MAC Panel

Biomedical Approaches to Autism 


On Saturday, May 5, 2018, the Marin Autism Collaborative hosted “Biomedical Approaches to Autism featuring Dr. Robert Hendren of UCSF” at the Buck Institute in Novato. Dr. Hendren is a Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science; Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at UCSF, the Co-Director of the UCSF Dyslexia Center, the Director of the Program for Research on Neurodevelopmental and Translational Outcomes (PRONTO) and attending psychiatrist at the STAR Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders Program. His current areas of research and publication interests are translational interventional outcomes research including clinical pharmacology, nutraceutical and nutritional trials using biomarkers to enhance resilience in neurodevelopmental disorders.

The panelists who spoke are stars in their field. Julie Andersen, PhD of the Buck Institute, is a renowned expert on age-related neurodegenerative disease and is pursuing a wide array of leads toward treatments for complex disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Julie is also the parent of a child on the spectrum. Dr. David Traver, M.D. is a pediatrician specializing in treatment of autism spectrum disorders. His practice focuses on the testing and treatment of biological and medical conditions associated with ASD. Dan Swearingen is co-founder of Autistry Studios, a Marin County nonprofit program that promotes the growth of independence for those on the autism spectrum. He is on the spectrum himself and has a son with autism and has years of experience with dietary approaches to autism.

In the audience were families, scientists, nurses, and people on the autism spectrum ready to learn about biomedical approaches to autism. Dr. Hendren spoke about his research in interventional treatments on epigenetic processes, which are increasingly demonstrated to have a role in the gene x environment interactions that underline the development of Nutrition Deficit Disorder in those on the autism spectrum. To supplement this research, the three panelists spoke of their experiences with people on the autism spectrum and how various treatments and diets were used on their patients.

Thank you to all who attended and we look forward to putting on more informational events for our community.