Michael Fox presented on collagen mutations that may contribute to autism

Michael Fox, Ph.D.

Michael Fox, Ph.D.

Michael Fox, an associate professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, recently gave a talk at a meeting of the Virginia Blue Ridge Section of the American Chemical Society. His lecture, “The Neurochemical Basis of Autism and Novel Mechanisms Underlying Synapse Formation,” focused on genetic mutations that are linked to autism spectrum disorders and that affect the formation of synapses in the mammalian brain.

Several studies have revealed novel roles for unconventional collagens in the organization of brain synapses and suggest that a mutation of one specific collagen may contribute to autism spectrum disorders. Moreover, a mutation of that same collagen has also been linked to Knobloch syndrome, a rare disease that affects the development of several organs, including the brain.