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Autism Speaks announces 2014 Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellows
Date:3/18/2014

"http://www.autismspeaks.org/node/123021">mechanism plays in the brain biology of autism. Neurobiologist Schahram Akbarian, a pioneer in the field of autism epigenetics, will serve as Dincer's mentor.

  • Emma Strong (University of Toronto) will investigate the role of DNA methylation in the development of Williams syndrome and 7q11.23 duplication syndrome two genetic causes of autism. She will be testing the hypothesis that deletion or duplication of the genes involved in these syndromes alters epigenetic control of gene activity in ways that produce autism symptoms. This work has the potential to identify new pathways involved in the development of autism and could be a first step toward tailored treatments. Strong will work in the laboratory of developmental geneticist Lucy Osborne.

  • Laura Sciarra (Brown University) will investigate endosomal sodium-proton exchangers a cellular mechanism newly implicated in autism. This cellular pathway may contribute to problematic connections between brain nerve cells. As such, it may prove to be an important new treatment target. Sciarra's mentor, Eric Morrow, is at the forefront of developing genetic methods that improve the diagnosis and treatment of autism.

  • Rebecca Burger-Caplan (Emory University) will examine how a baby's early attention to a speaker's mouth relates to the development of language. Her research will include both typically developing babies and those with autism.
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  • Contact: Steffanie Marchese
    steffanie.marchese@autismspeaks.org
    646-385-8537
    Autism Speaks
    Source:Eurekalert  

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