Daria Prilutsky is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and the Computational Health Informatics Program at Boston Children's Hospital. Dr. Prilutsky's work focuses on understanding molecular mechanisms of autism, focusing on a crosstalk between central nervous and immune systems and applying various computational approaches to analyze large-scale data sources. More specifically, Dr. Prilutsky is interested in development and application of robust molecular assays and computational algorithms to characterize biological systems and in vitro cellular models for diagnostic and prognostic purposes.

Current projects include:

  1. The transcriptome as a robust characterization tool of cellular models of autism: Recent focus of her work has been to investigate whether novel computational methods of characterizing the transcriptome of primary tissue and derived cells provide an accurate way of characterizing the functional state of these cells and phenotype prediction.  We have demonstrated that the transcriptome of iPSC-derived neurons may represent a stable phenotype that can help identify pathways and mechanisms involved in disease. The application of this approach was validated in study of Fragile X mouse model, in which gene expression signatures in primary cultures were compared to those in the whole tissue from diseased and normal animals.
  2. Genomic variation and its clinical impact:  developing and interpreting a pathway-level analysis of rare genomic variants in autism, and studying the influence of genomic variation on clinical manifestation of disease.
  3. Predictive model of response to treatment in autism: the focus is to study transcriptional changes in blood from patients with autism during the drug administration time course. This project is focusing on integrative analysis of clinical, genomic and transcriptomic data.
  4. Dysregulation of the immune system in autism: the focus is to study dysregulation of innate immunity in autism and divergent phenotypes of phagocytic cells in the brain (microglia) and the periphery (macrophages).