Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Psychiatry
PhD, Neuroscience, University of California, Los Angeles
BS, Psychology, Duke University (2008)
As a postdoctoral scholar in both the State and Sanders labs, Donna’s research is focused on the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. Using a combination of human genetics and functional genomics approaches, she is working to identify genetic risk variants for these conditions and investigating how the identified variants interact with other, non-genetic biological risk factors. In particular, Donna is interested in how sexually dimorphic biology contributes to sex-differential prevalence or presentation of autism.
By identifying risk variants and integrating them with previously implicated genes, molecular pathways, neurodevelopmental processes, and contributing factors such as sex, Donna aims to advance understanding of the risk architecture for developmental disorders and to facilitate the development of targeted treatments.