SFARI is pleased to announce that it has awarded 32 grants (19 Pilot Awards and 13 Research Awards) in response to the 2017 Pilot and Research Awards request for applications (RFA).
Ginty will define the mechanisms of aberrant touch sensitivity in mouse models of ASD and in individuals with ASD, and will translate these findings into possible therapeutics.
Portera-Cailliau and O’Donnell will study neural responses to tactile stimuli in fragile X syndrome mice to test whether sensory representations are varying and unstable over time.
Frick previously demonstrated a link between BKCa channel dysfunction, neocortical hyperexcitability and sensory hypersensitivity in the Fmr1-/y model of ASD. Drawing on this work, Frick will explore the potential of channel agonists for the therapeutic correction of phenotypes associated neocortical hyperexcitability/sensory hypersensitivity in genetic mouse models of ASD.
SFARI Investigator Sung Han discusses his lab’s work and how the Bridge to Independence Award helped him launch his independent career in autism research.
Most individuals with autism experience at least one form of hypersensitivity from the five senses. These alterations in sensory-related behaviors can lead to profound limitations on an individual’s ability to work, interact with family and participate in leisure activities. Furthermore, these atypical responses to otherwise normal sensory stimuli may be closely associated with the core symptoms of autism, such as social deficits and repetitive behaviors. Despite the importance of sensory abnormalities in the pathogenesis of autism, how the brains of individuals with autism receive information from the five senses at the subcortical level and how such information becomes transformed into aversive responses has not been investigated.