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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

Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE)

The purpose of the study is to examine factors in the environment that are associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Who can participate: Children, with ASD, or developmental delay, ages 2-5 years old must be part of Alta Regional Center, Valley Mountain Regional Center, or East Bay Regional Center

Number of visits: 1-2

What to expect: This study includes cognitive testing, autism and adaptive behavior assessments, blood, hair and urine samples, medical questionnaires and exam, and a two-hour phone interview. Typically developing and developmentally delayed participants will complete cognitive testing, blood hair and urine sampling, medical questionnaire and exam, as well as a two hour phone interview.

Study Coordinator: Danielle Greenfield, 916-703-0345 or Crystal Herrera, 916-703-0434