Research

The Genetics of Autism: For Some Families, An Explanation At Last

Professor Eric Morrow spends his working life doing very different things. One day, Professor Morrow—to be precise, assistant professor of both biology and psychiatry, member of the Brown Institute for Brain Science (BIBS), and director of the Developmental Disorders Genetics Research Program at Brown and Bradley Children’s Hospital—might be in a biochemistry lab. He’ll be peering at cell samples, or running a white machine that looks like a dorm fridge but can sequence an entire human genome in a matter of days. His research is helping cement the recent understanding that about 15% of autism cases can be tied directly back to DNA. It lands him big grants and frequent publications in peer-reviewed journals.