Bright Nights Community Forum: Genetic Testing for Autism and Psychiatric Disorders in 2013: A Rapidly Moving Target

Tuesday November 12, 2013: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

For decades, family, twin and adoption studies have pointed to the involvement of heritable factors in psychiatric disorders. Research has shown, however, that the genetic basis of autism, depression, schizophrenia, and manic depression (bipolar disorder) is quite complex. Genetic changes can be found in cases with autism, schizophrenia and other developmental disorders that were not present in the parents

This complicated genetic architecture poses many challenges both for individuals and families who are struggling to understand and manage their disease, and for their clinicians. To provide greater understanding of our current state of knowledge on the links between genetics, autism and psychiatric disorders, the U-M Depression Center and AADL present this Bright Nights community forum.

Margit Burmeister, Ph.D., Research Professor in Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience Institute, Professor of Human Genetics and Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical School and Beverly M. Yashar, MS, CGC, PhD, Director, Genetic Counseling Graduate Training Program, and Associate Clinical Professor, Human Genetics, University of Michigan Medical School, will provide an overview presentation to explore scenarios in which this testing is “prime time,” and those where it has limited utility. This will be followed by questions from the audience and a discussion with expert panelists, including Mohammad Ghaziuddin, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic, U-M Medical School, and Donna M. Martin, M.D., Ph.D., the Donita B. Sullivan Research Professor in Pediatrics, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Human Genetics, U-M Medical School.

For more information on the Depression Center, visit their website at, or contact Trish Meyer, 763-7495, or