BABS ARC DECRA Fellow Leads Breakthrough Autism Study


Senior Lecturer and current DECRA Fellow Dr Irina Voineagu is lead author on a paper just published in Nature Neuroscience that reports their newly discovered link between autism and genetic changes in some segments of DNA responsible for switching on genes in the brain.

The project is the first in the world to investigate how the activity of enhancers and genes are coordinated in the human brain, and the first to show that brain enhancers are linked to autism. The work has produced a unique resource on gene function in the human brain that could help reveal the basis of autism and related neurological disorders.

Four co-authors are from Irina’s lab, Pu Yao, Peijie Lin, Akira Gokoolparsadh and Amelia Assareh, and one is a collaborator from UQ.

Media coverage includes Science Daily, the UNSW newsroom as well as the Faculty of Science news site.