Dr. Janine LaSalle, PhD

Janine Lasalle

Position Title
Deputy Director, Environmental Health Sciences Center


Janine LaSalle, Ph.D. is a Professor of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the role of epigenetics – the study of heritable changes in chromosomes that are not encoded in the DNA sequence– in human autism-spectrum disorders.

Her research at LaSalle lab is conducted in areas such as genomic imprinting, autism spectrum disorders, MeCP2, and biotechnology. Clinical applications include understanding the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), Rett syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Angelman syndrome.

Dr. LaSalle also works to identify links between environmental exposures and health outcomes directly or through interactions with genetics and epigenetics across generations, particularly in complex childhood disorders.

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Positions at UC Davis

Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine

Principal Investigator, The LaSalle Lab

Areas of Expertise

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Genetics
  • Genomic Imprinting
  • Biotechnology

Major Research Papers

Choudhary, P., Monasso, G.S., Karhunen, V. et al. Maternal educational attainment in pregnancy and epigenome-wide DNA methylation changes in the offspring from birth until adolescence. Mol Psychiatry (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-023-02331-5

Phipps, J.E., Whipps, M.D.M., D’Souza, I. et al. Pregnant in a Pandemic: Mental Wellbeing and Associated Healthy Behaviors Among Pregnant People in California During COVID-19. Matern Child Health J 27, 1254–1263 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-023-03657-w

Yu, P; Li, J; Deng, S P; Zhang, F; Grozdanov, P N; Chin, E W M; et al. (2023). Publisher Correction: Integrated analysis of a compendium of RNA-Seq datasets for splicing factors (Scientific Data, (2020), 7, 1, (178), 10.1038/s41597-020-0514-7). Deakin University. Journal contribution. https://hdl.handle.net/10779/DRO/DU:20695228.v1


Education and Degree(s)
  • BS, Biology, Randolph-Macon College, 1988
  • PhD, Immunology, Harvard University, 1993
Honors and Awards
  • Science Recognition Award, Clinical Immunology Society (1993)
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship (1993)
  • Student Award Recipient for Postdoctoral Basic Research, American Society of Human Genetics (1993)
  • Basil O’Connor Award, March of Dimes (1999)
  • Herbert and Esther Bennett Brandwein Award in Genetic Research (2011)