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Autism in Girls and Women: A Panel Discussion

The Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) and the Office of Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health (ORDGMH) have coordinated efforts to invite three speakers who will talk about the neuroscience of ASD in girls, phenotype/clinical presentation, and challenges and needs faced by girls and women on the autism spectrum.
meeting announcement Event Information
Topic Topic Description
Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST
Place: National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, NSC
Conference Room 7102AB
Rockville, MD 20850
Overview: Recent advances in research suggest that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) presents differently in males and females. As a result, researchers are seeking to understand the biological differences between ASD in males and females, as well as reevaluating the effectiveness of diagnostic tools and treatments for females on the autism spectrum. Meanwhile, girls and women with ASD are sharing their stories in order to increase awareness among researchers and the general public. This panel discussion will present three different perspectives on understanding ASD in girls and women. Dr. Kevin Pelphrey will be speaking on biological aspects of sex differences in ASD, Dr. Pamela Ventola will be speaking on observable differences in phenotype between girls and boys, and Ms. Zoe Gross will be speaking on personal and community experiences related to ASD in girls and women.
Conference Call Access: Phone: 800-369-1180
Access code: 2330665
Cost: The meeting is free and open to the public. No prior registration is required.

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meeting agenda Agenda
Time Event
1:00 - 1:10 p.m.
Introductory Remarks
Susan Daniels, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Autism Research Coordination, NIMH, and Executive Secretary, IACC
Tamara Lewis Johnson, M.P.H., M.B.A.
Health Scientist Administrator, Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health, National Institute of Mental Health
Chief, Women’s Mental Health Research Program
1:10 - 1:30
Kevin Pelphrey, Ph.D.
Carbonell Family Professor
Director of Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute at George Washington University and Children's National Medical Center
1:30 - 1:50
Pamela Ventola, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in the Yale Child Study Center
1:50 - 2:10
Zoe Gross
Director of Operations at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network
 2:10 - 3:00
Question and Answer Panel Discussion

meeting speakers Speakers

Kevin Pelphrey, Ph.D.

Carbonell Family Professor, Director of Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute, George Washington University and Children's National Medical Center

Photo of Kevin Pelphrey

Dr. Kevin Pelphrey is the Carbonell Family Professor and Director of the Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute at George Washington University (GW) and Children’s National Health System (CNHS) in Washington, DC. The Institute serves as a focal point for translational research and comprehensive clinical services for people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). His program of research investigates the brain basis of neurodevelopmental disorders to develop biologically-based tools for detection, stratification, and individually tailored treatments. Dr. Pelphrey is also the Principal Investigator of the NIH ACE-Multimodal Developmental Neurogenetics of Females with Autism network. This Network has generated a comprehensive, multi-level (gene-brain-behavior) data from large and diverse cohorts of young women and men with ASD. Dr. Pelphrey joined the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee as a public member in 2015. He is the father of a son and a daughter on the autism spectrum.

Pamela Ventola, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Yale Child Study Center

Photo of Pam Ventola

Dr. Pamela Ventola is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor at the Yale Child Study Center. Her clinical work and research program focus on behavioral treatment for ASD, specifically, Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT). She also has a strong interest in girls and women with ASD. She has conducted several studies on sex-based differences in treatment response, and she is currently collaborating with Dr. Kevin Pelphrey on a multi-site study related to the neurogenetics of females with ASD. Dr. Ventola is heavily involved in the clinical components of this multi-site program. Additionally, she is commencing a study with Dr. Pelphrey to assess the effects of oxytocin as an enhancer of response to PRT. Evaluating sex-based differences to this combination treatment is a key aim of the new project.

Zoe Gross

Director of Operations, Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Ms. Zoe Gross is Director of Operations at Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Previously, she worked as a special assistant at the Administration for Community Living, and as a policy analyst on Senator Tom Harkin’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee staff.

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