(1) Blood leukocyte gene expression base early diagnostic for Autism – Nathan Lewis, Eric Couchesne
In this project we are examining leukocyte RNAseq data collected from toddles evaluated at the Autism Center for Excellence. Subjects have had a comprehensive range of behavior phenotyping over the first several years of life. We hope to uncover the intrinsic dimensiality of the behavior-space defining Autism. We will create an informative diagnostic and prognostic tool for Autiqm by associating those composite behaviors with gene group regulation.
(2) Human Milk Oligosaccharide (HMO) composition in relation to risk of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) – Nathan Lewis, Lars Bode
A follow up on findings showing the mitigation of NEC in a mouse model after administration of combined HMO as well as a single HMO: DSLNT. We found that consecutive depletion of DSLNT in the mother’s milk was correlated with NEC onset in the infant. This finding is consistent with the pre-clinical rat model suggesting that DSLNT provides a significant protective effect for preterm infants from NEC. The project will continue with the prediction of HMO biosynthesis pathways from gene expression data and the examination of microbiome contributions to NEC onset.