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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News The latest developments in autism research.

Community Newsletter: Journal jobs, FMRP outside fragile X, convergent neuroscience

by  /  1 May 2022
Many mouths making conversation, with speech bubbles in red and blue.
Illustration by Laurène Boglio

As May kicks off, our community newsletter brims with tweets of new starts and fresh findings — about FMRP and Alzheimer’s disease, disparities in autism diagnoses and the power of convergent neuroscience to make progress in understanding autism.

First up, the journal Autism had big news, announcing that their incoming editor-in-chief is Sue Fletcher-Watson, professor of developmental psychology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. As part of the tweet, Fletcher-Watson introduced herself and her plans for the publication in a short video. She assumes her new position this summer, taking the reins from David Mandell, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, who held Autism’s top spot for 10 years.

“Professor, research centre director, conference chair, book (co-)author, charity founder, mother of autistic Etsy artist, not a ‘non-autistic’ person (linguistically, not substantively— suggestions welcome) and now, @journalautism Editor-in-Chief!” tweeted Steven Kapp, an autistic lecturer in psychology at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, along with his congratulations.

Mandell tweeted that the journal is also looking for two new associate editors.


The University of Illinois tweeted about new work from Nien-Pei Tsai, associate professor of molecular and cellular biology at the school’s Urbana-Champaign campus. Tsai and his colleagues found that FMRP, the protein deficient in fragile X syndrome, is overexpressed in Alzheimer’s disease mouse models in response to an accumulation of amyloid beta peptide.


Joshua Gordon, director of the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), tweeted about a new study showing that one way to reduce disparities in autism diagnoses may be to make multistage screening part of federally funded early-intervention services.


Gordon’s colleague Armin Raznahan, chief of the NIMH section on developmental neurogenomics, tweeted about a new review paper from Matthew State, professor and chair of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and his colleagues that highlights “genomics, convergent neuroscience and progress in understanding autism spectrum disorder.”

“Proud to have our review paper published online today in @NatRevNeurosci,” tweeted the Willsey lab at the University of California, San Francisco. (Spectrum has previously written about co-investigator Helen Willsey’s work on autism genetics in frogs.)

Excellent review!” tweeted Rebecca Meyer-Schuman, a postdoctoral researcher in Huda Zoghbi’s lab at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

“Fantastic — on my read list!” tweeted the LaBonne lab at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, throwing in a hat tip to the genus Willsey works with.


That’s it for this week’s Community Newsletter! If you have any suggestions for interesting social posts you saw in the autism research sphere, feel free to send an email to [email protected].

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TAGS:   autism, community