Pregnant mothers join search for causes of autism

What: Pregnant women and new mothers who already have one child with autism will join UC Davis researchers and officials from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as they announce funding of $7.5 million for UC Davis autism research. Part of the funding will go to a new autism study called MARBLES (Markers of Autism Risk in BabiesLearning Early Signs), which begins the search for causes and early markers for the disorder during pregnancy.

Who: . A participant in the pilot phase of MARBLES will talk about why she became involved in the study.

  • Irva Hertz-Picciotto, an expert on how environmental chemicals affect child development and MARBLES principal investigator, will share her inspiration for launching the study, insights from the pilot phase of the study, various assessments involved and expected outcomes.

  • Isaac Pessah, a molecular bioscientist and director of the UC Davis Center for Childrens Environmental Health, which sponsors MARBLES, will talk about the centers commitment to research that aims to discover the connections between environmental toxins and the onset of autism.

  • Wayne Nastri, regional administrator for U.S. EPA Region 9, and Cindy Lawler, health science administrator for the NIEHS, will discuss their ongoing funding for and collaboration with the center to fund unique autism research.

When: Wednesday, August 8, at 10 a.m. PDT.

Where: UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute auditorium, 2825 50th St., Sacramento. (Parking in adjacent lot 25 is free for vehicles displaying press credentials.) A map and directions are available online at http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mindinstitute/maps_directions/index.htm

Teleconference: Reporters outside of the area who are unable to attend can p

Contact: Karen Finney
University of California, Davis - Health System

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