A research team at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the New Jersey Autism Center of Excellence has just received a $2.125 million grant for autism stem cell research.
The social symbol for autism awareness, a ribbon of brightly-colored puzzle pieces, reflects the complexity of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A new five-year $2.125 million grant from the New Jersey Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism will fund research of induced pluripotent stem cells that may be used to piece together the genetic pathways of autism and lead to new treatments for individuals affected by ASD. The research, led by James H. Millonig, PhD, associate professor of neuroscience and cell biology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, is being conducted as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School New Jersey Autism Center of Excellence (NJ ACE).
“Autism is defined by a spectrum of behavioral and neurological abnormalities, with distinct characteristics for each individual denoting that there are multiple underlying genetic causes,” said Dr. Millonig, who also is assistant dean of medical science training at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a member of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, a joint institute of the medical school and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. “Working with my colleagues in neuroscience and at the Child Health Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers, we hope to identify the neurobiological, molecular and genetic basis – the biological signature – of autism.”
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