Mark Zylka, Ph.D.California Institute of Technology
Autism Research lectures are open to the public and are held at the Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium at the Simons Foundation headquarters in New York City. Tea is served prior to each lecture.
Our inability to identify environmental threats to the brain early — before they cause disease — represents one of the major challenges of our time. This challenge is particularly relevant to autism, which affects 1 in 68 individuals. Heritability studies indicate that environmental factors contribute to autism risk.
In this lecture, Mark Zylka will describe how candidate environmental risk factors for autism can be identified rationally, by pinpointing chemicals that interfere with the same molecular pathways that are affected in individuals with autism. His research focuses on identifying environmental-use chemicals that target autism-linked molecular pathways, using environmental sampling data to assess the exposure threat to people, and validating risk potential in animal models.