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

This research has the potential to identify a new early marker of language delay and associated autism risk. It could also lead to new methods for improving language abilities in infants and toddlers with autism. Burger-Caplan's mentors, Ami Klin and Warren Jones, are known for using eye-tracking technology to study the earliest known signs of autism. (Read more about their research here http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/study-eye-contact-declines-early-babies-who-later-develop-autism.)

  • Steven Klein (University of California, Los Angeles) will search for genetic changes associated with autism in children who have enlarged head size, or macrocephaly. This has the potential to advance understanding of this autism subtype in ways that improve early identification and treatment. Klein will work in the laboratory of medical geneticist and developmental biologist Julian Martinez.

  • Li Wang (Baylor College of Medicine) will identify the critical cell enzymes (kinases) that control the stability of the Shank3 protein. Research has implicated decreased levels of Shank3 with intellectual, language and social problems in individuals with autism. This work could guide the development of new medicines that may relieve autism symptoms by increasing Shank3 levels. Wang will work under the mentorship of pediatric neurologist Huda Zoghbi, whose Baylor laboratory is advancing understanding of the genes involved in brain development.


  • Contact: Steffanie Marchese
    steffanie.marchese@autismspeaks.org
    646-385-8537
    Autism Speaks
    Source:Eurekalert  

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