Exploring the Contributions of Astrocytes to the Development of Autism Spectrum Disorder – $25,000.00

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has increased at alarming rates over the last two decades, and it is now estimated that one in every 68 children in the U.S. will develop autism. Evidence indicates that dysfunctional astrocyte responses can lead to impaired neurodevelopment and recent studies also demonstrate aberrant astrocyte reactivity in autistic patients. For this collaborative grant, the Robel lab’s expertise in astrocyte biology and the Lukens lab’s experience in immunology will be combined to break new ground in our understanding of how the immune system modulates astrocyte function during neurodevelopment and to identify the role of astrocytes in ASD.

Dr. Stefanie Robel
Assistant Professor of the Carilion Research Institute

Dr. John Lukens
Assistant Professor of Research, Neuroscience