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About our Research Program

The UC Davis MIND Institute supports critical research designed to understand the causes and to develop effective diagnoses, treatments, preventions, and ultimately, cures for neurodevelopmental disorders. Advances in neuroscience, molecular biology, genetics, pharmacology and behavioral sciences are making inroads into understanding brain function. The MIND Institute draws from these and other disciplines to conduct collaborative multidisciplinary research on specific neurodevelopmental disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Chromosome 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome.

The MIND Institute is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the outstanding expertise at UC Davis. The University offers robust programs in biological, environmental, medical and toxicological sciences.

The scope and impact of the Institute’s Research Program is exceptional. Studies ranging from basic biological studies to treatment trials, have lead to important contributions in such areas as synapse formation and plasticity, biomarkers research, evaluating startle responses, mouse model for autism, gene therapy of the brain, functions of the fragile X and MeCP2 genes, brain structure and the epidemiology of autism.

Highlighted Study of the Month

Mechanisms Underlying Word Learning in Fragile X Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder (MWL)

The goal of this study is to learn more about what factors are supporting language learning, and what factors are making language learning more difficult, for boys with fragile X syndrome or boys with autism spectrum disorder during the preschool period.

Who can participate: Males ages 3-5 ½ years, with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Fragile X Syndrome

Number of visits: 2 Visits to the MIND Institute with one year between visits

What to expect: If you participate in this study, you can expect cognitive and language testing, play based assessments of social anxiety and attention, a parent-child play session, questionnaires and an interview about your child’s skills and development.

To learn more about this study, call 916-703-0487 or email: