Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Laura Cho Rose Hills

Sex-Heterogeneous SNP Mediation of Psychiatric Comorbidity in ASD

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by repetitive behaviors, social communication deficits, and sensory processing difficulties. Highly heritable and male-biased, ASD is frequently comorbid with other psychiatric disorders, with 71% of ASD-affected children meeting criteria for a concurrent condition and 41% having 2 or more disorders. These attributes potentially implicate sex-interacting, heritable genetic variants in transdiagnostically manifesting psychiatric traits. I will investigate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with sex-differentiated effect size for ASD, and test for enrichment in association signal for 8 other psychiatric disorders, as compared to sex-homogeneous SNPs. I hypothesize that sex-heterogeneous SNPs for ASD have more overlap with risk variants for these disorders, potentially indicating a shared biological basis for sex differences and psychiatric illness. This may have predictive utility for disease status, and could potentially support treatment personalizations for psychiatric disorders.

Message To Sponsor

Thank you for your generous support of my research! This scholarship will aid me greatly in reaching a major milestone in my research journey. This will be a unique opportunity to hone my skills, gain confidence as a researcher, and delve deeply into my interest in the biological basis of psychiatric disorders.
Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
Mentor: Lauren Weiss
Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
Back to Listings
Back to Donor Reports