Lauren Weiss, PhD

Professor
Department of Psychiatry
+1 415 476-7650
Research Description: 

My laboratory focuses on understanding the genetic architecture of autism. We are working with genome-wide genetic data to identify additional susceptibility loci, the genetic mechanisms by which DNA variants influence autism risk, and the genetic and physiological pathways these risk loci implicate. We can use rich genetic datasets to ask questions about the role for copy number vs. SNP variation, rare vs. common variation, gene-sex interaction, gene-gene interaction, and gene-environment interaction.

We are also using human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) models to study known mutations or copy number variants predisposing to autism. We will first identify the effects of genetic risk variants and then be able to ascertain whether the effects of genetic risk can be modified at the cellular level by environmental or pharmacological agents. These models will be used to test hypotheses emerging from our genetic datasets.

Our long term goals are to use genetic tools to improve understanding, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of autism and related traits.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Human Genetics
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Neurobiology
Research Summary: 
The genetics of autism

Websites

Featured Publications: 

Cross-genetic determination of maternal and neonatal immune mediators during pregnancy.

Genome medicine

Traglia M, Croen LA, Jones KL, Heuer LS, Yolken R, Kharrazi M, DeLorenze GN, Ashwood P, Van de Water J, Weiss LA

RASopathies are associated with a distinct personality profile.

American journal of medical genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric genetics : the official publication of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics

Bizaoui V, Gage J, Brar R, Rauen KA, Weiss LA

Cellular Phenotypes in Human iPSC-Derived Neurons from a Genetic Model of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Cell reports

Deshpande A, Yadav S, Dao DQ, Wu ZY, Hokanson KC, Cahill MK, Wiita AP, Jan YN, Ullian EM, Weiss LA

Patient-derived iPSCs show premature neural differentiation and neuron type-specific phenotypes relevant to neurodevelopment.

Molecular psychiatry

Yeh E, Dao DQ, Wu ZY, Kandalam SM, Camacho FM, Tom C, Zhang W, Krencik R, Rauen KA, Ullian EM, Weiss LA

Genetic Mechanisms Leading to Sex Differences Across Common Diseases and Anthropometric Traits.

Genetics

Traglia M, Bseiso D, Gusev A, Adviento B, Park DS, Mefford JA, Zaitlen N, Weiss LA

Reverse Pathway Genetic Approach Identifies Epistasis in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

PLoS genetics

Mitra I, Lavillaureix A, Yeh E, Traglia M, Tsang K, Bearden CE, Rauen KA, Weiss LA

Independent Maternal and Fetal Genetic Effects on Midgestational Circulating Levels of Environmental Pollutants.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.)

Traglia M, Croen LA, Lyall K, Windham GC, Kharrazi M, DeLorenze GN, Torres AR, Weiss LA

Pleiotropic Mechanisms Indicated for Sex Differences in Autism.

PLoS genetics

Mitra I, Tsang K, Ladd-Acosta C, Croen LA, Aldinger KA, Hendren RL, Traglia M, Lavillaureix A, Zaitlen N, Oldham MC, Levitt P, Nelson S, Amaral DG, Herz-Picciotto I, Fallin MD, Weiss LA

Increased female autosomal burden of rare copy number variants in human populations and in autism families.

Molecular psychiatry

Desachy G, Croen LA, Torres AR, Kharrazi M, Delorenze GN, Windham GC, Yoshida CK, Weiss LA

Autism traits in the RASopathies.

Journal of medical genetics

Adviento B, Corbin IL, Widjaja F, Desachy G, Enrique N, Rosser T, Risi S, Marco EJ, Hendren RL, Bearden CE, Rauen KA, Weiss LA