Event Details

Thursday, 18 January 2018 - Thursday, 18 January 2018
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
QBI Level 7 Auditorium
UQ Location:
Queensland Brain Institute (St Lucia)
Event category(s):

Event Contact

Ms Deirdre Wilson
3346 6300
Org. Unit:
Queensland Brain Institute

Event Description

Full Description:
Professor Josh Kaplan, Department of Neurobiology
Harvard Medical School Boston, USA

Title: “From compost to the clinic: using C. elegans to study psychiatric disorders”

Abstract: Recent human genetic studies suggest that mutations in ~500 genes are linked to autism spectrum disorder. Although many of these genes encode proteins that are localized at synapses, relatively little is known about how these mutations alter brain function or development. An important goal for the field is to identify specific cellular defects caused by mutations linked to Autism and to determine how (and if) these defects contribute to the cognitive and developmental deficits found in Autism. My lab uses a simple model organism (Caenorhabditis elegans) as a genetic platform to investigate the impact of Autism-linked genes on brain development and function. C. elegans is a small worm (1 mm long as an adult) that lives in rotting organic matter (like compost heaps).
Our studies suggest that mutations linked to Autism in humans alter retrograde synaptic signals, the strength of inhibitory synapses, and activity-induced gene expression in worms. We propose that these cellular defects play an important role in the pathophysiology of Autism.

Directions to UQ

Google Map:
To St Lucia Campus, UQ Ipswich, and UQ Gatton.

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