Advances in Autism Conference 2022


Our 26th annual Advances in Autism Conference will be hosted on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. This VIRTUAL event can be attended from anywhere online.

Established in 1996, the conference brings together academic, parent, and community groups to participate in thoughtful and informative presentations. The goals of the event are to discuss recent advances in autism—the causes, symptoms, and current and future treatments.

The focus of the 2022 Advances in Autism Conference is Convergence in Autism: From Many Genes to Few Pathways.

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International studies led by the Director of The Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment, Joseph D. Buxbaum, PhD, and colleagues, have identified more than 100 genes that, if changed, strongly contribute to autism.

Autism researchers must now shift their focus from tackling a single cause to combatting many. To do this, it is important to understand how these genetic mutations disrupt biological pathways.

Biological pathways are series of actions within the molecules in a cell, such as a nerve or brain cell. Identifying what genes, proteins, and other molecules are involved in a biological pathway can provide clues about what changes when a disorder is present. Researchers can compare select biological pathways in neurotypical individuals to the same pathways in individuals with autism to discover the roots of the disorder.

Finding out what pathways are involved in the disorder, and identifying what step of the pathway is affected in each individual, can lead to more personalized strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of autism.

These biological pathways are vital targets for new treatments because they reflect changes that are shared across broad groups of individuals with autism, including those without any known gene mutations.

Attend the conference to learn how researchers are determining these key pathways that can be targeted to restore to improve function.


Joseph D. Buxbaum, PhD - 100s of Genes Identified in Autism
Matthew Lalli, PhD - Connecting Rare Autism Mutations to Common Pathways
Helen Willsey, PhD - Using Frogs to Translate Autism Genetics to Actionable Biology
Xin Jin, PhD - Scalable Investigation of Autism Risk Genes in the Developing Brain
Nenad Sestan, MD, PhD - Building the Human Cortex: Molecular Logic of Neural Circuit Formation and Evolution
Aaron Gordon, PhD - Studying Convergence in Autism Using 3D Models of Brain Development
Jacob Ellegood, PhD - Redefining Autism – Using the Neuroanatomy to Create Autism Subgroups Speaker Panel