Simon Fisher made headlines in 2001 for finding the first gene related to language. He has been following FOXP2 ever since, and has found that it is important in autism and other psychiatric disorders.
Portraits of scientists who are making a mark on autism research.
Matthew Goodwin aims to use wearable sensors and computational techniques to help scientists understand hand flapping and other behaviors in children with autism.
Husband and wife research team Andrew Meltzoff and Patricia Kuhl have shown that learning is a fundamentally social process, beginning in early infancy.
Smart risk management has propelled Benjamin Philpot from one adventure to another, whether it’s attempting unusual drug screens, learning to rock climb or taking his family to see volcanoes in Chile. His optimism and scientific vigor have led to discoveries for the rare Angelman syndrome, and for the wider autism spectrum.
Thomas Bourgeron discovered the first rare mutation linked to non-syndromic autism, pointing to neuronal connections as prime drug targets.
Charles Nelson, who famously showed that social deprivation damages the developing brain, is analyzing brain waves in babies to study how different genetic risk factors might lead to autism.
The language deficit in autism is complex and diverse. With a no-nonsense and thoughtful approach, Helen Tager-Flusberg has devoted her career to sorting it all out.
Wendy Chung planned to spend her career in a research lab, identifying rare pathologies. But life had other plans for her.
The ever-curious and energetic Ricardo Dolmetsch is taking skin cells from individuals with various types of autism and turning them into neurons in the lab. The approach could reveal the cellular basis of the disorder and point to new treatments.
Few scientists have a career that spans as wide a spectrum in autism research as Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. And fewer still garner effusive compliments from those who don’t agree with them.
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