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

Spoken Language Treatment Study for Fragile X Syndrome

We are interested in learning if a behavioral treatment called Parent-Implemented Language Intervention will support spoken language development in boys with fragile X syndrome (FXS).

This study might be a good fit for you if:

  • You are the mother of a 10-17 year old son with fragile X syndrome
  • Your native language is English
  • Your son uses phrases of 2-3 words or longer

If you decide to take part in the study:

  • You and your son would need to come to the MIND Institute for 2 visits, approximately 3 months apart
  • You would need to complete some questionnaires and answer some questions about your son
  • Your son would need to complete some cognitive, language, and behavioral testing
  • You and your son may participate in 13 intervention sessions delivered by distance video-teleconferencing

In this phase of the study, half of the families will go into a Treatment Group and half will go into a Wait List Group. If you are in the Wait List Group, we will follow your son for three months without treatment. You will then have the option of continuing into the next phase of the study, which will involve the spoken language intervention combined with a drug.  This study is directed by Drs. Randi Hagerman and Leonard Abbeduto and is approved by the UC Davis Medical Center.

For more information about the study, please contact:
Lauren Bullard
Phone: 916-703-0484
Email: bullard@ucdavis.edu