This past week, Bishop’s alumna Shafali Jeste, M.D. ’93 returned to the School as a Shaffer Family Foundation Endowed Science Lecture Series speaker. After graduating from Bishop’s, Dr. Jeste went on to become a behavioral child neurologist specializing in autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. She is also an assistant professor in psychiatry and neurology in the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and a lead investigator at the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment. Her talk “From Biomarkers to Targeted Treatments: Can We Reach the Goal of Precision Medicine for Autism Spectrum Disorders?” drew a record number of guests, filling the Geier Family Presentation Hall in the Michael & Marlene Teitelman Science Center.
After sharing fond memories of her time at Bishop’s, Dr. Jeste shared an overview of the autism research performed to date and summarized our knowledge of the disorder. She also explained her clinic’s involvement in a four-year, large-scale study of early predictors of autism, focusing on the integration of biomarkers with behavior to define atypical development prior to the onset of clinical symptoms. Specifically, Dr. Jeste is studying young children with Duq15q syndrome. She believes this project is the first step toward the promise of precision medicine for autism treatment.Watch Dr. Jeste’s presentation here.