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The Hock E. Tan and K. Lisa Yang Center for
Autism Research at Harvard University

The Hock E. Tan and K. Lisa Yang Center for Autism Research at Harvard University was launched in 2019, with the aim of better understanding the neurobiological basis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is led by Michael E. Greenberg, a world leader in molecular neuroscience with a longstanding interest in neurodevelopmental disorders.

The Tan-Yang Center leverages talent from different parts of the Harvard community—uniting scientists at Harvard Medical School, the undergraduate campus in Cambridge and our affiliated hospitals—all of whom have a deep knowledge of the biological basis of brain development and function and are investigating how these processes might be altered in ASD. Currently configured in two teams with four laboratories each, the researchers are probing the molecular and circuit-level basis of ASD—with one team focused on genetic variations linked to autism and their impact on brain development, and the other on sensory experiences that shape social behaviors relevant to autism.

The Tan-Yang Center at Harvard was established with a $20 million gift from philanthropists Lisa Yang and Hock Tan, MBA ’79. It is partnered with the Hock E. Tan and K. Lisa Yang Center for Autism Research at MIT. The two centers share a common scientific advisory board and will have joint symposia to facilitate the sharing of research findings and technologies across institutions on a regular basis.

Hock Tan, MBA

Left: Philanthropist Hock E. Tan, MBA ’79. (Courtesy of Hock E. Tan)

Professor Mike Greenberg, Lisa Yang, and Dean George Daley

Above: Professor Michael Greenberg, Philanthropist K. Lisa Yang, HMS Dean George Q. Daley. (Kris Snibbe/Harvard University)

To learn more about the Tan-Yang Center’s launch, read the Harvard Medicine news article “Solving the Mystery of Autism”.

To receive general updates about neuroscience news and events at Harvard, join the Harvard Brain Science Initiative mailing list. (You may specify “Autism Center” as an interest to only receive mailings about the Tan-Yang Center.)

To contact us, please email TanYangAutismCenter@hms.harvard.edu.

Many other scientists at Harvard and its affiliated hospitals are also conducting autism research. Please search our scientist directory to learn more.

Banner image: Cross section of colon tissue. (Green: spinal afferent axons; Red: blood vessels; Blue: stem cell niche for colon crypts; White: DAPI).  Image taken by Herriet Hsieh, lab of Lauren Orefice.