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Portraits of scientists who are making a mark on autism research.

Dr. Huda Zoghbi portrait

Huda Zoghbi: Taking genetic inquiry to the next level

by  /  25 June 2021

Over the course of a career spanning more than three decades, Huda Zoghbi has won almost every major biology and neuroscience research award that exists. More than 20 years since she discovered the gene behind Rett syndrome, she remains laser focused on unlocking the condition’s secrets and finding effective treatments.

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May 2021
Dr. Elizabeth Berry-Kravis stretching during a run.
News / Profiles

Elizabeth Berry-Kravis: Running a marathon for fragile X syndrome

by  /  26 May 2021

Elizabeth Berry-Kravis has spent decades uncovering molecular clues to fragile X syndrome and crafting trials of treatments. Her efforts are paying off.

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March 2021
Scientists Damien Fair, Constance Hicks-Smith and Brian Boyd
News / Profiles

Black autism researchers weigh in on field’s past, future

by  /  3 March 2021

Spectrum spoke with three Black scientists about why they got into autism research, what keeps them excited about their work and how the field could become more diverse.

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March 2020
Portrait of Elise Robinson in her sunroom surrounded by plants
News / Profiles

Elise Robinson: Untangling the roots of cause and effect

by  /  19 March 2020

Even as a small child, geneticist Elise Robinson wondered why people think the way they do. Today, that question informs much of her autism research.

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August 2019
Portrait of scientist Alysson Muotri
News / Profiles

Autism researcher Alysson Muotri’s audacious plans for brain organoids

by  /  12 August 2019

Alysson Muotri aims to build a ‘thinking’ brain as a model for autism — even if his colleagues consider that work controversial.

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January 2019
Portrait of Damien Fair at OSHU
News / Profiles

Rising Star: Damien Fair, never at rest

by  /  9 January 2019

Damien Fair has a knack for transforming obstacles into opportunities, a trait that has brought trailblazing discoveries and admiration from colleagues.

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August 2018
Two scientists standing in a lab.
News / Profiles

Family ties: Sabatini brothers crack codes that may underlie autism

by  /  30 August 2018

David and Bernardo Sabatini, brothers born just a year and a half year apart, invent their way to answering big questions about autism.

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June 2018
Dennis Wall sits on lab floor with his skateboard and a whiteboard.
News / Profiles

How Dennis Wall became the ‘bad boy’ of autism research

by  /  27 June 2018

From an app to diagnose autism to a crowdsourced project to map its prevalence, Dennis Wall is brimming with ambitious ideas. But his execution of these ideas leaves something to be desired, his critics say.

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September 2017
Portrait of Eric Courchesne outside
News / Profiles

Eric Courchesne: Reaching for the rings in autism research

by  /  4 September 2017

Eric Courchesne is known for his findings on brain size in autism. But the roots of his long career trace back to his own childhood disability.

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November 2016
News / Profiles

Rising star: Vanessa Bal traverses fine work-life balance

by  /  14 November 2016

Parent, partner and professional — the need to fulfill all of these roles at once complicates Vanessa Bal’s life.

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October 2016
Doctor Jason Lerch and Doctor Jacob Ellegood are photographed in their Toronto lab on October 14, 2016. JENNIFER ROBERTS
News / Profiles

Meet the dynamic duo scanning every autism mouse brain

by  /  24 October 2016

At the Mouse Imaging Centre in Toronto, Jacob Ellegood and Jason Lerch are taking on autism’s complexity by scanning the brain of every autism mouse model they can acquire.

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