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

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November 2010
News / Profiles

Hazel Sive: A fish tale

by  /  29 November 2010

Hazel Sive is a classically-trained embryologist and developmental biologist, and an expert in zebrafish genetics. She is using the small, transparent fish embryos for research on autism — an odd choice, as they obviously lack the complex behavioral repertoire seen in the disorder.

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September 2010
News / Profiles

Ralph Adolphs: Setting the pace for cognitive research

by  /  9 September 2010

For nearly 20 years, Ralph Adolphs has been trying to figure out how the human amygdala works. An avid outdoorsman, Adolphs has run a dozen 50- and 100-mile races, and his colleagues say he approaches science with the same stamina and intensity. He has already published more than 100 scientific papers, several of them revealing intriguing ties between the amygdala and autism.

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August 2010
News / Profiles

Kevin Pelphrey: Charting the course of the social brain

by  /  17 August 2010

With robust training in developmental psychology and a techie’s fervor for new tools, Kevin Pelphrey is systematically investigating how the brain changes during development — starting in infants as young as 6 weeks old.

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June 2010
News / Profiles

Pawan Sinha: Bringing a new vision to autism

by  /  8 June 2010

In between setting world records, carrying out vision experiments on his infant son, and launching a campaign to build a large eye hospital in New Delhi, Pawan Sinha is illuminating new facets of autism.

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March 2010
News / Profiles

Evan Eichler: Following his instincts to autism ‘hotspots’

by  /  22 March 2010

With an openness to collaboration and a healthy dose of daring, Evan Eichler has turned his offbeat interest in repeat DNA sequences into a new understanding of how genomes evolve, expediting the search for genes disrupted in autism.

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January 2010
News / Profiles

Guoping Feng: Unearthing the roots of compulsive behavior

by  /  4 January 2010

Guoping Feng’s perseverance has proven a boon to the hundreds of neuroscientists who rely on his most celebrated scientific achievement: two dozen mouse strains engineered to have brightly colored brain cells. By creating the first robust mouse model of obsessive-compulsive disorder, Feng has also found a way to study repetitive behaviors, one of the three core characteristics of autism.

1 Comment
September 2009
News / Profiles

Michael Wigler: Applying simple logic to complex genetics

by  /  18 September 2009

Interested more in ideas than in dominating a crowded field, Michael Wigler decided to apply his expertise in cancer genetics to studying poorly understood features of autism.

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March 2009
News / Profiles

Raphael Bernier: Decoding the mysteries of the autistic brain

by  /  16 March 2009

In the spring of 2002, as a new graduate student at the University of Washington, Raphael Bernier was charged with introducing his advisor, Geraldine Dawson, before her lecture to a room of about 40 people from the psychology department. To Dawson’s astonishment, Bernier sang his introduction to the tune of On Top of Old Smokey. “[It was] a pretty gutsy thing for a first-year student to do,” Dawson says.

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February 2009
News / Profiles

Daniel Geschwind: After many detours, on the trail of autism’s genetics

by  /  17 February 2009

In the late 1990s, after Daniel Geschwind had established himself as an expert on the genetics of neurological diseases, a personal connection abruptly pulled him into autism research. Since then, he has participated in dozens of studies probing the genetic basis of autism and related neuro-developmental disorders.

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January 2009
News / Profiles

Rebecca Saxe: Fine tuning the theory of mind

by  /  26 January 2009

Rebecca Saxe has been designing brain imaging experiments to study infant brain development, moral judgment and theory of mind in people with autism, who often have trouble grasping othersʼ thoughts.

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