Welcome to Sanders Lab at UCSF

The Sanders Lab aims to identify the etiology of developmental disorders through the discovery of genetic risk factors. Over the past few years there has been rapid progress in identifying the genes that play a role in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We aim to leverage these findings to build a more complete understanding of ASD and to extend this approach to other human disorders, including congenital malformations.

There are five main areas of research:

  1. Gene discovery: Genomic analysis of DNA using high-throughput sequencing to identify genes associated with human disorders
  2. Understanding the noncoding genome: Using whole-genome sequencing to identify the elements of the noncoding genome that contribute to ASD
  3. The role of SCN2A in human disorders: SCN2A mutations are one of the most common causes of ASD; we aim to understand how this risk is mediated with the view to developing therapeutics
  4. Understanding neurodevelopment: Leveraging functional genomic data to understand physiological brain development and the pathology associated with neuropsychiatric disorders
  5. Sex bias in ASD: Identifying genes and gene networks that lead to the preponderance of males diagnosed with ASD

Technologies and methods

The Sanders Lab is primarily a bioinformatic group that uses a wide range of genomic, bioinformatic, and statistical methods including: whole-exome sequencing, whole-genome sequencing, de novo mutation detection, RNA-Seq, and ChIP-Seq.

Collaborators

We work with closely with numerous collaborators, including the State Lab and Bender Lab at UCSF, the Devlin Lab at UPMC, the Roeder Lab at Carnegie Mellon, the Sestan Lab, and the Talkowski lab at Harvard.

Joining Sanders Lab

If you are interested in joining please go to the recruitment page.

Funding

We are grateful for funding from the National Institute of Mental Health and the The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative, the Autism Science Foundation, and the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

News

May 29th 2018

Donna presents the lab’s recent work, 'Analytical Framework for WGS and its Implications for ASD' at the PGC Statistical Genetics Group online meeting.

May 9th 2018

Stephan, Donna, Brooke and Joon travel to Rotterdam, Netherlands, to share our latest work at INSAR 2018.

May 7th 2018

Donna and Joon’s latest works highlighted in Autism Science Foundation Podcast.

April 27th 2018

New paper! Werling et al. 2018 published in Nature Genetics in collaboration with the Autism Sequencing Consortium.

April 12th 2017

Stephan with Kevin Bender (UCSF) talk about 'The genetics and physiology of SCN2A in autism and early-onset seizures' at the Simons VIP Connect.

Nov 30th 2016

Donna talks about 'The Role of Sex-Differential Biology in Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder' at the SFARI Webinar Series.

April 21th 2016

Stephan talks about 'The Genetics of Autism' at the University of California Television.

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