Meet the Scientist - August 2016

About This Webinar:

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder which is diagnosed behaviorally by unusual social behaviors and communication, and by repetitive behaviors with restricted interests. Recent discoveries revealed that many of the genetic mutations found in people with autism impair the functioning of synapses in neurons. Mouse models with the same mutations are now available, to investigate the role of each gene in the symptoms of autism, using behavioral and biological examinations that will be described. Pharmacological therapeutics predicted to reverse the outcomes of the genetic mutations are evaluated in the preclinical mouse models, towards developing effective medical treatments for autism.

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Presented by:

Jacqueline N. Crawley, Ph.D.

Jacqueline N. Crawley, Ph.D.

Foundation Scientific Council Member
Robert E. Chason Chair in Translational Research, MIND Institute
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
University of California Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento

Dr. Crawley’s laboratory focuses on the development and translational application of mouse models of autism spectrum disorders to test hypotheses about how autism develops and to evaluate potential pharmacological treatments. As candidate genes associated with autism spectrum disorders are identified, mice with targeted mutations in these genes are being generated. Model organisms offer useful translational tools to test hypotheses about single genes, chromosomal locus deletions, copy number variants, methylation and other epigenetic mechanisms (environmentally induced changes in gene regulation), neuroanatomical abnormalities, environmental toxins, diets, immune dysfunctions, and other proposed causes of autism. Her laboratory team is evaluating pharmacological interventions like mGluR5 and AMPA receptor modulators for therapeutic improvements in the social, communication, and repetitive behavior domains using mouse models.

Before joining the UC Davis, Dr. Crawley was the Chief of Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience, at the Intramural Research Program at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH).


Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.

Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.

President & CEO, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., joined the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation in 2012 as Chief Medical Officer and was appointed as President & Chief Executive Officer at the start of 2013. Dr. Borenstein has more than two decades of experience in health and non-profit leadership. He is former CEO/Medical Director of Holliswood Hospital, where he served from 1996 to 2012. He is a board-certified psychiatrist and the Host of the award-winning series, “Healthy Minds,” which is broadcast on public television stations across the United States. He is Editor-in-Chief of Psychiatric News, the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association.

An active contributor to the psychiatric field  for more than three decades, Dr. Borenstein currently chairs the Council on Communications of the American Psychiatric Association, the Mental Health Services Council of NY State, and the Section on Psychiatry, NY Academy of Medicine, where he is a Fellow. Among the many honors to his credit are the National Alliance on Mental Illness of NY State Connie Lieber Award, the American Psychiatric Association Special Presidential Commendation and the Federation of Organizations Community Mental Health Man of the Year Award.

Dr. Borenstein is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. He is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Medicine.

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