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The Rett Syndrome Research Trust launches operations
Date:9/26/2008

. Our first five projects represent diverse yet complimentary approaches to treatment and reversal, encompassing drug screening, elucidation of target areas, and control of MECP2.

The projects include an international collaboration sponsored jointly with Autism Speaks and the Medical Research Council of the UK. The collaboration is based in the laboratory of Adrian Bird, Ph.D., at the University of Edinburgh, with key contributions from Nathaniel Heintz, Ph.D. of Rockefeller University. Professor Bird, who first isolated the MeCP2 protein in 1992, last year published his astonishing reversal of full-blown symptoms in a model of Rett Syndrome. He is the Buchanan Professor of Genetics at Edinburgh, and Deputy Chairman of the Wellcome Trust. Dr. Heintz is the James and Marilyn Simons Professor of Molecular Biology, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator whose work involves identification of novel pathways that participate in the development, function and dysfunction of the mammalian brain. Dr. Heintz has pioneered a variety of advanced genetic tools that can be employed to understand the impact of Rett Syndrome on specific brain circuits. This collaboration will inform all potential translational research, whether through gene therapy, protein replacement or drug discovery.

"We are extremely pleased to be collaborating on this important effort. The exciting recent discoveries by Rett Syndrome researchers have energized the field. This collaboration will help sustain its momentum," says Geri Dawson, Chief Science Officer at Autism Speaks.

Huda Zoghbi, M.D. whose 1999 research breakthrough revealed that Rett Syndrome is caused by mutations in the MECP2 gene, is a key advisor to RSRT and Professor in the departments of Molecular and Human Genetics, Pediatrics, Neurology and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. She is particularly interested in the growing number of cl
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Contact: Monica Coenraads
monica@rsrt.org
203-243-5733
Rett Syndrome Research Trust
Source:Eurekalert

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