Frank R. Sharp - IDDRC Investigator

Frank R. Sharp, M.D.

Professor, Department of Neurology, UC Davis School of Medicine
UC Davis MIND Institute
2805 50th Street, Room 2416
Sacramento, CA 95817

Phone: 916-703-0368 / Fax: 916-703-0369

Areas of Interest

Autism, Tourette Syndrome, Genomics, Alternative Splicing, MicroRNA


Frank Sharp is interested in genomic responses in neurodevelopmental disorders. Recent studies have included examining gene expression in the blood of children with autism spectrum disorders using both exon junction arrays and RNAseq approaches. The lab has discovered differential alternative splicing in blood of children with autism that is similar to that described recently for ASD brain. In addition, the group has shown that the differential alternative splicing in blood of children with ASD is different from children with Tourette syndrome with various co-morbidities including ADHD and OCD. Current work includes collaborating with a Dutch group on RNAseq for ADHD and OCD comorbid states in individuals with Tourette syndrome. The Sharp lab has also begun collaborating with Dr. Cyndi Schuman at the MIND on examining microRNA and eventually mRNA expression in brain of subjects with ASD compared to controls. Results to date suggest region specific changes of miRNA in brains of ASD compared to controls, and changes can occur in primary sensory cortex as well as in association cortex as expected.

Current IDDRC Projects

  • Alternative Splicing in Blood of Children with autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Childrens Miracle Network, UC Davis (Frank Sharp PI)
  • Environmental Factors in the Etiology of Autism, NIEHS Center for Children’s Environmental Health, NIH (Judy Van DeWater PI)
  • Typical and Pathological Growth Trajectories of the Human Amygdaloid Complex. NIMH / NIH (Cyndi Schumann PI)

Recent Representative Publications

Stamova BS, Tian Y, Nordahl CW, Shen MD, Rogers S, Amaral DG, Sharp FR (2013). Evidence for differential alternative splicing in blood of young boys with autism spectrum disorders. Molecular Autism. Sep 4; 4(1):30. doi: 10.1186/2040-2392-4-30

Lit L, Sharp FR, Bertoglio K, Stamova B, Ander BP, Sossong AD, Hendren RL (2012) Gene expression in blood is associated with risperidone response in children with autism spectrum disorders. Pharmacogenomics J. Oct;12(5):368-71. PMID: 21647175

Stamova B, Green PG, Tian Y, Hertz-Picciotto I, Pessah IN, Hansen R, Yang X, Teng J, Gregg JP, Ashwood P, Van de Water J, Sharp FR (2011) Correlations Between Gene Expression and Mercury Levels in Blood of Boys With and Without Autism. Neurotox Res. 2011 Jan;19(1):31-48. Epub 2009 Nov 24. PMID: 19937285

Tian Y, Stamova B, Green PG, Hertz-Picciotto I, Pessah IN, Hansen R, Yang X, Gregg JP, Ashwood P, Jickling G, Van de Water J, Sharp FR (2011) Correlations of Gene Expression with Blood Lead Levels in Children with Autism Compared to Typically Developing Controls Neurotox Res. 2011 Jan;19(1):1-13. Epub 2009 Nov 17. PMID: 19921347

Enstrom AM, Lit L, Onore CE, Gregg JP, Hansen RL, Pessah IN, Hertz-Picciotto I, Van de Water JA, Sharp FR, Ashwood P (2009) Altered gene expression and function of peripheral blood natural killer cells in children with autism. Brain Behav Immun. 2009 Jan;23(1):124-33. Epub 2008 Aug 14

Gregg JP, Lit L, Baron CA, Hertz-Picciotto I, Walker W, Davis RA, Croen LA, Ozonoff S, Hansen R, Pessah IN, Sharp FR (2008) Gene expression changes in children with autism. Genomics Jan;91(1):22-9. Epub 2007 Nov 14

Corbett BA, Kantor AB, Schulman H, Walker WL, Lit L, Ashwood P, Rocke DM, Sharp FR (2007) A proteomic study of serum from children with autism showing differential expression of apolipoproteins and complement proteins. Mol Psychiatry. 2007 Mar;12(3):292-306. Epub 2006 Dec 26