The Bernier Lab is committed to advancing our understanding of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other related developmental disabilities. We focus on identifying and clarifying how autism develops, how the brain is involved, and how we can intervene to improve the quality of life for individuals and their families. To do this we collaborate with scientists near and far and employ approaches such as imaging, genetic sequencing, and behavioral assessment to ensure that we’re moving science forward as quickly as possible in the service of families.
For some studies we use a “genetics-first approach” by identifying rare genetic variants that are likely contributing to ASD and following up with in-depth and multi-faceted evaluations to understand the individual and the family. Following this methodology, we seek to identify meaningful subtypes of ASD in order to develop personalized interventions. For other studies we employ imaging techniques to provide a window into what is happening in the brain. And in other studies we focus on assessing the efficacy of treatments to understand how interventions can impact quality of life.“The cognitive assessment was undoubtedly the funnest and most thought-provoking aspect of the study.” Participant feedback 10/24/16 “All of the people I have interacted with have been so helpful and professional. I am also very pleased with response time when I have had a question! Thank you so much for using your time and resources to further autism research!” Participant feedback 9/23/16 “Everyone is friendly, respectful and considerate. The people that I interacted with during my participation from the study coordinators to the MRI team and clinician, they were friendly and considerate. Thus this made me feel comfortable and less nervous especially during the MRI scan.” Participant feedback 8/12/16 “Staff were very kind and accommodating to my kids. I appreciated the snacks provided to them for a long visit. Overall a good experience”. Participant feedback 3/16/16