Shafali Spurling Jeste, M.D. Director, Developmental Neurophysiology Lab, Center for Autism Research and Treatment , University of California, Los Angeles
Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.
Autism has well-established roots in disruptions during the development of neural networks. Functional neuroimaging methods, such as electroencephalography (EEG), can measure these brain changes, with such measurements serving as robust “biomarkers” of the condition. Studies of autism biomarkers can enhance our ability to predict atypical development early in infancy and can improve both the selection of trial participants and quantification of brain changes with treatment in clinical trials. However, autism biomarker studies face many challenges, from methods in data collection to the generalizability of findings to the broader autism spectrum.
In this lecture, Shafali Spurling Jeste will provide a topical overview of the current state of research in autism biomarkers. She will share data from studies of autism biomarkers in three key areas: early risk prediction (studies of high-risk infants), heterogeneity within the autism spectrum and genetically defined subgroups within autism. Finally, she will discuss the challenges around clinical trial design and development and consider how more objective measures of brain function can improve clinical trials.