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Congratulations to Dr. Anne Taylor, she was selected as a 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow.  A link to the Sloan site showing the 2013 winners and further links to background and history of this very prestigious recognition follows:

February 22, 2013

Congratulations to Drs. Ben Philpot, Bryan Roth, and Terry Magnuson, who were awarded $2.2 million by The Rett Syndrome Research Trust to attempt reversing the course of Rett syndrome by a gene unsilencing approach.  There is no mystery about why a girl suffers from Rett syndrome – the disorder is due to mutations in the MECP2 gene.  Because MECP2 is on the X chromosome and all females have two X’s, each active mutated gene rests beside a healthy but silenced twin.  This biology suggests that a small molecule activation of the silenced MECP2 gene might prove therapeutic for Rett syndrome.

A recent paper by CIDD investigators Philpot, Roth, and Zylka published in Nature describes successful reactivation of the silenced gene in Angelman syndrome, demonstrating that gene unsilencing is possible.

To read more please click the link below.


February 15, 2013
The Angelman Syndrome Foundation (ASF) has awarded the Joseph E. Wagstaff Postdoctoral Fellowship to Angela Mabb, Ph.D., from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. This prestigious two-year award will fund promising Angelman syndrome research and will allow continued investigation into a potential treatment for AS. The research Dr. Mabb will conduct builds upon previous ASF-funded research and further evaluates topoisomerase inhibitors for their therapeutic effectiveness for individuals with AS.
For more information about AS and the ASF, please visit
February 6, 2013

Congratulations to Becky Edmondson for being selected to serve another term as Act Early Ambassador for the state of North Carolina!


This program is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.   The primary objective of each State Ambassador is to support innovative State programs, which serve to strengthen state and community systems for early identification and intervention for children with signs of autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.


February 1, 2013

Congratulations to Jason Wolff, Ph.D., and others on the publication of his article in and on the cover of the December 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry!

Title: Evidence of a Distinct Behavioral Phenotype in Young Boys With Fragile X Syndrome and Autism
Click here to view the abstract.


December 10, 2012

Dr. Piven and Dr. Sikich receive Autism Center of Excellence grants for new research. Multimillion dollar grants further enhance UNC's recognition as one of the world's top autism research centers.

Read more:

September 6, 2012

Ann Palmer is the new Family Faculty member for the LEND Program at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) located at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She is a parent of an adult son with autism and a professional working in the field of autism for the last 20 years. She is the former Director of Advocacy and Chapter Support for the Autism Society of North Carolina where she coordinated over 50 Chapters across the state of North Carolina. She also worked for Division TEACCH as the Parent Support Coordinator, developing and coordinating a parent mentor program that served more than 800 families.

We are happy to announce that Ann is the author of A Friend’s and Relative’s Guide to Supporting the Family with Autism: How Can I Help?, recently published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. When a child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), what the family really needs, and often lacks, is positive reassurance and understanding from those closest to them. Ann gives advice on how extended family members and friends can provide that necessary support and what the parents can do to encourage and develop these supportive relationships. The book uses examples from real families to illustrate the complex feelings that parents and other members of the family are likely to go through after a child is diagnosed. It gives practical tips on the kinds of help that might be needed most. This book is a great resource to families of individuals with ASD and to the professionals who support families.

Ann’s two other books are, Realizing the College Dream with Autism or Asperger Syndrome: A Parent’s Guide to Student Success, and Parenting Across the Autism Spectrum: Unexpected Lessons We’ve Learned, co-authored with Maureen Morrell and winner of the Autism Society of America’s Literary Work of the Year for 2007. We welcome Ann to our LEND program!  Ann's email address is and her website is

July 20, 2012

Questionnaire completed by parents may help identify 1-year-olds at risk for autism

Lauren Turner-Brown, of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and colleagues analyzed information from about 700 children whose parents had completed the First Year Inventory when their children were 12 months old. The survey asked 63 questions about infant behaviors, including questions about the infants' communication, imitation and repetitive behaviors. Read More…

July 20, 2012
New research by CIDD scientists at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine may have pinpointed an underlying cause of the seizures that affect 90 percent of people with Angelman syndrome (AS), a neurodevelopmental disorder.

Published online Wednesday, June 6, 2012 in the journal Neuron, researchers led by Benjamin D. Philpot, PhD, professor of cell and molecular physiology at UNC, describe how seizures in individuals with AS could be linked to an imbalance in the activity of specific types of brain cells.

June 6, 2012
UNC Neuroscientists and CIDD Investigators awarded $2 million to study roots of cognitive disabilities.Click here to learn more.
April 24, 2012
Autism Speaks publishes an article featuring CIDD research and faculty. Click here to read "Hunting for Autism's Earliest Clues."
April 12, 2012
A new study led by CIDD researchers found significant differences in brain development starting at age 6 months in high-risk infants who later develop autism, compared to high-risk infants who did not develop autism. The study was published online on Friday, Feb. 17 at AJP in Advance, a section of the website of the American Journal of Psychiatry. Its results are the latest from the ongoing Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS) Network, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health and headquartered at UNC. Learn More.
February 17, 2012

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