Autism, Environment, and Epigenetics
Presented by Jill James, PhD at the Fall 2012 Autism Research Institute Conference
Dr. James explains how genes and environment influence the epigenetic regulation of gene expression in autism. The role of epigenetics in the development of neurobehavioral disease is an exciting new area of research that is providing new insights into the mechanisms underlying environmental triggers of the disorder. She reviews her recent discovery of epigenetic abnormalities in immune cells and postmortem brain from children with autism, and also evidence of genetic/epigenetic abnormalities in their mothers.
Dr. James is a Research Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Director of the Autism Metabolic Genomics Laboratory at the Arkansas Children' Hospital Research Institute. She received her undergraduate degree from Mills College in Oakland CA and her PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from UCLA. Dr. James has 25 years research experience and is nationally and internationally recognized as an expert Â on folate and glutathione metabolism. Dr. James has published over 140 peer-reviewed papers and has received the American Society for Nutritional Sciences award for innovative research contributing to the understanding ofhuman nutrition and disease. She is also the co-director of ARI's Scientific Advisory Board.