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IACC Subcommittee for Basic and Translational Research Planning Group for Question 3 Conference Call - October 19, 2012

meeting announcement Announcement
Topic Topic Description
Date: Friday, October 19, 2012
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern
Agenda: The planning group for Question 3 will discuss updates for the IACC Strategic Plan.
Place: No in-person meeting; conference call only
Conference Call: Dial: (888) 989-4388
Access code: 4658459
Contact Person:Ms. Lina Perez
Office of Autism Research Coordination
National Institute of Mental Health, NIH
6001 Executive Boulevard, NSC, Room 6182A
Rockville, Maryland 20852
Phone: (301) 443-6040
Please Note: For call-in issues, dial *0 so that an operator may assist you.

Accommodations Statement:
Individuals who participate by using this electronic service and who need special assistance such as captioning or other reasonable accommodations should submit a request to the Contact Person listed on this notice.

Schedule subject to change.

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meeting agenda Agenda

No in-person meeting; conference call only.

Time Event
1:00 p.m. Roll Call and Opening Remarks

Lyn Redwood, R.N., M.S.N.
Coalition for SafeMinds
Chair, Basic and Translational Research Question 3 Planning Group

Gemma Weiblinger – Designated Federal Official
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
1:15 p.m. Discussion
2:30 p.m. Adjournment

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meeting minutes Minutes

The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) Subcommittee for Basic and Translational Research Strategic Plan Question 3 Planning Group convened a conference call on Friday, October 19, 2012, from 2:04 p.m. to 3:39 p.m.

In accordance with Public Law 92-463, the meeting was open to the public. Ms. Lyn Redwood, Chair, presided.


Lyn Redwood, R.N., M.S.N., Chair, Coalition for SafeMinds; Gemma Weiblinger, Designated Federal Official, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH); Elizabeth Baden, Ph.D., Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC), (NIMH); Matthew J. Carey, Ph.D., Left Brain Right Brain; Cindy Lawler, Ph.D., National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS); Isaac Pessah, Ph.D., University of California, Davis; Matthew State, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco; Craig Newschaffer, Ph.D., Drexel University

Roll Call and Opening Remarks

Ms. Gemma Weiblinger welcomed participants to the call on Question 3 (What caused this to happen and can it be prevented?) of the Strategic Plan Update. The purpose of the call was to discuss the documents prepared for the 2012 update, and how Group members would prepare for presentations at the workshop on October 29 and 30, 2012.

Ms. Lyn Redwood indicated that she had sent everyone a document named "research opportunities" that included information from the science experts on recommendations and gaps. Another document, the Research Portfolio Analysis, listed out each of the questions of the Strategic Plan by year with the total overall IACC-recommended budget, the timeframe, and progress in 2008, 2009, and 2010 (including cumulative funding). Data for 2011 were not available. A suggestion had been made to add the number of projects to the document, which was done. It was noted that some of the projects were ongoing from year to year (continuations).

With regard to the upcoming IACC Strategic Plan Workshop, it was noted that they would have 20 minutes to present – 10 minutes for the science findings and 10 minutes for the research gaps. It was suggested that they lead with the key new science findings, followed by information about gap areas and roadblocks to progress, and conclude with information about funding levels. Group members discussed whether they should focus only on new gap areas or include information about continuing gaps.

Dr. Cindy Lawler said that one example would be maternal/paternal age and how this might relate to mutation rates and copy number variations. This was a gap area because the extent to which maternal/paternal age might reflect these mutations – induced by potentially preventable environmental exposures – was not known. Dr. Matthew Carey said that gaps that were noted in 2011 likely would not be closed in 2012, although progress might have been made. He suggested indicating what progress had been made on the gaps. Dr. Lawler wondered if the importance of some gap areas had changed based on data from the past year.

Ms. Redwood said that the addition of advanced maternal age was an important research opportunity. Another important area was the lack of support for environmental studies, she said. Comment was made that the area of environmental factors was one of the larger gaps. Dr. Lawler noted that there was little understanding of how the environment, as a single factor, influenced autism risk, and how much the interaction between the environment and genetic susceptibility influenced risk. The discussion turned to data that had emerged over the last 2-3 years regarding de novo copy number changes, particularly with regard to copy number burden and highly penetrant mutations that have been identified. These pointed to a large role for environmental factors in ASD risk.

Dr. Lawler said that another important knowledge gap was the need to understand the functional significance of these emerging genetic findings and how environmental factors may be involved. Investment in environmental research was greatly needed, the Group concluded. Dr. Isaac Pessah said that new research needed to be put into context regarding how to help children, who are influenced by gene-by-environment interactions. He said that the identification of environmental modifiers was one strategy that could contribute to better outcomes.

It was agreed that Dr. Pessah, Dr. Newschaffer, and Dr. Matthew State would review the Group's draft document on research gaps, and would submit their comments. They would also identify gaps not reflected in the document; they would also highlight the gaps that they believed should be priorities. Ms. Redwood thanked the members for their participation.


The call was adjourned at 3:39 p.m.


I hereby certify that this meeting summary is accurate and complete.

/Susan Daniels/ November 16, 2012
Susan A. Daniels, Ph.D.
Executive Secretary, Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee

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meeting transcript Transcript
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