Center for Children's Environmental Health

Project 2 - Immunologic Susceptibility

Project 2: Immunological Susceptibility of Autism


This project tests the hypothesis that autistic children have heightened susceptibility to environmental triggers because of defects in their immune systems. The project uses data from the CHARGE and MARBLES studies.

The goal of this project is to examine the effects of environmental chemicals on immune function in children with autism.  In addition, the center is working to identify the chemicals that cause autoimmune responses in both mothers and their children. When immune-compromising chemicals are identified, researchers bring back  participants of the CHARGE study to re-examine their exposures and immune system.

Project Leaders: Judith Van de Water, Ph.D., Paul Ashwood, Ph.D.