Mark Bear, the Picower Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will lecture at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 9 a.m. in Science Center 214.
The title of Bear’s lecture is “A Path from Genes to Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders.” The public is invited.
Bear will address how research in his lab (and others) has led to an understanding of how the function of several genes may contribute to autism spectrum disorders. This research, much of which has been conducted using animal models of autism and related disorders, is being translated into pharmaceutical treatments that may help to improve neurobehavioral function in humans who suffer from autism spectrum disorders.
Bear co-authored a textbook, “Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain,” in 2006. He also is the author or co-author of over 145 papers, including “Chronic pharmacological mGlu5 inhibition corrects fragile x in adult mice” (Neuron, 2012), “The pathophysiology of fragile X (and what it teaches us about synapse)” (Annual Review of Neuroscience, 2012) and “Mutations causing syndromic autism define an axis of synaptic pathophysiology” (Nature, 2011). He is the author or co-author of 25 book chapters and holds six U.S. patents.
An investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Bear has received many awards, including the Ray Fuller Award from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in 2012 and the Pioneer Award from FRAXA Research Foundation in 2011.
Bear's appearance at W&L is the result of an invitation issued by a Washington and Lee student. Last year, Charlotte Magee, of the Class of 2015, was using Bear’s neuroscience textbook in a neurology class. After discovering that Bear’s daughter, Kendall, is a riding coach at W&L, Magee sent him the invitation.