Dr. Rob Willemsen's team,Erasmus University

Dr. Rob Willemsen‘s Fragile X team at Erasmus University

As the pace of Fragile X research accelerates, FRAXA funded research teams are leading the way.

Our research spans the spectrum of basic science, pre-clinical, and clinical research — all coordinated to make the most of each dollar. We are developing several treatment strategies in parallel, since success is never certain when developing a drug. We continue to fund research to define the precise defect in the Fragile X brain, because these studies may yield additional important treatment targets.

In the words of FRAXA Scientific Advisor, Dr. Justin Fallon, “Fragile X is poised to become a triumph for translational research and the design of rational therapeutics for brain disease.”

Andres Ozaita, PhD, at University Pompeu Fabra

Andres Ozaita, PhD, at University Pompeu Fabra

Normalization of the adult Fmr1 knockout mouse phenotype by targeting the endocannabinoid system with Susana Mato Santos, PhD Co-Principal Investigator   FRAXA Awards: $45,500 in 2013, renewed for $45,000 in 2014 Project D...
Justin Cowan, PhD — University of Chile

Justin Cowan, PhD — University of Chile

with Patricia Cogram, PhD   FRAXA Awards: $50,000 in 2011 $50,000 in 2010Treatment of Fragile X Syndrome via Dopamine Enhancers and Glutamate Inhibitors by Justin Cowan, 4/1/2010 This project aims to follow...
Mark Bear, PhD, at MIT

Mark Bear, PhD, at MIT

FRAXA Research Grants - Mark Bear, PhD with Asha Bhakar, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow Miquel Bosch, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow Dilja Krueger, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow Emily Osterweil, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow...
Kendal Broadie, PhD, at Vanderbilt University

Kendal Broadie, PhD, at Vanderbilt University

with Cheryl Gatto, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow Charles Tessier, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2007) Yong Zhang, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2001) FRAXA Awards: $78,745 in 2013, $78,745 in 2012 $40,000 in 2009, $40,000 i...
FRAXA Research Grant: Lucia Ciranna, PhD, Università di Catania

FRAXA Research Grant: Lucia Ciranna, PhD, Università di Catania

FRAXA Research Grants: Lucia Ciranna, PhD with Michela Spatuzza, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2013)   FRAXA Awards:$66,000 in 2013
Matthew Disney, PhD, at Scripps Research Institute, FL

Matthew Disney, PhD, at Scripps Research Institute, FL

with Wang-Yong Yang, PhD Co-Principal Investigator FRAXA Awards: $45,000 in 2013 $45,000 in 2012Dr. Disney’s lab is working to correct the underlying problem in Fragile X: the silencing of the Fragile X gene (FMR1) and th...
Kimberly Huber, PhD at University of Texas at Southwestern

Kimberly Huber, PhD at University of Texas at Southwestern

with Elena Nosyreva, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2006) Jennifer Ronesi, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2007) Tong Zang, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2010-11) Weirui Guo, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2012 to Present) FRAXA thanks The...
Vitaly Klyachko, PhD, at Washington University

Vitaly Klyachko, PhD, at Washington University

with Ziv Rotman, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow ((2012 to Present)) Pan-Yue Deng, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2012-) FRAXA Awards:$70,000 in 2013$70,000 in 2012
Khaleel Razak, PhD - University of California, Riverside

Khaleel Razak, PhD - University of California, Riverside

Effects of minocycline treatment on vocal production and auditory processing in a mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome with Iryna Ethell, PhD Co-Principal Investigator FRAXA Awards: $45,000 in 2013 $45,000 in 2012
Terrence Sejnowski, PhD - Salk Institute

Terrence Sejnowski, PhD - Salk Institute

with Cian O'Donnell, PhD,  Postdoctoral Fellow FRAXA Awards: $45,000 in 2014, $45,000 in 2013 The vast complexity of the brain is difficult to understand; it is even more difficult to predict how it will behave under normal ...
Rob Willemsen, PhD at Erasmus University Rotterdam

Rob Willemsen, PhD at Erasmus University Rotterdam

with Femke de Vrij, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2006-2007)   FRAXA Awards: $70,000 in 2013 $70,000 in 2012$50,000 in 2007 $50,000 in 2006    Social behavior as outcome measure for future clinical ...
FRAXA Research Grant: Yongjie Yang, PhD at Tufts University

FRAXA Research Grant: Yongjie Yang, PhD at Tufts University

FRAXA Research Grants: Yongjie Yang, PhD with Haruki Higashimori, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow (2012 to Present)   FRAXA Awards:$45,000 in 2013                     $17,500 in 2012
Robert Wong, PhD, at State University of New York

Robert Wong, PhD, at State University of New York

Robert Wong, PhD - State University of New York with Wangfa Zhao, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow FRAXA Awards: $45,000 in 2014 $45,000 in 2013 $45,000 in 2006 $46,000 in 2004 Dr. Wong began his Fragile X studies after...
Marius Wernig, PhD, at Stanford School of Medicine

Marius Wernig, PhD, at Stanford School of Medicine

with Samuele Marro, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2013-) FRAXA Awards:$45,000 in 2014 $45,000 in 2013Scientists in virtually all fields of biology are enthusiastic about the potential of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs),...
Tori Schaefer, PhD at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

Tori Schaefer, PhD at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

with Craig Erickson, MD, Consultant (2013) FRAXA Awards: $21,382 in 2013 Development of a Novel GABA(A) a2,3 Agonist in Fragile X Syndrome
Leonard Kaczmarek, PhD — Yale University School of Medicine

Leonard Kaczmarek, PhD — Yale University School of Medicine

with Lynda EL-Hassar, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2012-2014 ) Jack Kronengold, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2011) Vali Gazula, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2009) FRAXA Awards:$67,000 in 2014 $67,000 in 2013        $67,00...
Jacques Pichon, PhD—University of Orleans, France

Jacques Pichon, PhD—University of Orleans, France

Jacques Pichon, PhD, at CNRS and University of Orleans, France   with Sylvain Briault, MD, PhD, Co-Principal InvestigatorFRAXA Awards: $90,000 in 2013 $90,000 in 2012Drs. Briault and Pichon will do preclinical...
Mara Dierssen, MD, PhD — Centre for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona, Spain

Mara Dierssen, MD, PhD — Centre for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona, Spain

Clinical Trial and Preclinical Studies of Mega Green Tea Extract as a Treatment for Fragile X Syndrome with Rafael de la Torre, Co-Investigator FRAXA Awards: $45,000 in 2014 $45,000 in 2013 $34,000 in 2012Drs. Dierssen a...
Molly Huntsman, PhD at University of Colorado

Molly Huntsman, PhD at University of Colorado

with Christian Cea-Del Rio, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2013-4)  FRAXA Awards: $45,000 in 2014 $45,000 in 2013 Many studies have shown that the function of inhibitory networks is disturbed in fragile X....
Karen O'Malley, PhD — Washington University

Karen O'Malley, PhD — Washington University

with Karen O'Malley, PhD, Principal Investigator Carolyn Ann Hogan, Graduate Student (2010-11) Vikas Kumar, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2008-9) FRAXA Awards: $32,500 in 2012,  $32,500 in 2011 $32,500 in 2010 $60,000 ...
Gary Bassell, PhD — Emory University

Gary Bassell, PhD — Emory University

with Ravi Muddashetty, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow Vijayalaxmi Nalavadi, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow Laura Antar, Graduate Student (2004) Jason Dictenberg, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2004)  FRAXA Awards:Nerve...
Tom Jongens, PhD — University of Pennsylvania

Tom Jongens, PhD — University of Pennsylvania

with Michael Gertner, M.S., Postdoctoral Fellow (2014-15) Sean McBride, PhD, Co-Investigator Catherine Choi, PhD, Co-Investigator Steve Siegel, MD, PhD, Co-Investigator (2012-13) Anita Pepper, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2008)...
David Nelson, PhD — Baylor College of Medicine

David Nelson, PhD — Baylor College of Medicine

with Ruiting Zong, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2002) Laura Kirkpatrick, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (1998) FRAXA Awards:$65,000 in 2014 $60,000 in 2012, $60,000 in 2011 $60,000 in 2009, $40,000 in 2...
Scott Soderling, PhD — Duke University

Scott Soderling, PhD — Duke University

with Hwan Kim, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2010)FRAXA Awards: $81,678 in 2012 $81,678 in 2010The Soderling lab studies the shape of neurons, specifically the dendritic spines, since the spine is a major site of neuronal...
Julius Zhu, PhD — University of Virginia

Julius Zhu, PhD — University of Virginia

with Chae-Seok Lim, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow   FRAXA Awards:Dr. Zhu, a professor of pharmacology, is examining the effects of a number of drugs (some in common use already in fragile X, such as Buspar and...
Juan Bacigalupo, PhD — University of Chile

Juan Bacigalupo, PhD — University of Chile

with Carlos Maureira, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2011-present) FRAXA Awards: $45,000 in 2012 $45,000 in 2011One excellent test for any potential drug therapy for fragile X is whether it can restore normal function to a...
Laetitia Davidovic, PhD — CNRS Bordeaux, France

Laetitia Davidovic, PhD — CNRS Bordeaux, France

FRAXA Awards:Dr. Davidovic has been examining changes in metabolism in various brain regions that are affected in fragile X patients. She has defined a brain-specific metabolic signature of FXS and is testing treatment strategies...
Richard Jope, PhD — University of Miami

Richard Jope, PhD — University of Miami

with Margaret King, PhD Student (2011-) Christopher Yuskaitis, MD/PhD Student (2008-9) FRAXA Awards:Glycogen synthase kinase-3 and Fragile X Inhibition of GSK3 is the therapeutic mechanism of action of lithium in...
Olivier Manzoni, PhD — INSERM, Marseille, France

Olivier Manzoni, PhD — INSERM, Marseille, France

with Daniela Neuhofer, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2012-) Marja Sepers, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2009)FRAXA Awards: $45,000 in 2012, renewed for $45,000 in 2013 $45,000 in 2009  Endocannabinoid mediated synaptic...
MariVi Tejada-Simon, PhD — University of Houston

MariVi Tejada-Simon, PhD — University of Houston

FRAXA Awards: $86,423 in 2011 renewed for $88,961 in 2012 renewed for $88,961 in 2013$60,000 in 2008 renewed for $60,000 in 2009  It is now well established that signaling pathways linked to several br...
Michael Wilhelm, PhD — University of Wisconsin

Michael Wilhelm, PhD — University of Wisconsin

with Travis Schmidt, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow FRAXA Awards:This team studies a protein known as JNK, which appears to be abnormally regulated in fragile X. Like FMRP, it is involved in regulating dendritic protein synthesis,...
Suzanne Zukin, PhD — Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Suzanne Zukin, PhD — Albert Einstein College of Medicine

with Kirsty Sawicka, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2011) Sho Fujisawa, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow Yukihiro Takayasu, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2006)  FRAXA Awards:The Zukin lab studies signaling pathways...
Stephan Kindler, PhD — University of Hamburg

Stephan Kindler, PhD — University of Hamburg

with Hans-Jurgen Kreienkamp, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf FRAXA Awards: $54,800 in 2011 $52,000 in 2010 This team is studying a protein, Shank1, which is overabundant...
Joel Richter, PhD — University of MA Medical School

Joel Richter, PhD — University of MA Medical School

FRAXA Awards: $45,000 in 2011, $45,000 in 2010, with Natalie Farny, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow $40,000 in 2009, $40,000 in 2008Since a basic problem in fragile X may be runaway protein synthesis in dendrites, strategies wh...
Hongbing Wang, PhD — Michigan State University

Hongbing Wang, PhD — Michigan State University

FRAXA Awards:Dr. Wang's project, funded by FRAXA from 2010-12, looks at a treatment target "downstream" of mGluR5 called cyclic AMP (cAMP). Levels of cAMP are lower in FXS patients and animal models, suggesting that it plays...
Paul Lombroso, PhD — Yale Child Study Center

Paul Lombroso, PhD — Yale Child Study Center

Manavi Chatterjee, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2014-15) Susan Goebel Goody, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2009-2012) Deepa Venkitaramani, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2008)   FRAXA Awards: $45,0 00 in 2014 $45,000...
Peter Vanderklish, PhD - Scripps Research Institute

Peter Vanderklish, PhD - Scripps Research Institute

FRAXA Awards: $100,000 in 2014 $40,000 in 2008 $50,000 in 2007 $80,000 in 2006 $50,000 in 2005 $95,000 in 2004 Since 2003 when Dr. Vanderklish attended a Fragile X Banbury meeting, he has been studying neurons from...
Yue Feng, PhD, at Emory University School of Medicine

Yue Feng, PhD, at Emory University School of Medicine

withWenqi Li, PhD, Postdoctoral FellowFRAXA Awards:$45,000 in 2014 $45,000 in 2013 $45,000 in 2012 $45,000 in 2011  2014 Project Description: Functional Interplay Between FMRP and CDK5 Signaling Weakened synaptic ...
Bradley Alger, PhD — University of Maryland

Bradley Alger, PhD — University of Maryland

 The endocannabinoid system in a mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome with Ai-Hui Tang, PhD, Research Associate FRAXA Awards: $64,267 in 2011, renewed for $64,267 in 2012Numerous studies have shown that inhibitory neurotransmission is...
Anita Bhattacharyya, PhD, at University of Wisconsin at Madison

Anita Bhattacharyya, PhD, at University of Wisconsin at Madison

with Xinyu Zhao, PhD Associate Professor (2012 to Present) FRAXA Awards:$73,000 in 2013 $73,000 in 2012 $60,000 in 2008 $35,000 in 2007 $30,000 in 2006 One approach for treating Fragile X would be to demethylate...
Elizabeth Berry-Kravis, MD, PhD — Rush University Medical Center

Elizabeth Berry-Kravis, MD, PhD — Rush University Medical Center

FRAXA Awards: $43,824 in 2011 $5,000 in 2010 $5,000 in 2009 $34,000 in 2007 $35,000 in 2006 $15,000 in 2005 $48,000 in 2004 $48,000 in 2003 $48,000 in 2002Objective outcome measures for clinical trials are essential for...
Patricia Cogram, PhD - University of Chile - FRAXA Drug Validation Initiative

Patricia Cogram, PhD - University of Chile - FRAXA Drug Validation Initiative

FRAX-DVI :  Fragile X, from cells to behavior FRAXA Awards: $50,000 in 2014 $50,000 in 2013 $50,000 in 2012 $7,500 in 2011The purpose of the FRAXA Drug Validation Initiative is to test promising compounds with therapeutic ...
Francois Corbin, MD, PhD — Université de Sherbrooke

Francois Corbin, MD, PhD — Université de Sherbrooke

Open-Label Pilot Trial of Lovastatin in Patients aged 10-25 with Fragile X FRAXA Award: $44,000 in 2012Dr. Corbin will run the first clinical trial of lovastatin as a potential treatment for Fragile X Syndrome. Since this...
Christopher Cowan, PhD — Mclean Hospital

Christopher Cowan, PhD — Mclean Hospital

with Laura N. Smith, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow  FRAXA Awards: $45,000 in 2011, renewed for $37,500 in 2012Abnormalities of dopamine neurotransmission have been reported in fragile X; one key role of dopamine in the ...
Anis Contractor, PhD, Northwestern

Anis Contractor, PhD, Northwestern

with Qionger He, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2013-14) Diya Zhang, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2005-8) FRAXA Awards:$45,000 in 2014 $45,000 in 2013 $17,000 in 2008 $50,000 in 2006 $55,000 in 2005 ...
Brenda Finucane, MS, and Margaret King, PhD - Geisinger Health System

Brenda Finucane, MS, and Margaret King, PhD - Geisinger Health System

Geisinger Health System Autism and Developmental Medicine Institute, Lewisburg, PA $45,000 in 2014    FRAXA would like to thank the Fly With Me Fund  for major support toward this project. Analysis of Developmental Bra...
Eric Klann, PhD — New York University

Eric Klann, PhD — New York University

with Hanoch Kaphzan, MD, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2012-2013) Aditi Bhattacharyya, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2011-2012) Lingfei Hou, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow (2008-2010)   FRAXA Awards: $45,000 in...
Frank Kooy, PhD — University of Antwerp

Frank Kooy, PhD — University of Antwerp

2014:  A Double Blind Crossover Trial of Ganaxolone in Patients with Fragile X Syndrome FRAXA Awards: $45,000 in 2014 $45,000 in 2010 $50,000 in 2008 $50,000 in 2007 $35,000 in 2000 $30,000 in 1999with Anke ...
Daniel Johnston, PhD — University of Texas at Austin

Daniel Johnston, PhD — University of Texas at Austin

Dendritic physiology in Fragile X Syndrome with Darrin Brager, PhD, FRAXA Postdoctoral FellowFRAXA Awards: $45,000 in 2011 $50,000 in 2010Many other proteins are misregulated as a result of the absence of FMRP. It is known...
Elizabeth Jonas, PhD - Yale University

Elizabeth Jonas, PhD - Yale University

Bcl-xL inhibition as a therapeutic strategy for Fragile X Syndrome with Richard Levy, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator FRAXA Award: $45,000 in 2013, renewed for $40,000 in 2014
Efthimios Skoulakis, PhD — Institute of Cellular and Developmental Biology

Efthimios Skoulakis, PhD — Institute of Cellular and Developmental Biology

Efficient screening for pharmaceutical amelioration of FXS behavioral deficits in Drosophila with Alexandros Kanellopoulos, Graduate StudentFRAXA Awards: $33,750 in 2009 $40,000 in 2010 $38,500 in 2011Dr. Skoulakis and...
Cara Westmark, PhD — University of Wisconsin

Cara Westmark, PhD — University of Wisconsin

Ab-Mediated Translation in Fragile X Syndrome FRAXA Awards: $60,000 in 2011, renewed for $60,000 in 2012The role of APP in Fragile X is key, particularly because this protein is also implicated in Alzheimer's disease. It ...