The role of microglia in neurodevelopmental disorders

Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) impact 7 to 14 percent of all children in developed countries. NDDs are incredibility heterogeneous and are caused by a complex interaction of genetic and environmental risk factors. One of the most consistent findings across NDDs is altered immune function, but it is unclear if neuroinflammation is a cause or consequence of brain pathology. My laboratory will directly test for causality and identify the optimal mechanisms and timepoints for immune based interventions in NDDs. Targets and compounds that impact microglia, the main immune cell in the brain, have immense potential for treating a broad range of NDDs.