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Institute of Medicine (US) Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders. Autism and the Environment: Challenges and Opportunities for Research: Workshop Proceedings. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2008.

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Autism and the Environment: Challenges and Opportunities for Research: Workshop Proceedings.

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BWorkshop Agenda Autism and the Environment: Challenges and Opportunities for Research

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Keck Building, Room 100

500 Fifth Street, N.W.

Washington, DC 20001

Workshop Objectives

  • Discuss the most promising scientific opportunities for improving the understanding of potential environmental factors in autism.
  • Discuss what scientific tools and technologies are available, what interdisciplinary research approaches are needed, and what further infrastructure investments will be necessary in the short and long term to be able to explore potential relationships between autism and environmental factors.
  • Explore potential partnerships needed to support and conduct autism research.
8:00 a.m.Welcome, Introductions, and Workshop Objectives

 Alan Leshner
 Workshop and Forum Chair
 Chief Executive Officer, AAAS
 Executive Publisher, Science
8:05 a.m.Charge to Workshop Participants

 William Raub
 Science Advisor to the Secretary
 Department of Health and Human Services
8:15 a.m.Perspectives of the Advocacy Community

 Laura Bono
 Workshop Planning Committee Member
 Board Member
 National Autism Association

SESSION I. AUTISM—THE CLINICAL PROBLEM: “WHAT DO WE KNOW? WHAT DO WE NEED?”

Session Objective: Describe the problem and discuss how environmental factors may impact a developmental disorder like autism. Identify what standards of evidence are needed to move forward.

 Sarah Spence, Session Chair
 Staff Clinician
 Pediatrics and Developmental Neuropsychiatry Branch
 National Institute of Mental Health, NIH
8:25 a.m.Clinical Overview: How Can the Clinical Manifestations of Autism Shed Light on Potential Environmental Etiologies?

 Susan Swedo
 Senior Investigator
 Pediatrics and Developmental Neuropsychiatry Branch
 National Institute of Mental Health, NIH
8:45 a.m.Genes and the Environment: How May Genetics Be Used to Inform Research Searching for Potential Environmental Triggers?

 Patrick Levitt
 Director
 Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, Vanderbilt University
9:05 a.m.How May Environmental Factors Impact Potential Mechanisms in Humans?

 Isaac Pessah
 Director
 Children’s Center for Environmental Health and Disease Prevention
 University of California–Davis M.I.N.D. Institute
9:25 a.m.Defining Autism: Biomarkers and Other Research Tools

 Martha Herbert
 Assistant Professor of Neurology
 Harvard Medical School
9:45 a.m.Discussion

 Sarah Spence, Session Chair
 Staff Clinician
 Pediatrics and Developmental Neuropsychiatry Branch
 National Institute of Mental Health, NIH
10:20 a.m.BREAK

SESSION II. LESSONS LEARNED FROM OTHER DISORDERS: “STANDARDS OF EVIDENCE”

Session Objective: Explore how the autism field may employ approaches and strategies used by other fields. What has been learned from research that has examined environmental exposure effects on other disorders?

 David Schwartz, Session Chair
 Director
 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH
10:35 a.m.Environmental Toxicants and Neurodevelopment

 Philip Landrigan
 Chair of Community and Preventive Medicine
 Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
10:55 a.m.Prenatal Starvation and Schizophrenia

 Ezra Susser
 Gelman Professor and Chair of Epidemiology
 Mailman School of Public Health
 Professor of Psychiatry
 Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute
11:15 a.m.Asthma

 Fernando Martinez
 Swift-McNear Professor of Pediatrics
 Director, Arizona Respiratory Center
 University of Arizona
11:35 a.m.Discussion

 David Schwartz, Session Chair
 Director
 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH
12:10 p.m.LUNCH

SESSION III. ENVIRONMENT AND BIOLOGY I: WHAT ARE THE TOOLS FOR AUTISM—WHAT DO WE HAVE? WHAT DO WE NEED?

Session Objective: Review how environmental factors can impact fundamental biological processes. Examine the resources available, and needed, to examine susceptibility to environmental agents.

 Patrick Levitt, Session Chair
 Director
 Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, Vanderbilt University
1:00 p.m.How May Environmental Factors Impact Potential Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms?

 Arthur Beaudet
 Professor and Chair
 Department of Molecular and Human Genetics
 Baylor College of Medicine
1:20 p.m.How May Environmental Factors Impact Potential Cell- Based Mechanisms?

 Mark Noble
 Professor of Genetics
 University of Rochester Medical Center
1:40 p.m.How May Animal Models Be Used to Examine Potential Environmental-Based Mechanisms?

 Theodore Slotkin
 Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
 Duke University Medical Center
2:00 p.m.BREAK
2:20 p.m.Autism, Infection, and Immunity: What Are the Potential Causative Environmental Factors and How Can They Be Identified and Prioritized?

 W. Ian Lipkin
 Director, Columbia Center for Infection and Immunity
 Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, and
 Scientific Director, Northeast Biodefense Center
2:40 p.m.Environmental Factors and Oxidative Stress: How May Oxidative Stress Impact the Biology of Autism? What Factors May Be Causing This Outcome?

 S. Jill James
 Professor of Pediatrics
 University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
3:00 p.m.Discussion

 Patrick Levitt, Session Chair
 Director
 Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human
 Development, Vanderbilt University

SESSION IV. NEW APPROACHES AND DISCUSSION WITH WORKSHOP ATTENDEES

4:20 p.m.Discussion with Meeting Participants and Audience

 Alan Leshner, Moderator
 Workshop and Forum Chair
 Chief Executive Officer, AAAS
 Executive Publisher, Science
5:30 p.m.ADJOURN

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Keck Building, Room 100

500 Fifth Street, N.W.

Washington, DC 20001

SESSION V. ENVIRONMENTAL EPIDEMIOLOGY—UTILIZING POPULATION-BASED STUDIES TO ISOLATE THE ENVIRONMENTAL CAUSES OF AUTISM

Session Objective: Discuss and identify what resources are available and what is needed to help frame future directions for environmental epidemiology studies.

 Henry Falk, Session Chair
 Director
 Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
8:00 a.m.Environmental Epidemiology Studies: New Techniques and Technologies to Use Epidemiology to Find Environmental Triggers

 Irva Hertz-Picciotto
 Professor of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
 University of California–Davis
8:20 a.m.Environmental Exposures in Autism: International Studies

 Craig Newschaffer
 Professor and Chairman of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
 Drexel University
8:40 a.m.Environmental Epidemiology Studies: Caddre

 Diana Schendel
 National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
9:00 a.m.Prenatal and Perinatal Exposures

 Allen Wilcox
 Chief
 Epidemiology Branch
 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH
9:20 a.m.Discussion

 Henry Falk, Session Chair
 Director
 Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

SESSION VI. TECHNOLOGY AND INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH

Session Objective: Discuss and identify what tools are currently available to assess environmental exposure, and what additional scientific tools and technologies are needed in the short and long term.

 Henry Falk, Session Chair
 Director
 Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
9:50 a.m.CDC Environmental Health Lab—Body Burden Measures

 Larry Needham
 Chief
 Organic Analytical Toxicology Branch
 National Center for Environmental Health, CDC
10:10 a.m.Personalized Environmental Sensors

 David Walt
 Professor of Chemistry
 Tufts University
10:30 a.m.Discussion

 Henry Falk, Session Chair
 Director
 Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

SESSION VII. FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS—DISCUSSION WITH WORKSHOP SPEAKERS

Session Objective: Discuss what a research agenda for autism and the environment might look like.

11:00 a.m. Fernando Martinez
 Swift-McNear Professor of Pediatrics
 Director, Arizona Respiratory Center
 University of Arizona

 Isaac Pessah
 Director, Children’s Center for Environmental Health and Disease Prevention
 University of California–Davis M.I.N.D. Institute
12:30 p.m.LUNCH

SESSION VIII. PUBLIC–PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

Session Objective: Identify the unique strengths that the public and private sectors provide to the autism research. Discuss how each of these sectors can most effectively complement each other’s efforts.

 Alan Leshner, Moderator
 Workshop and Forum Chair
 Chief Executive Officer, AAAS
 Executive Publisher, Science
1:00 p.m.Panel Discussion

 Sallie Bernard
 Board Member, Autism Speaks
 Cofounder, SafeMinds

 Henry Falk
 Director
 Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 Gary Goldstein
 Chair, Autism Speaks Scientific Affairs Committee
 President and Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Krieger Institute

 Tom Insel
 Director
 National Institute of Mental Health, NIH

 Lyn Redwood
 Board Member and Science Committee Chair
 National Autism Association

 David Schwartz
 Director
 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH
1:45 p.m.General Panel Discussion

 Alan Leshner, Moderator
 Workshop and Forum Chair
 Chief Executive Officer, AAAS
 Executive Publisher, Science

SESSION IX. DISCUSSION WITH MEETING PARTICIPANTS AND AUDIENCE

2:15 p.m. Alan Leshner, Moderator
 Workshop and Forum Chair
 Chief Executive Officer, AAAS
 Executive Publisher, Science
3:15 p.m.ADJOURN
Copyright © 2008, National Academy of Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK54344