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Autism Speaks announces 3 additional 2013 Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellows
Date:10/29/2013

NEW YORK, N.Y. (October 29, 2013) Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, today announced three additional recipients to the fifth class of Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellows funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The fellowship program focuses on developing rising talent within the autism research community.

The Dennis Weatherstone Predoctoral was established in 2008 in memory of Sir Dennis Weatherstone, the former Chairman and CEO of J.P. Morgan . The program honors his family's enduring commitment to the education of promising scientists beginning careers in autism research. Fellows will work directly with mentors who are leading investigators in the autism field.

"These awards are investments in the future of autism research," says Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Rob Ring. "Our Weatherstone fellowship program provides critical resources for building the early careers of autism researchers as they work on projects that ensure the development of more effective treatments."

The new Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellows include:

Frank Fishburn (Georgetown University) will evaluate near-infrared spectroscopy as a less-restrictive method for monitoring brain activity in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Performing brain scans with traditional imaging techniques can be stressful for children with autism, as some have difficulty holding still or fear enclosed spaces. With this new tool, Mr. Fishburn will study how different areas of the brain respond while children perform mental tasks. The project will advance our understanding of how disrupted communication between brain regions may contribute to autism symptoms.

Natasha Ludwig (Georgia State University) will examine the effectiveness of nonverbal measures of social understanding as a way to reliably identify ASD in toddlers. In doing so, she seeks to help develop a more practical and accurat
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Contact: Steffanie Marchese
steffanie.marchese@autismspeaks.org
646-385-8537
Autism Speaks
Source:Eurekalert  

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Autism Speaks announces 3 additional 2013 Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellows
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