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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

Girls with Autism- Imaging of Neurodevelopment (GAIN)

The purpose of the study is to identify biological differences in brain structure and connectivity in girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Who can participate: Girls with and without ASD, ages 2 to 4 years old

Number of visits: 2 half-day, 1 evening

What to expect: The study includes diagnostic confirmation, behavioral assessment, medical exam and blood draw, and an MRI scan that will be carried out during natural sleep.

Study Coordinator: Alexa Hechtman, 916-703-0410