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PSU Scientists Win $60,000 Autism Research Grant
Author: Biology, Portland State University
Posted: July 15, 2014

Dr. Jeffrey Singer, Associate Professor in Biology at PSU, received a Simons Foundation for Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) award starting July 1st.

In the last few years, scientists have discovered that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is linked to genes that contribute to the disease. Dr. Singer’s SFARI award-funded research is to understand the mechanisms that underlie the functioning of these genes. Understanding how these genes work will help scientists gain a clearer understanding of the causes of ASD.

Dr. Singer’s work specifically involves studying how proteins, the product of genes, interact with each other inside living cells. Dr. Singer and collaborators will use a mouse model system to observe the effects of changes in protein interactions on behavior. In the long term, these interactions will be correlated to autism-related behaviors in these mice. Findings from these studies could eventually lead to therapeutic treatment for ASD in humans. This work will be conducted in collaboration with John Marshall at Brown University.

Dr. Singer and his research team will soon be conducting this autism research at the new Collaborative Life Sciences Building, in close proximity to researchers from PSU, OSU, and OHSU.