At no point is the interaction between genes and environment more critical than during development, when even minor chemical disturbances can have profound, long-term effects on the brain. With over 80,000 compounds registered for use in the U.S., and with genetic complexity, interdisciplinary efforts are needed to address the gene-environment connection in autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
The Marino Autism Research Institute Scientific Symposium was held at Vanderbilt University on April 22, 2008 to provide researchers with a platform to discuss the role of environment in increasing autism risk and impact on the diversity of behavioral and medical symptoms.
Founded in 2006, the Marino Autism Research Institute (MARI) is a virtual institute, which fosters innovative, collaborative research endeavors among investigators. MARI currently funds investigators at Vanderbilt University and University of Miami.