Read more about the latest news from Dr. Jessica Klusek and the South Carolina Family Experiences Study
Veronica is a Columbia, SC local, and has been at the University of South Carolina as either student or staff since 2016. She graduated from the South Carolina Honors College in 2020 with a B.S. in Experimental Psychology and English, and is currently working on her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
She is excited to be back at the SC Family Studies lab as a research specialist after having worked there as an undergraduate student, and loves learning from and working with our families!
Our doctoral student, Carly Moser, recently received a UofSC Support to Promote Advancement of Research and Creativity (SPARC) Graduate Research Grant that will help fund her dissertation work focused on mother-child biobehavioral synchrony in autism. If you are interested in learning more and signing up, click here!
Dr. Klusek, in collaboration with the Aging Brain Cohort initiative at USC published a new study linking “low normal” FMR1 CGG repeat lengths to age related health. Finding showed a relationship between lower-than-typical numbers of FMR1 CGG repeats and poorer motor function and psychological well being in healthy older adult women. This suggests that FMR1 may be an important mediator of population health.
Click here to learn more --> https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167494322001765?via%3Dihub#sec0014
We are VERY excited to introduce to everyone our first person for our new segment: RA Spotlight!
Suebin is an undergraduate student in our lab.
You can find more information about her here -> http://scfamilystudy.com/about/
- 1. How long have you been in the lab?
- I've been in the lab since the summer of 2022.
- 2. What's your favorite part of being in the lab?
- My favorite part of being in the lab is getting to assist with interesting research while being surrounded by a friendly atmosphere.
- 3. What are some activities you do in your free time?
- In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.
- 4. What's your dream job?
- My dream job is to become a primary care physician in the future.
From the land of fields of corn, Jennifer has been in Indiana since 4th grade. She received her B.S. degree in Psychology from Purdue University on May 2022. Her interests align with the lab's goal to develop better family-centered support services for families of children with developmental disabilities like fragile X syndrome and autism. She is happy to join the lab and is eager to learn under Dr. Jessica Klusek!
Jennifer's Personal webpage: https://jennifersun.carrd.co/
She also just started her own twitter page this year. Follow her below!
Links to our latest posts:
Dr. Laura Friedman recently received an F32 grant from the National Institution on Aging. Her project will examine cognitive aging profiles of mothers of children with autism and will also explore caregiving-associated risk factors that may be related to atypical cognitive aging (such as stress or poor sleep quality).
Two of our graduate assistants, Jillian Gierman and Eve Guiney, graduated this weekend! Both earned their Master's of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. They will be missed by all of us in the lab, and we wish them the best of luck as they launch their careers as speech-language pathologists. Both have bright futures ahead!
Undergraduate students Katie Klein, Abbie Broadhead, Reet Verma, Ainsley Bradbury, and Maria Striebich represented our lab at Discover UofSC. This local conference showcases research, scholarship, leadership and creative projects by undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and medical scholars representing the entire UofSC System. Special congratulations to Katie, who received first place!
Congratulations Katie, Reet, Ainsley, Maria, and Abbie! We are proud of your work!
Doctoral student in our lab, Carly Moser, explored factors related to the quality of social interactions between mothers and their sons with fragile X syndrome. The quality of mother-child interaction plays a key role in child development and may be especially important for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Results indicated that the maternal pragmatic language was associated with mother-youth synchrony. Check out her publication here!
Our postdoc, Dr. Katie Bangert, recently published a study investigating the speech of young men with fragile X syndrome (FXS). Half of the participants with FXS exhibited cluttering, a fluency disorder that involves rapid, unclear and/or disorganized speech. This suggests FXS as a genetic diagnosis is highly enriched for cluttering. The study may lead to improved understanding of the potential underlying mechanisms of cluttering and eventual refinements to treatment and diagnosis. Check out the article here!
See the Arnold School of Public Health news feature of Dr. Klusek's most recent work here!
Our postdoc, Dr. Laura Friedman, recently received an ASPIRE grant from UofSC’s Office of the Vice President for Research to explore the experiences of autistic adults and their families. If you’re interested in learning more and signing up, click here!
Check out this article highlighting the internship recent college graduate Ashley Kunkle completed in our lab. We are so excited to read about how her internship inspired her to pursue a career in medicine. Best of luck in your future endeavors, Ashley!
Doctoral student, Carly Moser, was awarded the UofSC Maternal and Child Health Graduate Scholarship. With the award, she is funded to study maternal and child physiological factors related to social and developmental outcomes of children with autism. Congratulations, Carly!
For families of children with autism:
For families of children with typical development:
Check out Dr. Klusek’s recent publication which found that pragmatic language was associated with loneliness in mothers of children with ASD and decreased life satisfaction, depression, and poorer family relationships in mothers of children with FXS. This study informs tailored support services to meet the unique needs of families of children with ASD or FXS.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has declared Thursday, July 22, 2021 as Fragile X Awareness Day to raise awareness about the disorder and encourage continued research.
In response to COVID-19, our team has been working hard to redesign the way we do studies to maximize safety. Assessments will now be conducted virtually across two short sessions. Participants can schedule the sessions at a time that is convenient for them, and participate in research from the comfort of their own homes! We are very excited to resume our studies and continue our contributions to fragile X and autism research! Thank you for your support!
To schedule your virtual session or request additional information about our ongoing studies, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our department hosted a grand opening to celebrate our move into a beautiful new space. COMD's new home in the Close-Hipp building allows the entire department, including students, faculty, administration, and researchers to collaborate and work alongside one another in a centralized location. The move has provided our research lab with a brand new work space, waiting areas for research participants, and research testing rooms. We can’t wait to use these new facilities to make our participants feel even more at home when they come to see us!
Alyssa Campanelli’s poster presentation, Social Interaction Style and Language Ability in Males with Autism and Fragile X Syndrome, was awarded Second Place in the Psychology and Neuroscience Category at Discovery USC 2019! Alyssa is a Science for Undergraduate Research Fellowship awardee and her project focused on the categorization of autism-related social phenotypes within males with fragile X syndrome. Great job, Alyssa!
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!