Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

A sex-specific dissection of autism genetics  

Autism spectrum disorders are among the most heritable common disorders and show extensive clinical heterogeneity, however, both the underlying neurobiological basis and genetic architecture are poorly understood. Four times as many males as females are affected, for unknown reasons. Knowledge about the primary genetic and hormonal determinants of sexual dimorphism may be able to be leveraged in order to dissect a major source of heterogeneity in autism. The objective of this proposal is to investigate genetic causes for increased male risk of autism. Guided by preliminary data including sex-specific genetic contributors to autism and extensive sexually dimorphic genetic architecture for numerous human traits, this proposal comprises a pilot study to recruit subjects, including an enriched female-affected family sample, and compare males and females in order to identify sex-specific susceptibility genes. The results will be significant, as information about what protects females from developing autism could lead to reduction of male risk. The long-term goal is to use genetic tools to better understand the biological basis of autism, leading to advances in diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $270,375.00
Project Number 1R21HD065273-01
Principal Investigator Weiss, Lauren
Received ARRA Funding? Yes
Strategic Plan Question Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening? (Biology)
Strategic Plan Objective Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 2SB. Launch three studies that specifically focus on the neurodevelopment of females with ASD, spanning basic to clinical research on sex differences by 2011. IACC Recommended Budget: $8,900,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution University of California, San Francisco
State/Country California
Web Link 1 A sex-specific dissection of autism genetics (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects A sex-specific dissection of autism genetics | $270,375.00 | 2010 | 5R21HD065273-02