NEWS | January 25, 2012

Using iPS Cells and mouse models to study autism the topic of February MIND lecture


Ricardo Dolmetsch, a professor of neurobiology at Stanford University, will discuss "Using iPS Cells and Mouse Models to Study Autism" during the next UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series presentation.

The lecture will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 8, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the MIND Institute auditorium at 2825 50th St., Sacramento. It is free and open to the public and no reservations are required.

Dolmetsch's research is devoted to understanding the underlying neurobiology of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. He is particularly interested in how electrical activity and calcium signals control the development of the brain and how this is altered in children with autism spectrum disorders.

He and his team are developing new tools to study and repair the developing brain.  This includes pioneering work in preparing induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from individuals with autism, and the development of mouse and fly models of autism.

A native of Colombia, Dolmetsch received his graduate degree in neurobiology from Stanford University and postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School. He has received numerous awards for his work including the Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award in 2007 and the NIH Director's Pioneer Award in 2008.

Other Distinguished Lecturer Series speakers will include Joel T. Nigg of the Oregon Health and Science University, who will speak on "ADHD Causes and Mechanisms" on March 14; F. Xavier Castellanos of New York University, who will discuss "The Restless Brain: Spontaneous brain fluctuations and increased variability in ADHD" on April 11; Steven F. Maier of the University of Colorado, who will speak on "The Role of Hippocampal Microglia in Age-Related Cognitive Decline" on May  9 (new date); and Judith H. Miles of the University of Missouri, who will close this year's series with a talk on "Delineation of Etiological Subgroups within the Autism Diagnosis" on June 13.

All Distinguished Lecturer Series presentations are free and open to the public, with no reservations required. The MIND Institute Resource Center, specializing in information and resources relating to neurodevelopmental disorders and related conditions, is open one hour before and 30 minutes after each presentation.

The UC Davis MIND Institute, in Sacramento, Calif., was founded in 1998 as a unique interdisciplinary research center where parents, community leaders, researchers, clinicians and volunteers collaborate to study and treat autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. The institute has major research efforts in autism, Tourette syndrome, fragile X syndrome, chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). More information about the institute, including previous presentations in its Distinguished Lecture Series, is available on the web at