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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

Infant Sibling Study (Infant Sib)

The goal of this study is to understand the very earliest signs of autism and ADHD in infancy, so that we can develop better methods for early detection of these disorders.

Who can participate: We are currently recruiting babies who have an older sibling with typical development or ADHD. Babies who have a parent diagnosed with ADHD are also eligible.

Number of visits: Maximum of 5 across 2.5 years

What to expect: This study involves behavioral assessments of early attention skills, communication, social interest, motor activity, and play behaviors. We use a variety of methods including interactive tasks between the baby and an examiner, eye tracking, and parent interviews. You’ll receive close monitoring of your baby’s development, with feedback from expert clinicians, as well as $25 reimbursement for each visit plus $50 for completing questionnaires.

Study Coordinator: Alesha Hill, 916-703-0297