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Salk Institute researchers receive $5.5M Program Project Grant to analyze Williams syndrome

March 24, 2017

"Understanding the mechanisms and pathways underlying the organization of human social behavior is important in a wide variety of mental disorders," says Bellugi. "By dissecting Williams syndrome, we hope to gain new insight into other neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism."

The current grant is the latest chapter in a unique and exceptionally successful scientific alliance under the umbrella of a longstanding NICHD-funded Program Project, one of the first of its kind. Led by Bellugi, a team of researchers working in such disparate fields as social cognition, stem cell biology, neuronal architecture and neuroimaging are looking to Williams syndrome to provide clues to some of the mysteries of the genetic basis of social behavior. Participating researchers:

Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Ursula Bellugi (Program Director) Fred Gage Terry Sejnowski

University of California, San Diego

Katerina Semendefari Alysson Muotri Eric Halgren

University of Utah

Julie Korenberg

Source: Salk Institute