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Autism is characterized by impairment of social cognition and repetitive behaviors, as well as language impairment. Evidence from animal and human studies suggests that enhancing the brain peptide oxytocin may facilitate interest in social interaction, reduce the sensitivity to social threat, and reduce stereotypic behaviors. This has implications for the development of novel experimental treatments for core symptoms of autism and related conditions. In response to a hygeine hypothesis and evidence of neuroinflamation in some patients with autism, studies with helminths, a gut parasite with immunomodulatory properties, are being conducted in autism and other autoimmune disorders, and studies to assess the effects of fever and temperature regulation on ASD are underway. Studies to match homogeneous populations of ASD based on copy number variation (CNV) to novel therapeutics targeting the defined molecular pathway will also be described.
Dr. Hollander is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Director of the Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Program at Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Previously he served as the Esther and Joseph Klingenstein Professor and Chair of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and was Director of the Seaver and NY Autism Center of Excellence in New York City. Before then he served as Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. Dr. Hollander received his B.A. from Brandeis University (1978), and his M.D. from SUNY Downstate Medical College, Brooklyn (1982). He completed his internship in Internal Medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital (1983), residency and chief resident in psychiatry at Mt Sinai School of Medicine (1986), and his NIMH research fellowship at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (1988). He has served as an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and as the Esther and Joseph Klingenstein Professor and Chair of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Hollander has served as the principal investigator for a number of federal grants, including the NIH Greater New York Autism Center of Excellence, the NIMH Research Training Grant in Psychopharmacology and Outcomes Research, and an FDA funded multicenter treatment trial of pediatric body dysmorphic disorder. He was the principal investigator of the autism Clinical Trials Network, and Chair of the eight centers NIH STAART Autism Steering Committee. He is involved in research on the neuropharmacology, neuropsychiatry, functional imaging, and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, impulsive/aggressive personality disorders, obsessive-compulsive-related disorders such as body dysmorphic disorder, pathological gambling, and autism. Dr. Hollander served as Chair of the DSM-V Research Planning Agenda for Obsessive Compulsive Behavior Spectrum Disorders, and member of the DSM-V Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum, Post-Traumatic and Dissociative Disorders Workgroup, and the Behavioral and Substance Addictions Workgroup. Dr. Hollander has received a Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute of Mental health to investigate the psychobiology of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. He has received orphan drug grants from the Food and Drug Administration to study new treatments for body dysmorphic disorder, child/adolescent autism, and adult autism, and a grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse for a study on the neurobiology of pathological gambling. He has received several grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, to develop treatments for borderline personality disorder, adolescent body dysmorphic disorder, and autism. Dr. Hollander has received two national research awards from the American Psychiatric Association and a Distinguished Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression. During his career, Dr. Hollander has published more than 500 scientific publications in the professional literature. He has edited 20 books, including the Textbook of Autism Spectrum Disorders (American Psychiatric Publishing, 2011), the Textbook of Anxiety Disorders (American Psychiatric Publishing, 2002 and 2009 editions), and the Clinical Manual of Impulse Control Disorders (2006). Dr. Hollander is listed for the past ten years in NY Magazine’s and Castle Connolly’s “Best Doctors”, and “Best Doctors in America”. He has made frequent media appearances on the Today Show and Dateline NBC and has had interviews in People Magazine and the New York Times. He is co-author of a book with Marc Summers, Everything In Its Place: My Trials and Triumphs with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Penguin Putnam, 1999) and coauthored with Nick Bakalar, Coping with Social Anxiety: The Definitive Guide to Effective Treatment Options (Henry Holt and Company, 2005).