Our Goals

The study’s primary goal is to understand how communication features associated with autism and fragile X syndrome are shaped by genetic and physiological factors. Our work often adopts a family approach, where we study both children affected by neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as their parents.

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Our Team

Our team is comprised of a wonderful, interdisciplinary team of undergraduate and graduate student research assistants who contribute to this research. The team is directed by Dr. Jessica Klusek. Interested in joining our team? We are currently recruiting PhD students, post-docs, and undergraduate students interested in becoming involved.

Our Lab

Our research facilities are located on the campus of the University of South Carolina in the Montgomery Speech and Hearing Clinic at 1705 College Street. Visitors can park in the Close-Hipp parking garage on Henderson Street. We are conveniently located within walking distance to Columbia’s Five Points district, home to a number of local eateries and shopping.

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Ongoing Research Support

  • – Aging Symptom Trajectories in Mother Carriers of the FMR1 Premutation, National Institute on Aging. 1R01AG073374-01A1, 2022 – 2027.
    • – This project seeks to determine the stability of core FMR1 premutation symptoms across middle adulthood and early old age.
    • – PI: Jessica Klusek
  • – Language Development in Fragile X Syndrome, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. 2R01HD024346-24, 2018 – 2023.
    • – The purpose of this study is to continue longitudinal investigation in males with fragile X syndrome into adulthood and to begin tracking the trajectories of females with fragile X syndrome. The focus is on language development within the framework of an examination of the transition from high school into adulthood.
    • – PI: Len Abbeduto
    • – Co-Investigator: Jessica Klusek
  • – Defining the Language Phenotype of the FMR1 Premutation, National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders. 1R21DC017804-01, 2019 – 2023.
    • – This project describes oral and written language features associated with the FMR1 premutation, in comparison to language features of the broad autism phenotype.
    • – PI: Jessica Klusek
  • – The FMR1 Premutation Genotype and Age-Related Cognitive-Linguistic Decline – Administrative Supplement, National Institute on Aging. 3R21DC017804-02S1, 2020 – 2023.
    • – This project examines the FMR1 premutation genotype as a factor associated with age-related cognitive-linguistic decline.
    • – PI: Jessica Klusek
  • – Autonomic and Sensory Dysfunction in FMR1 Conditions, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. 1R01HD106652-01A1, 2022 – 2027.
    • – This proposal seeks to delineate age-related cognitive profiles in mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder.
    • – PI: Jane Roberts
    • – Co-investigator: Jessica Klusek