Paul Ashwood, Ph.D.

M.I.N.D. Institute
2805 Wet Lab Building
Sacramento Campus

The etiology of autism is unknown in the majority of cases and most likely involves a complex interplay of both genetic and environmental factors. Among these factors, differences in immune genetics and immune function have consistently been reported in autism. Dr Ashwood’s laboratory has developed a primary focus on understanding the immunological underpinnings of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, Fragile X syndrome, Tourette’s syndrome, schizophrenia and mood disorders. Much of his current work is directed at characterizing the role of the immune system, behavior, and gut-brain axis in autism.

Differential Macrophage Responses in Affective Versus Non-Affective First-Episode Psychosis Patients. Hughes HK, Mills-Ko E, Yang H, Lesh TA, Carter CS, Ashwood P., Front Cell Neurosci. 2021 Feb 24;15:583351. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2021.583351. eCollection 2021., PMID: 33716670

Plasma and Fecal Metabolite Profiles in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Needham BD, Adame MD, Serena G, Rose DR, Preston GM, Conrad MC, Campbell AS, Donabedian DH, Fasano A, Ashwood P, Mazmanian SK., Biol Psychiatry. 2021 Mar 1;89(5):451-462. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2020.09.025. Epub 2020 Oct 10. PMID: 33342544

Maternal immune conditions are increased in males with autism spectrum disorders and are associated with behavioural and emotional but not cognitive co-morbidity. Patel S, Dale RC, Rose D, Heath B, Nordahl CW, Rogers S, Guastella AJ, Ashwood P. Transl Psychiatry. 2020 Aug 14;10(1):286. doi: 10.1038/s41398-020-00976-2. PMID: 32796821

Developmental-behavioral profiles in children with autism spectrum disorder and co-occurring gastrointestinal symptoms. Restrepo B, Angkustsiri K, Taylor SL, Rogers SJ, Cabral J, Heath B, Hechtman A, Solomon M, Ashwood P, Amaral DG, Nordahl CW. Autism Res. 2020 Oct;13(10):1778-1789. doi: 10.1002/aur.2354. Epub 2020 Aug 6.

  • Mentoring Award, UC Davis, 2020
  • 3 of the Top 10 cited articles Brain Behavior and Immunity, 2016
  • Top 10 most innovative people in Autism Spectrum Disorder research, Masters in Special Education Program, 2014
  • Autism Speaks Foundation Bob and Suzanne Wright Trailblazer award, 2011
  • National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), Young Investigator award, 2011
  • Autism Science Achievement of the last decade, Autism Speaks Foundation, 2010