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Decomposing Heterogeneity in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Objective

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect 1-2% of the population and are a major public health issue. Heterogeneity between affected ASD individuals is substantial both at clinical and etiological levels, thus warranting the idea that we should begin characterizing the ASD population as multiple kinds of ‘autisms’. Without an advanced understanding of how heterogeneity manifests in ASD, it is likely that we will not make pronounced progress towards translational research goals that can have real impact on patient’s lives. This research program is focused on decomposing heterogeneity in ASD at multiple levels of analysis. Using multiple ‘big data’ resources that are both ‘broad’ (large sample size) and ‘deep’ (multiple levels of analysis measured within each individual), I will examine how known variables such as sex, early language development, early social preferences, and early intervention treatment response may be important stratification variables that differentiate ASD subgroups at phenotypic, neural systems/circuits, and genomic levels of analysis. In addition to examining known stratification variables, this research program will engage in data-driven discovery via application of advanced unsupervised computational techniques that can highlight novel multivariate distinctions in the data that signal important ASD subgroups. These data-driven approaches may hold promise for discovering novel ASD subgroups at biological and phenotypic levels of analysis that may be valuable for prioritization in future work developing personalized assessment, monitoring, and treatment strategies for subsets of the ASD population. By enhancing the precision of our understanding about multiple subtypes of ASD this work will help accelerate progress towards the ideals of personalized medicine and help to reduce the burden of ASD on individuals, families, and society.

Host institution

FONDAZIONE ISTITUTO ITALIANO DI TECNOLOGIA
Net EU contribution
€ 1 122 969,85
Address
Via Morego 30
16163 Genova
Italy

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Region
Nord-Ovest Liguria Genova
Activity type
Research Organisations
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (3)

FONDAZIONE ISTITUTO ITALIANO DI TECNOLOGIA
Italy
Net EU contribution
€ 1 122 969,85
Address
Via Morego 30
16163 Genova

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Region
Nord-Ovest Liguria Genova
Activity type
Research Organisations
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
United States
Net EU contribution
€ 281 250,00
Address
Franklin Street 1111 12 Floor
94607 Oakland Ca

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
UNIVERSITY OF CYPRUS

Participation ended

Cyprus
Net EU contribution
€ 95 224,15
Address
Avenue Panepistimiou 2109 Aglantzi
1678 Nicosia

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Region
Κύπρος Κύπρος Κύπρος
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00