Autism is a severely debilitating neurodevelopmental inherited disorder. Autistic children have difficulty communicating, expressing needs, and interacting with others. They may be very resistant to change and prefer to be alone. Autism is considered the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States affecting an estimated 1.5 million Americans. There is growing evidence of a biological link between autism and schizophrenia, which is also a neurodevelopmental disorder with genetic risk. Firstly, children with autism often have an additional psychiatric disorder including schizophrenia. Secondly, parents of children with autism are more likely to have psychiatric illness than parents of unaffected children. Finally, recent genetic studies have determined that multiple susceptibility genes (a functional unit of DNA) are shared between autism and schizophrenia. Together, these data suggest that there are common biological pathways affected in schizophrenia and autism resulting in disease. However, the biological link between schizophrenia and autism is unknown. Investigations into the common pathways shared by identified susceptibility genes may hold the key. The aim of this proposal is to establish a functional relationship within the cell between two genetic risks factors: NLGN and DISC1. Deciphering the relationship between these susceptibility genes may lead to the identification of potential therapeutic targets and biological predictors of outcome and co-morbidity.