N of One is fortunate to have put together the leading autism microbiome scientific advisory board in the world:
Ellen Bolte holds the distinction of potentially making one the great discoveries about autism despite not have a formal science degree. In the late 1990s she observed her young, typically developing son rapidly descend into severe regressive autism and desperately sought answers. Because the regression followed multiple rounds of antibiotics given for an ear infection, Ellen reasoned that the events may be related.
She began studying medical literature and developed a hypothesis that the repeated antibiotics may have created an environment in her son's GI tract that allowed for certain pathogenic species to develop. Since certain species of clostridia were know to produce toxins (e.g., botulism, tetanus) she looked for antibiotics know to be effective against that species. She took her theory to many doctors, who were either dismissive or unwilling to take her theories until she finally found a gastroenterologist who joined the investigation. When Sandler prescribed vancomycin, her sons autism symptoms rapidly improved. The finding served as the basis for a clinical trial at Chicago Rush Children's Hospital that was eventually published in 2000. After the trial Ellen worked in Dr. Sid Finegold's lab, a leader in the field of infectious disease at UCLA Medical School.