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

A sex-specific dissection of autism genetics  

Because autism is strongly genetic, and boys and girls share the vast majority of their genomes, the disorder's male bias is puzzling. No common risk or protective factors have yet been identified on the sex chromosomes that could account for the dramatic difference in prevalence between the sexes. Dr. Weiss and her colleagues are trying to uncover the genetic causes for sexual dimorphism in autism. Most autism studies to date have included a ratio of male to female participants that reflects the disorder's prevalence — meaning there are not enough female participants to make robust sex comparisons. Weiss' team plans to recruit additional female participants to boost the statistical power of other autism genetic repositories, such as the Simons Simplex Collection and the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE). The researchers will use microarray technology to comb these samples for variations in DNA sequence and gene copy number across the participants' genomes. The team will then compare these variations between males and females to prove or disprove the various genetic theories and identify sex-specific susceptibility genes. Determining what protects girls from autism will be useful in understanding, and potentially reducing, the risk for boys. Project Status


Funder Simons Foundation
Fiscal Year Funding $75,000.00
Project Number 137620
Principal Investigator Weiss, Lauren
Received ARRA Funding? No
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? Private
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 | 2009 | 1R21HD065273-01
A sex-specific dissection of autism genetics | $150,000.00 | 2010 | 137620
A sex-specific dissection of autism genetics | $270,375.00 | 2010 | 5R21HD065273-02
A sex-specific dissection of autism genetics | $150,000.00 | 2011 | 137620
A sex-specific dissection of autism genetics | $0.00 | 2012 | 137620