Biomarker Discovery in Autism Spectrum Disorder


This research study is aimed at better understanding the biological mechanisms underlying autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A first step towards this process would be development of an easily and reliably measurable biomarker, which requires an understanding of the common elements underlying ASD biology. In the proposed research, we aim to make rapid progress toward identifying a blood biomarker for ASD. If a reliable biomarker for a significant percentage of ASD individuals can be ascertained, it would hold promise for early diagnosis, before the behavioral deficits are reliably detected. Identification of a robust biomarker would also allow investigators and pharmaceutical companies to use this as a supplemental measure for response to treatment.

What is involved?

  • Blood draw
  • In-person testing
  • Questionnaires completed at home
  • A total of 2-4 hours of participating

Who can participate?

  • Children aged 1+, both affected individuals and healthy controls
    • Affected participants:
      • Diagnosis of ASD or developmental delay, or a younger sibling of someone with either of these diagnoses
      • We prefer parents and siblings of affected participants to participate, if possible. 
    • Control participants:
      • No significant diagnoses. 
  • Must be available to travel to UCSF Mission Bay for the study procedures. 

How to participate?

  • Complete the following web-based Initial Interest Intake form (Autism Patient)
  • Complete the following web-based Initial Interest Intake form (Control Patient)
  • Once completed, a research coodinator will contact you to review eligibility requirements and enrollment procedures.
  • You can also contact the study team directly: (415) 502-8039,

As of January 2021, our ASD research study is currently on hold due to COVID-19 regulations as we are unable to collect potentially infected samples. If you are interested in participating in this study in the future, you may still complete our intake form and our lab will reach out once the study has restarted.