Both genetic and environmental factors contribute to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Research has identified many genetic variants that associate with the disease. However, how these variants are influenced by known environmental risk factors is poorly understood. Epigenetics is the interface between the environment and the genome. We will identify epigenetically-regulated genes in regions of the genome that are known to contain ASD-associated DNA variants. By studying the expression of these regions in mice that are exposed to a variety of known environmental ASD risk factors we aim to unify the genetic and environmental components of ASD.
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Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences