understanding the molecular/cellular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity, which is the ability of the contacts between nerve cells to be modified by experience, and which forms the basis for learning and memory as well as for many cognitive processes. It is clear that this process is abnormal in autism and scientists have been searching for the cause or causes of these abnormalities. In particular, it is now apparent that many genes coding for proteins participating in synaptic plasticity are mutated in children with autism. Scientists can use these mutations to generate mice models of the disease, and mice exhibiting the same mutations as the humans affected by these mutations appear to have some of the symptoms of the autistic children. We are interested in understanding how the balance between protein synthesis, protein degradation and the mechanisms involved in protein quality control are modified during postnatal development in various models of neurodevelopmental disorders. In particular, we are studying one mouse model of a rare neurodevelopmental disease, the Angelman Syndrome. About 30% of Angelman patients are co-diagnosed with Autism.