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Autism Speaks awards 47 new research grants funding
Date:12/21/2011

which synaptic function differences and which behavioral differences are rescued.

Two projects will focus on epigenetic modification of gene function. The potential of epigenetics as a mechanism to explain gene and environment interactions in ASD will be addressed by Dani Fallin, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University, who received a full grant for three years to measure genome-wide DNA methylation in 600 individuals from the Study to Explore Early Development. The genome-wide distribution of a newly described type of epigenetic modification to DNA will be profiled in ASD in a project by Xuekun Li, Ph.D., from Emory University, in a two-year Pilot grant. Dr. Li has developed an innovative method for studying this potentially important form of epigenetic regulation.

Several studies focus on aspects of early behavioral risk for ASD. Judith Gardner, Ph.D., at the New York State Institute for Basic Research will receive a full grant with three years' funding to prospectively follow high-medical-risk NICU infants from birth to two years to characterize early neurobehavioral markers as risk factors for ASD. Also focusing on high risk infants, Martha Kaiser, Ph.D., at the Yale Child Study Center will receive a full three-year grant to examine very early development of the social brain utilizing functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in a prospective, longitudinal study of infants at high risk for developing autism. Patrick Bolton, Ph.D., of Kings College London will be funded for three years with a full grant in which he aims to better describe a genetic disorder (tuberous sclerosis) and determine whether those affected also have an ASD, either in terms of the broader autism phenotype or significant autistic traits. In conjunction with the Baby Siblings Research Consortium and the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange, Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, Ph.D. from the University of Alberta will take a genetic approach to assess the relationship between ASD-related gene c
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Contact: Adam Pockriss
apockriss@rubenstein.com
212-843-8286
Autism Speaks
Source:Eurekalert  

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Autism Speaks awards 47 new research grants funding
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