Dr. Pinto-Martin received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her MPH and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health. She serves as the Director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Public Health Initiatives and Penn's Masters of Public Health Program. Dr. Pinto-Martin began her career as an epidemiologist working on the Neonatal Brain Hemorrhage (NBH) Study, a longitudinal study of brain injury in low birth weight infants, which had continuous NIH support from 1984 through 2010 and conducted five separate assessments of the cohort. Dr. Pinto-Martin's current research focus is the epidemiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and her most recent NIH grant assessed the prevalence of ASD in the NBH cohort. The results, recently published in Pediatrics, report a 5-fold increase in the rate of ASD among those born preterm. Dr. Pinto-Martin is the Principal Investigator of the Pennsylvania Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology (PA-CADDRE), one of six such centers funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the prevalence and etiology of ASD. PA-CADDRE is currently in the midst of data collection for the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED), a multi-site, case-control study of the risk factors associated with ASD.
Our understanding of the prevalence of ASD and risk factors contributing to it have advanced considerably in the last decade. In this lecture, Dr. Pinto-Martin will highlight the Centers for Disease Control data on the rise in prevalence and discuss the factors contributing to the rise. She will also review the key research findings on non-genetic contribution to risk.
This lecture is intended for families of individuals with an autism spectrum disorder and for professionals supporting individuals on the autism spectrum. We also invite anyone who is interested in learning more about ASD.
Upon completion of this lecture, participants will be able to:
- Discuss data on prevalence of ASD and factors contributing to its rise over that last decade.
- Explain how disease prevalence can be affected by change in the risk of acquiring the disease as well as change in awareness and ascertainment of the disease.
- Discuss some of the latest findings on risk for ASD such as parental age, immune disorders and pregnancy and labor and delivery factors.