Judy Van de Water, Ph.D. Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, University of California, Davis, and UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute.
Dr. Van de Water’s laboratory pursues research programs pertaining to autoimmune and clinical immune-based disorders including the biological aspects of autism spectrum disorders. The application of Dr. Van de Water’s immunopathology background has been instrumental in the dissection of the immune anomalies noted in some individuals with autism, and in the differentiation of various autism behavioral phenotypes at a biological level. Dr. Van de Water is currently the Director of the NIEHS funded Center for Children’s Environmental Health at UC Davis, investigating potential environmental risk factors contributing to the incidence and severity of childhood autism. In addition, Dr. Van de Water is the co-director of the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Center. This presentation will address the maternal immune system as it relates to neurodevelopment, maternal autoantibodies to fetal brain proteins and their potential role in ASD, and how these factors might be used as early biomarkers to detect autism risk.