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It is recognised that both genetic and environmental risk factors cause Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a collective term for neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by qualitative impairments in social interaction and communication, and a restricted range of activities and interests. Gastrointestinal issues and altered metabolism are also frequently reported in ASD, altogether highlighting dysfunction in both the central and enteric nervous systems which underlie this condition.This series of talks highlights the importance of studying the metabolic functions for neuronal homeostasis and neural circuit interactions between the gut and brain.

Furthermore, we showcase new genetic models of autism which can lead us to a better understanding of the neural pathways for autism traits. This symposium brings together independent researchers at early-mid career level, and comprises two male and two female speakers. The speakers are from Austria, Japan and Australia, and will be presenting their research in the following order, as set out below. Firstly, Speaker 1 (Assistant Professor Gaia Novarino) will introduce the topic of autism, the genetic basis for this condition, as well as the metabolic impact and altered blood-brain barrier in postnatal . Secondly, Speaker 2 (Dr Elisa Hill) introduces functional studies of the gut-brain axis in a genetic mouse model of autism. Following from this, Speaker 3 (Professor Koh-ichi Nagata) will discuss the identification and characterisation of genes which reveal novel molecular mechanisms which underlie neurodevelopmental defects of neural circuit development in autism. Finally, Speaker 4 (A/Prof Julian Heng) will describe work on a new mechanism for autism which could lead to the development of therapeutics which modulate mRNA translation. From this series of talks, the audience will gain an improved understanding of the mechanistic pathways which contribute to autism. Our findings provide a critical framework to understand the neurodevelopmental basis for ASD, and support the development of novel therapeutic interventions which improve the life-long management of this growing public health concern.
  • DAYS
Key Dates

Deadline for PTA Application:
June 20, 2018

Deadline for Young Investigator Colloquium submission:
February 28, 2018

Deadline for Abstract submission

June 30, 2018

Conference Date:
August 27-29, 2018