Thomas Bourgeron - Biography#

Thomas Bourgeron published the world’s first papers on single gene mutations associated with autism. His laboratory’s seminal discoveries of NLGN3, NLGN4X and SHANK3 mutations framed autism as a collection of rare diseases converging on the synapse. His work convinced the research community to focus on rare single gene mutations as causes of autism. His present research is focused on the interplay between common and rare variants in neurodevelopmental disorders. His approach combines whole genome sequencing with brain imaging, induced pluripotent stem cells and in depth clinical evaluations. He is the Principal Investigator of the genetic work package for the EU-AIMS, the largest European project dedicated to translational research on autism. His multidisciplinary group made of geneticists, neurobiologists and clinicians aims to provide knowledge-based discoveries for a better diagnostic, care and integration of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Having begun his research career investigating mitochondrial respiratory chain in neurological diseases, Thomas Bourgeron moved to the Institut Pasteur in Paris in 1996 to pursue his interests in autism. In 2008 he became the Director of the Unit on Human Genetics and Cognitive Functions in the Neuroscience Department of the Institut Pasteur. In May 2013 he chaired the program committee for the highly successful International Meeting for Autism Research in Spain. His pioneering achievements in neurogenetics have received numerous accolades, including the Vallery Rodot award in 2008, the Lacassagne award in 2007, the Jean Bernard award in 2007, and the French Academy of Sciences award for biological discoveries in 2007. He is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), and a recipient of the 2005 European Neuroscience Institutes Young Investigator award. In 2014, he was elected at the French Academy of Sciences. In 2015, he will receive the Neuronal Plasticity Prize from the IPSEN fondation.
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