Perspectives from stem cell biology on autism risk factors and treatments by Mark Noble, PhD

On August 13, 2009, 5:30 pm

One of the greatest challenges in understanding autism lies in our failure to understand the cellular foundations of the multiple problems that may face children with these syndromes. Analysis of the CNS is providing a wide range of data of potential relevance to understanding the links between, e.g., oxidation and inflammation and the tissue pathology of children with autism. The goal of this presentation will be to provide an integration of multiple areas of study in the context of understanding ASD pathogenesis and implications of such information for treatment.

Mark Noble, PhD is one of the founders of the field of stem cell biology in the central nervous system (CNS), and has led pioneering research efforts in this field for over 25 years. His laboratory was the first to develop isolation and growth techniques for precursor cells of the CNS, and the first to carry out repair of CNS injury through transplantation of purified and ex vivo expanded precursor cells. His laboratory also carried out some of the leading studies on adult-specific precursor cells. During the past decade, Dr. Noble and his colleagues (Drs. Margot Mayer-Proschel and Dr. Chris Proschel) have been working to develop a comprehensive approach to the nascent field of stem cell medicine, and have opened up multiple new arenas of research. These include the analysis of developmental maladies as precursor cell diseases, the physiological control of precursor cell function, the discovery of broad general principles in toxicological research, the analysis of the biological basis of damage to the CNS induced by systemic chemotherapy, the discovery of means of killing cancer cells without killing normal cells of the body, the development of astrocyte transplantation therapy for treatment of spinal cord injury, along with multiple other topics. He is currently Professor of Genetics, Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Rochester and Director of the University of Rochester Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Institute.

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