Pathways to New Treatments in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Pathways to New Treatments in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is increasingly recognized as a common disorder that usually leads to life-long difficulties, with no current treatments that are based on the underlying neurobiology. Emerging genetic findings in ASD point to opportunities to develop treatments in small subgroups of children, each less than 1% of the ASD population, who share common genetic risk that can be studied in cellular or animal models. Parallel emerging neuroscience findings suggest brain systems that underlie social and repetitive behavior across species and could provide opportunities for treatments that benefit a larger group of children with ASD but likely have a smaller impact. Dr. Veenstra-VanderWeele will discuss examples of these opportunities, as well as challenges, to develop new treatments in ASD.

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Presented by 
Jeremy M. Veenstra-VanderWeele, M.D.
Jeremy M. Veenstra-VanderWeele, M.D.
Columbia University

Division Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Professor of Psychiatry

Scientific Council Member (Joined 2017)

2010 Young Investigator Grant


Dr. Veenstra-VanderWeele is the Mortimer D. Sackler, MD, Professor, and Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who uses molecular and translational neuroscience research tools in the pursuit of new treatments for autism spectrum disorder and pediatric obsessive compulsive disorder. His molecular laboratory focuses on the serotonin transporter and neuronal glutamate transporter in genetic mouse models with abnormal social or compulsive-like behavior. His translational research program at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Center for Autism and the Developing Brain studies potential treatments for autism spectrum disorder and related genetic syndromes. Dr. Veenstra-VanderWeele’s work has been recognized with a number of awards, including the Blanche Ittelson Award for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from the American Psychiatric Association.

Moderated by 
Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

President and CEO


Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., serves as the President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the largest private funder of mental health research grants. Dr. Borenstein developed the Emmy-nominated public television program “Healthy Minds,” and serves as host and executive producer of the series. The program, broadcast nationwide, is available online, and focuses on topics in psychiatry in order to educate the public, reduce stigma and offer a message of hope. Dr. Borenstein also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Psychiatric News, the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Borenstein is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and serves as the Chair of the Section of Psychiatry at the Academy. He also has served as the President of the New York State Psychiatric Association. Dr. Borenstein earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard and his medical degree at New York University.