Azalfa Lateef finished off the 2019 school year with a fantastic presentation at SYNAPE (Symposium for Young Neuroscientists and Professors of the SouthEast)! She presented the findings from her Science Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) project, which focused on the association between physiological regulation and inhibitory control in the broad autism phenotype. Nice work, Azalfa!
Dr. Jessica Klusek is following high school seniors with fragile X syndrome. This four-year study is featured on the University of South Carolina’s website. The study is hoping to uncover how well these students transition into adulthood.
Dr. Klusek, along with Dr. Jane Roberts and other stakeholders and advocates, gathered in the South Carolina state capitol to share their individual experiences with fragile X syndrome in honor of July 22, 2018 being proclaimed Fragile X Awareness Day. This governor’s proclamation of the inaugural South Carolina Fragile X Awareness Day was an important step in raising awareness for fragile X syndrome in South Carolina!
A new fragile X study has been funded! Dr. Jessica Klusek’s lab at the University of South Carolina will take part in a multi-site study funded by the National Institutes of Health. A $3.1 million research grant has been awarded from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. The study is led by Dr. Len Abbeduto of the MIND institute at University of California Davis, with sites at Vanderbilt University led by Dr. Julie Lounds Taylor and University of South Carolina led by Dr. Jessica Klusek. The focus of this longitudinal study is to understand the interaction between language and capacity for independent functioning during the transition into adulthood in individuals with fragile X syndrome. Dr. Klusek is currently recruiting individuals with fragile X syndrome who are in their final year of high school. Recruitment is nationwide, with travel expenses paid by the grant. For more information, please contact Dr. Klusek’s lab.
Sydney Burrell was awarded a Magellan Scholars Research Grant. The title of her project is: “Mother-Child Synchrony as a Predictor of Problem Behavior and Autism-Related Deficits in Individuals with Fragile X Syndrome.” In this project, she will investigate if mother-child interaction can predict social outcomes, problem behaviors, and autism symptoms at a one-year follow up. Congratulations, Sydney!
Veronica McLean, a junior at USC double majoring in Psychology and English in the South Carolina Honors College, has been recently awarded a Science Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to support her engagement in mentored research with our team. Veronica’s project will focus on story grammar and narrative abilities associated with FMR1 gene mutations. Congratulations, Veronica!
POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP IN AUTISM AND FRAGILE X ASSOCIATED CONDITIONS
The lab of Dr. Jessica Klusek is pleased to announce the availability of one full-time NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship position. This is a two-year position, with the option to extend to three years. The focus of this position is on language, literacy, and adult outcomes in fragile X syndrome. The fellow will also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of ongoing projects in the lab, which focus broadly on language and communication phenotypes in autism, the broad autism phenotype, and the FMR1 permutation. Dr. Klusek conducts research on psychiatric, physiological, and genetic correlates of communication ability across these neurodevelopment conditions.
The fellow will receive hands-on experience conducting clinical studies of individuals with neurodevelopment disorders and their families. Autism diagnostic training will be offered (ADOS-2 research reliability). The fellow will also have the opportunity to participate in specialized training in the use and interpretation of physiological (i.e., heart activity) data in NDD research and in pragmatic language assessment. The fellow will be expected to both advance ongoing projects and to collaborate with Dr. Klusek and other lab members to develop new studies. There will be a significant emphasis on manuscript preparation, as well as professional development such as running an independent lab, mentoring students, and grant writing. The fellow will be encouraged to submit their own application for external funding to a major federal agency or private foundation (e.g., NIH, Autism Speaks).
Dr. Klusek’s research is interdisciplinary and this opportunity is appropriate for applicants with backgrounds in psychology, speech-language pathology, health and human development, or other related disciplines. The start date is flexible, beginning fall 2018 or spring 2019.
Interested candidates are invited to e-mail a CV and statement of interest to:
Jessica Klusek, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Dept. Communication Sciences and Disorders
Arnold School of Public Health
University of South Carolina